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Quigley Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Give Americans a “Tax Receipt”

Oct 28, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Co-Chair of the Transparency Caucus, introduced the bipartisan Taxpayer Receipt Act, legislation that would provide each American with an itemized tax receipt showing how taxpayer dollars are spent, as well as how much the federal government is borrowing in their name.

“Just as our grocery receipts keep us accountable for our purchases, a tax receipt will keep our government accountable for our federal spending,” said Rep. Quigley. “This tax receipt will not only provide citizens with a better understanding of how their money is being spent, but move us towards more government transparency, giving power to the people and accessibility to the federal process.”

The bill would provide a written receipt for those filing paper tax returns and an electronic receipt for those that e-file. The receipt would include a breakdown of each individual's contributions to Social Security, defense spending, Medicare, and other federal programs, as well as the total amount of federal debt and how much the federal government has borrowed per citizen.

Rep. Quigley was joined by Reps. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), and Jim Renacci (R-OH) in introducing the Taxpayer Receipt Act.

“When you spend even five dollars at the grocery store, you receive an itemized receipt detailing what you spent. Americans have a right to expect no less accountability for the tax dollars they pay to the federal government,” said Rep. Forbes. “The Taxpayer Receipt Act is a tangible way to hold Washington responsible for its spending habits by allowing each American to see exactly where his or her hard-earned dollars are going and what various government functions or programs they are funding.”

“This bill provides taxpayers the ability to see how their tax money is being spent by the federal government.  When individuals make a purchase in the private sector, they get a receipt as verification,” said Rep. Renacci. “As a former small business owner, I believe taxpayers deserve nothing less than this from the federal government. A tax receipt provides transparency and accountability for our hard working Americans.”

You can calculate what your taxpayer receipt would look like here.

As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus, Rep. Quigley has made government reform, accessibility and fiscal responsibility the cornerstones of his legislative agenda. Most recently, Rep. Quigley held a bipartisan Transparency Caucus briefing with Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07) on the need to provide public access to Congressional Research Service Reports. In 2012, he published an opinion piece on how transparency and accountability can help restore the public's trust in government. Rep. Quigley is also the author of Reinventing Government: The Federal Budget, a comprehensive report outlining steps to reform the federal budget with a renewed focus on improved budgeting and long-term sustainability.