Events and Products
Politics and Policy
On Aug. 5 the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations targeting the valuation practices of family-owned businesses. The proposed rules would lead to dramatically higher estate and gift taxes by eliminating the use of discounts currently permitted to reflect lack of control and marketability, respectively. The Wall Street Journal has referred to it as a "stealth death tax increase" that "rewrites long-standing interpretations of law."
New analysis from the U.S. Department of the Treasury shows that the construction industry pays the highest effective tax rate—the percent of income businesses actually pay in taxes—of any sector of the economy. According to the report, the typical construction company faces an average effective federal tax burden of 30.3 percent, well above the 23.3 percent average for all US businesses.
On April 12, ABC joined more than 60 national and multi-state organizations across the country in sending a letter to members of the House Committee on Ways and Means urging them to take action on the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (H.R. 2911 ). The bill would allow small businesses that have fewer than 50 employees to offer employer payment plans and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees for the payment of premiums or qualified medical expenses associated with insurance coverage.
The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have reached a deal on both the Omnibus spending package and extending certain expired tax provisions commonly referred to as “extenders.”
On April 22, 218 members of the House officially signed onto legislation (H.R. 928) that seeks to repeal the health insurance tax (HIT). The HIT is a measure of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that increases premiums for coverage from the fully insured market, where almost 90 percent of small businesses purchase health coverage.
On Feb. 13, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) introduced the Jobs and Premium Protection Act (H.R. 928), which would fully repeal the health insurance tax (HIT) provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ABC-supported coalition, Stop the HIT, sent a letter commending Boustany and Sinema for coming together to repeal the burdensome tax.
The United States Senate passed a one-year “extenders” bill Dec. 16, retroactively renewing 55 previously expired tax credits and other key policies for the 2014 tax year. The 76-16 Senate vote echoes the overwhelming 378-46 House approval earlier in the month and sends the bill to the President’s desk where the White House signaled he will sign it into law. ABC recently joinedmore than 500 industry groups in urging the swift passage of such legislation.
Many ABC members were greeted with a significant tax increase this tax day, April 15. Construction contractors who survived the recession already paid the highest effective tax rate of any sector, and now they face even higher taxes thanks to rising marginal rates, reinstated limits on deductions, and new surtaxes on wages and income stemming from the health care law.
U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) Feb. 26 released a draft of legislation designed to reform the tax code that proposes lowering the top tax rate for construction businesses from 35 percent and 39.6 percent to 25 percent, regardless of entity-level structure. The proposal confirms that the 25 percent Qualified Domestic Manufacturing Income (QDMI) rate would apply to “construction of real property in the United States as part of the active conduct of a construction trade or business.”
The nation's highest tax court decided last week a contentious construction accounting case in favor of the taxpayer, a California homebuilder, that had been in a decade-long dispute with the IRS over the use of the completed contract method (CCM). While in this case the builder is a residential developer, the precedent may have a broader impact for the tax treatment of long-term construction contracts.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) decreased the optional standard mileage rates to use for 2014 in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business by half-a-cent.
As a part of the Affordable Coverage Project, ABC and other business groups responded to final rules issued by the IRS on the new burdensome health insurance tax beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, calling on Congress to protect employers and consumers from the increased health coverage costs.
The Coalition for Fair Effective Tax Rates and the Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably (RATE) Coalition held a joint press conferenceSept. 19 to support the passing of comprehensive tax reform that would lower both individual and corporate rates and eliminate distorting tax preferences.
A study completed by the Tax Foundation found that, with pass-through businesses surpassing traditional corporations in number, individual tax rates with higher burdens impact hiring and other investment plans, causing an already struggling economy to remain unstable.
Two key pass-through structures favored by small businesses pay a significantly higher effective tax rate than large corporations, according to an Aug. 7 study released by National Federation of Independent Business and the S Corporation Association, of which ABC is a coalition member. Analysis by Quantria Strategies shows that S corps will pay the highest effective tax rate in 2013 at 31.6 percent, compared to 29.4 percent for partnerships, 17.8 percent for C-corporations and 15.1 percent for sole proprietorships. Effective tax rates are the percentage of income businesses pay in taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is hosting two webinars for small businesses on how to avoid the top tax mistakes and how to maximize tax benefits.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) May 9 launched a new website, taxreform.gov, and a Twitter feed,@simplertaxes, to gather feedback from the public on tax reform.
The Joint Committee on Taxation May 6 released a report summarizing the findings and comments obtained from 11 working groups that were formed by the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee related to tax reform. The report is a part of an effort to overhaul the U.S. tax code.
In response to a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the tax provisions contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), ABC sent a letter that called attention to several provisions that will affect ABC members, including the additional Medicare taxes on wages and investment.
As part of the Stop the HIT Coalition, ABC Feb. 15 applauded the introduction of the Jobs and Premium Protection Act of 2013, a bill that would repeal the health insurance tax (HIT) provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 1 passed legislation to permanently extend Bush-era tax policies for most income levels, softening the blow of the fiscal cliff after allowing individual rates to expire for nearly 24 hours.
Several new provisions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are scheduled to become effective beginning next year. To help members understand their responsibilities under the health care law, ABC is providing a round-up of those regulations.