Press Releases

Chairman Graves: Small Businesses Need a Simplified Tax Code

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Washington, April 13, 2011 | DJ Jordan, Wendy Knox (202.225.5821) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C.— House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today held a full committee hearing to examine the complexity of the current tax code and find solutions that will enable small businesses to thrive instead of being crippled by unnecessary burdens.
“How can our American small businesses be expected to do what they do best, that is, create jobs, when they are continually overwhelmed with more mandates, higher taxes and countless regulations,” said Chairman Graves. “The nearly 4 million word tax code is estimated to cost taxpayers and small businesses $163 billion and nearly 6 billion hours a year to comply with tax filing requirements. Clearly, the tax code must be simplified.

“We must also be sure that any plan for tax reform includes individual reforms, since around 75 percent of small firms are taxed at the individual rate. A report released yesterday by Ernst & Young estimates that small businesses could see their tax burden rise by about 8 percent per year or $27 billion if Congress passes corporate-only tax reform. Leaving small businesses out of tax reform would only continue to strangle job growth to the detriment of our already faltering economy.

“The bottom line is, our current tax code is too complex, too costly and in dire need of reform. The House Small Business Committee will continue to fight for real reforms that will protect small business and get unnecessary hurdles out of the way.”

To view Chairman Graves opening statement, witness testimony and related hearing documents, click here.

Notable Witness Quotes:
Nina Olson, of the National Taxpayer Advocate in Washington D.C., said, “It is essential that the tax system does not present an unnecessary hurdle to the success of these already fragile [small business] operations.  In addition, because a substantial portion of businesses are pass-through entities, a real reduction in complexity will not occur unless individual and corporate tax reform occurs at the same time.” 

Monty Walker, a CPA for Walker Business Advisory Services in Texas, said, “Understanding tax matters is confusing and tax compliance comes at a cost.  This cost results in lost resources that could have been used for business operations and business development.” Walker also said that because of the code’s complexity some small business owners decide to “just stay small and not hire people as opposed to expanding and becoming exposed to regulatory compliance brought on by hiring people.”  

Steven Strobel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of BlueStar Energy in Illinois, encouraged Congress to “Implement real tax reform: simplify the tax code, broaden the base, lower all individual and corporate tax rates, and make the corporate tax code more competitive for U.S. businesses. These reforms will create a surge in economic growth.” Strobel went on to say, “Efforts to reduce the regulatory and administrative burden on small businesses must focus on overall simplification, eliminating inequities within the tax code and enhancing taxpayer education and outreach.”  

Robert Kulp, Founder, Co-Owner and Business Development Director of Kulp's of Stratford in Wisconsin, said, “As the national unemployment situation continues to slowly improve, unemployment in the construction industry remains at an alarming 20 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  There appears to be little relief in sight for our industry during these difficult economic times.  Clearly, the time is right to take steps to improve this situation, and reducing complexity in the tax code is a good place to start.”

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