MSAtaxreportApril92013

Tax Havens for Big Business? Small Business Owners Say ‘Not so fast’

Multi-Partisan small business owners spoke out earlier this month, further distinguishing their interests from those of Big Business.

Wednesday, in his post “Has the Budget Crisis Du Jour Got You Down?” Bill Daley pointed out that if Congress were to close one tax loophole on offshore accounts, it could be enough to create a ‘job stimulus’ program the country has not seen since the beginning of the Great Recession. Job creation that the private sector, bailed out in the the actual stimulus package, have neglected to create. These loopholes are enjoyed by big business at a clear cost to American workers and those still looking for a job. Not to mention the costs to vital public programs like Social Security. How? By funneling $Billions of dollars offshore, they are currently immune to any taxation. Big Business wants to be able to bring that money home– tax free, no less, and rob the country from any promise to pay their fair share.

But if you only listened to the voices of big business lobbies like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, you’d think all businesses, large and small, support cutting corporate tax rates and granting U.S.-based multi-national companies these “tax holidays” to bring home the profits they’ve been stashing offshore.

Small business owners don’t agree with the practice. According to a scientific live phone survey of 515 small business owners nationwide released April 9th by the Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council, small business owners – be they Republicans, Democrats, or Independents – are no fans of corporate tax loopholes and offshore tax dodging.

Instead, small business owners support proposals to close overseas tax loopholes and end deferral of U.S. taxes on profits corporations make or shift offshore. Small business owners also prioritize closing corporate tax loopholes over making cuts to education, health care, Social Security and other programs. In fact, small business owners across party lines strongly oppose the “territorial” tax system supported by big business lobbies (which would permanently exempt offshore profits from U.S. taxation).

To read the full report on these poll results, released on April 9, click here.

Key findings from the survey include:

· More than four out of five small business owners (85%) oppose a territorial tax system, which would permanently exempt offshore profits from U.S. taxation. Across party affiliation, 67% or more are strongly opposed to the proposal.

· 76% of small business owners support closing overseas tax loopholes by implementing a unitary combined reporting system, which would limit the ability of corporations to avoid taxes by shifting profits offshore. A majority (55%) are strongly supportive.

· 64% support ending deferral, a provision of current tax code that allows corporations to indefinitely defer payment of U.S. taxes on profits made or shifted offshore. Across parties at least 62% support this idea.

· By a margin of more than two to one, small business owners prefer to close corporate tax loopholes rather than cut government programs. Both Democratic and Republican small business owners preferred closing loopholes to cutting spending on education, infrastructure or Social Security and Medicare.

· Respondents in the survey were politically diverse, with a strong plurality of Republicans or Independents who lean Republican: 47% identified as Republican or Independent-leaning Republican; 27% as Democratic or Independent-leaning Democratic; and 26% as Independent or other.

 

For further reading on the issue check out this story at thenation.com.

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