NSBA Survey Shows Tax Complexity a Huge Problem

April 19, 2012

The National Small Business Association (NSBA) released last week the 2012 Small Business Taxation Surveywhich provides detailed insight on how America’s small-business community is being impacted by federal taxes. In short: complexity and inconsistency within the tax code pose a significant and increasing problem. The ever-growing patchwork of credits, deductions, tax hikes and sunset dates is a roller coaster ride without the slightest indication of what’s around the next corner. This is unsustainable and unacceptable.

“Nearly half of all small-business owners spend 80 hours every year dealing with federal taxes, and two-thirds spend more than one full week,” stated NSBA Chair Chris Holman, CEO of Michigan Business Network.com and President of The Greater Lansing Business Monthly. “This is an unnecessary and massively unfair drain on an already-struggling small-business community.”

Underscoring the complexity of the federal tax code is the fact that 85 percent of small-business owners must pay an external tax practitioner or accountant to handle their taxes. Furthermore, when asked to rate the most significant challenge posed by the federal tax code to their business, the majority (56 percent) picked administrative burdens while 44 percent said financial burdens.

In terms of specific small-business taxes, respondents were asked to rate them both in terms of financial and administrative burden,  and payroll taxes, state and local taxes, property taxes, sales tax and income taxes rounded out the top five.

Small businesses expressed moderate to significant concern over the following expired, or soon to expire tax provisions: a pending increase in the marginal income tax rates (74 percent); increases in the estate tax (58 percent); prohibiting self-employed from fully deducting the cost of their health insurance (53 percent); and expiration of the expanded Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation (52 percent.)

“The overwhelming majority of small-business owners support broad reform of the federal tax code—not tinkering with certain taxes here and there,” stated NSBA President Todd McCracken. “Lawmakers must work toward broad reform, and they must do it now.”

Please click here to view the full survey.