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GOP says you'd file taxes with a postcard under new bill

CNBC logo CNBC 11/2/2017 Thomas Franck

The new tax bill unveiled by Republicans Thursday is so simple that taxpayers will be able to file using a postcard, according to GOP lawmakers.

"This is a complete redesign of the code, so we can simplify it so much that 9 out of 10 Americans can file using a postcard-style system, lowing the rates, protecting more of the first dollars you earn," said Kevin Brady, while holding up a mock-up of the tax postcard. "We're not just putting higher octane fuel in a old clunker of a tax car, we've proposed to drive a newer tax car that can beat and win against any country in the world."

The postcard prop read at the top, "Simple, Fair 'Postcard' tax filing."

House Republicans unveiled their plan to overhaul the tax code on Thursday. The bill aims, in part, to lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act —the bill's official name — would also slash the number of income tax brackets from seven to four: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent. Republican leaders have rallied behind the idea of tax reform, as Donald Trump campaign leaned heavily on promising of substantive tax change.

"It's redesigned for simplicity, fairness, and benefits," Brady added. "I predict, under this tax reform plan, America will evolve from 31st in the world among our competitors to the top 3 as the best places on the planet for the best new job, that next new manufacturing plant."

As both Rep. Brady and Paul Ryan delivered the news, shares of tax-planning firm H&R BlockHRB fell roughly 2.3 percent Thursday.

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As much of the company's appeal derives from do-it-yourself tax return assistance, news of a simplified tax code could be seen as a threat. The stock is off more than 24 percent from its 52-week high, with much of that decline coming since the summer as details about the simplified tax plan began to emerge.

Shares of related companies such as ADPADP and BroadridgeBR, which provide financial business solutions to employers and banks also fell, down 2 percent and 0.05 percent respectively.


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