House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today announced that the Committee will hold a hearing with acting IRS Commissioner, Daniel Werfel, on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 1:00pm titled The Internal Revenue Service and Small Businesses: Ensuring Fair Treatment. The purpose of the hearing is to identify how the agency selects, classifies and audits the tax returns of small businesses, in light of revelations that the IRS used inappropriate criteria to unfairly target certain groups.
On May 10, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apologized for unfairly targeting applicants for tax-exempt status based on political leanings. Before that, the IRS repeatedly denied during Congressional hearings that they were targeting conservative grassroots organizations.
“Small businesses have enough burdens to deal with from the federal government. Unfair tax treatment shouldn’t be one of them,” said Chairman Graves. “Our intention is to make sure small businesses aren’t being unfairly audited or scrutinized for inappropriate purposes, as has occurred with some conservative leaning nonprofit groups.”
On May 31, 2013, Chairman Graves wrote to the IRS to inquire whether the agency also targeted small businesses. Among many questions, Graves asked whether the tax returns of small businesses were selected for closer review and what criteria were used to select small businesses for audits. The IRS has not yet provided a substantive response.
In April 2011, a draft Executive Order (E.O.) would have required businesses seeking federal contracts to disclose to federal procurement officials any political contributions made by the businesses’ employees during the prior two years. In May 2011, the Small Business Committee held a joint hearing with the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the draft E.O. The proposal was overwhelmingly criticized by the business community, and by a bipartisan group of Members. The E.O. was never released, but suggested that political targeting of small businesses could be considered by this administration.
Watch the hearing live HERE.
WHAT: Small Business Committee hearing titled, The Internal Revenue Service and Small Businesses: Ensuring Fair Treatment
WHEN: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Room 2360, Rayburn House Office Building