Dean Zerbe, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and alliantgroup’s National Managing Director, recently testified before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. During the committee’s hearing on “Targeted Tax Reform: Solutions to Relieve Compliance Burdens for America’s Small Businesses,” Zerbe highlighted several commonsense solutions that would work to the advantage of such businesses.

First and foremost, Zerbe emphasized the need for tax laws and regulations that work for the benefit of small businesses, calling upon Congress to take concrete steps that will allow these companies to benefit from tax credits and incentives in the same way larger corporations do. Chief among his suggestions was the elimination of the AMT bar for general business credits (such as the R&D Tax Credit) and to allow non-profitable startup companies to offset payroll and other tax liability with tax credits. By granting greater access to these tax benefits, Congress would be encouraging the success of the companies that are traditionally the most responsible for creating jobs and the latest innovations—small businesses and startups.

Secondly, Zerbe elaborated on ways to encourage greater employee ownership among U.S. businesses, advocating for ESOP and tax provisions that would encourage employees to have more of a stake in their company. By having employees actually take part in the ownership of the company, Zerbe argued that employees would be further engaged and more invested in the success of the business.

Lastly, while most IRS agents conduct audits in a professional and courteous manner, Zerbe noted that the IRS could improve how some of its agents audit small businesses, highlighting how Congress could pass oversight bills to ensure that the IRS audits small businesses without requiring the same level of data and documents of large corporations.

Watch the video here.

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