Commissioner Says Agency Simplifies Tax Code; Data Shows Businesses Face Great Tax Burdens
In Congressional hearings last week, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen defended the agency’s role in enforcing America’s increasingly-complex tax code. The Hill reported that following his first day of his testimony before Congress, Koskinen told reporters that this “filing season,” set to end Monday, April 18, “has gone really very smoothly.” He said, “Thus far, thanks to the additional funding we got from Congress, the taxpayer service levels have been much better in this filing season than they were last year because we were able to hire more people.” The IRS was anticipating 150 million tax returns by the deadline, with 100 million already filed and 13 million set to be filed as extensions.
On the second day of testimony before the House Small Business Committee, Koskinen discussed the ways in which the IRS works with small businesses to help them prepare their taxes. The Hill reported that Koskinen said that the IRS is “taking a number of steps to make it easier for small businesses to comply with their tax obligations.” He told committee members, “The IRS can and does contribute to tax simplification in important ways.” However, The Hill pointed out that the agency “does not play a direct role in simplifying tax laws, since that is the domain of Congress, the White House and the Treasury Department.” House Small Business Committee Chair Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) argued that there must be changes to the tax code so the code works “for small businesses instead of against them.” He argued, “The complexity of our tax laws steals valuable resources – both time and money – from these businesses. It hinders their ability to grow, succeed, and create the jobs we need.”
What This Means For Small Businesses
As another tax season draws to a close, small businesses across the US continue to suffer the burdens of an arcane, complex tax system that doesn’t favor the interests of businesses. As lawmakers heard in last week’s testimony, The Hill reported, according to a Government Accountability Report in 2015, “businesses with one to five employees face an estimated tax compliance burden of more than $4,000 per worker each year, Chabot said.”
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Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.