Small business owners urge Congress to simplify tax code and renew tax relief provisions

WASHINGTON DC — Navigating the U.S. tax code can be confusing and expensive– not only for individuals, but also for small business owners.

Raymond Huff knows about it firsthand. He is the President of HJB Convenience Corporation and runs seven convenience stores with plans to open more.

“There was no way if I was doing my own taxes that I would’ve gotten that right without the CPA firm, which you have to pay a lot of money for,” said Huff. “They’re always adding new codes.”

Huff spoke with our Washington News Bureau after his testimony before the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday.

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The panel is exploring ways to make filing taxes easier and more fair to empower small business owners.

“On average, small business owners will pay over $1,000 per year to have a CPA firm prepare their taxes, and that’s money they don’t have,” said Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), the Committee Chairman.

Small business owners warned Congress about the burden of the complicated tax system.

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“We need to take this opportunity to create and pass tax reform that supports small business success, closes loopholes, and ensures everybody pays the same or fair tax rates,” said Walter Rowen, President of Susquehanna Glass Co.

“Tax complexity costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars in accounting and compliance headaches,” said Aaron Hedlund, Associate Professor of Economics at Purdue University. “It is unfair that the complexity of the tax code advantages those with the resources to hire teams of lawyers, accountants and lobbyists.”

The committee heard about the impact of a 2017 law put in place during the Trump administration.

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) gave relief to small businesses, but those tax breaks are set to expire next year if Congress doesn’t take action to extend them.

Huff said those provisions are key to helping his business.

“My main message to you is do not pull the rug out from under me just when I’m finally starting to recover,” said Huff in his testimony. “If my business is faced with a significant tax increase at the end of next year, it will set my business back in a way I really can’t afford or plan for.”

The House already passed a bipartisan bill that extends the provisions giving small businesses tax breaks, but it remains at a standstill in the Senate.

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