A House vote on the Republican Party’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could come as early as Dec. 20. If the bill passes there and then in the Senate, both Republican-controlled, President Donald Trump could sign it into law before Christmas.
What are the possible impacts of this tax reform legislation on U.S. small businesses? This is no mere academic question, with far-reaching effects in communities across the U.S.
“This compromise tax reform language will enable small business owners to hire new workers, expand facilities and purchase new equipment, bringing pro-growth investments back to the U.S.,” National Small Business Association president and CEO Todd McCracken said in a statement. NSBA members include more than 65,000 small businesses in every state and industry.
However, the NSBA is also worried about the bill’s inability to simplify the tax code.
“Complexity in the tax code has outpaced the actual financial burden of federal taxes in terms of small business burden,” McCracken said.
Further, the NSBA frets over the tax legislation’s increase of the federal deficit by roughly $1.5 trillion over 10 years. According to the American Sustainable Business Council, the proposed tax plan’s deficit spending will harm the national economy.
Deficit spending and economic growth are not mutually exclusive.
The NSBA did not support the GOP tax plan at first, but after much internal discussion and analysis finally came around, according to spokesperson Molly Day. Nevertheless, the group calls for further political efforts to overhaul the tax code to benefit small businesses, which do not reap the same harvest of lower taxation rates that larger enterprises do, Day said.
That point is a sore one for John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, a network of 55,000 small business owners.
“The major focus of the legislation is to slash corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, even though only 5 percent of small businesses pay corporate taxes,” according to a statement by Arensmeyer.
Anne Zimmerman is co-chair of Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, a group of small business owners and organizations, and the founder and owner of Zimmerman & Co. CPAs, an Ohio-based public accounting firm. She brings up another troubling concern for small business owners: The GOP tax plan contains a territorial tax plan that helps big companies to offshore jobs and profits.
“Main Street small businesses aren’t among the lucky beneficiaries of a territorial tax system,” she wrote in a CNN.com op-ed.
Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, an association of 325,000 small and independent business owners, backs the GOP tax bill.
“Tax relief is the number-one priority for small businesses, which represent half the economy and half the GDP,” she said in a statement. “This bill will allow millions of small business owners to keep and reinvest more of their money, so they can grow and create jobs.
“We urge both chambers to pass the bill quickly, so it can be signed into law before the end of the year.”
If that action happens, it would mark Trump’s first legislative win of 2017.
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