According to Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., chairman of the House Small Business Committee, the curren t tax code, which is nearly 4 million words long, is costing taxpayers and small businesses $163 billion and approximately 6 billion hours per year to comply with tax filing requirements. The main point that Graves seemed to be making throughout the proceedings of the hearing was that the current tax code must be simplified.
There were several small business owners, executives and employees present among the witness panel. The witnesses expressed to the committee that the tax system must not keep small businesses from functioning in a productive and profitable manner, and that specific reforms needed to be made.
One witness, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson of Washington, D.C., said, “It is essential that the tax system does not present an unnecessary hurdle to the success of these already fragile [small business] operations. In addition, because a substantial portion of businesses are pass-through entities, a real reduction in complexity will not occur unless individual and corporate tax reform occurs at the same time.” The national taxpayer advocate is appointed by the secretary of the treasury and reports to the commissioner of Internal Revenue. However, the national taxpayer advocate presents an independent taxpayer perspective that does not necessarily reflect the position of the IRS, the Treasury Department or the Office of Management and Budget.
Graves posed the question, “How can our American small businesses be expected to do what they do best, that is, create jobs, when they are continually overwhelmed with more mandates, higher taxes and countless regulations?”