Tax Reform: Paying Taxes Effectively

Since 2011, the chief tax writers in Congress, Representative Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, have led the charge on Capitol Hill to reform the U.S. tax code.  There is little doubt that the tax code is in need of reform.  In a recent survey, 85 percent of NFIB members supported rewriting the code in 2013, perhaps because 91 percent of them pay to have a professional to prepare their taxes.

Achieving tax reform will involve certain tradeoffs—scaling back or eliminating some tax preferences, in exchange for lower tax rates.  But for the vast majority of small businesses, what matters to them is the bottom line; that is, how much money their businesses pay the federal government in taxes each year.  This is also known as a business’s “effective tax rate.”

We already know that small businesses pay, on average, a higher effective tax rate than many large businesses.  But there are also some large businesses that pay a much higher effective tax rate than other large businesses.  Because of this, NFIB has teamed up with some other associations to launch the Coalition for Fair Effective Tax Rates.  I am honored to be co-chairing this coalition with Bill Hughes from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), who represent some of the largest retailers in the country.  By uniting businesses large and small, we hope to shine a light on the huge disparities in effective tax rates that businesses pay in America.

Small businesses agree that a level playing field is needed to fix the current system and achieve meaningful tax reform.  It shouldn’t matter whether your business is big or small, multi-national or local, retail, trade, or manufacturing.  By simplifying the tax code, removing dubious tax preferences, and lowering the overall tax rate, this will benefit small businesses across America.  Through the Coalition for Fair Effective Tax Rates, we hope to ensure that Members of Congress remember that, at the end of the day, it’s what you pay the federal government that counts.

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About Dan Danner

Donald A. "Dan" Danner was named president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's leading small business association, in February, 2009. Danner is only the sixth president in the history of the organization. Before rising to the top spot, Danner was executive vice president, overseeing NFIB's federal and state public policy and political activities as well as the organization's three 501 (c) 3 operations: the Research Foundation, Small Business Legal Center and the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. He came to NFIB in 1993 as vice president of the NFIB Education Foundation (now known as the Young Entrepreneur Foundation) and was named vice president of federal public policy in 1995. Previously, he was chief of staff to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Danner also worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison, where he was special assistant to the president and deputy director of the department. Before joining the White House staff, Danner was an executive with Armco Inc., a steel manufacturing company. He held leadership positions in sales and marketing, as well as state and federal lobbying on issues such as energy, environment, taxes and trade. He also served four years as vice president of federal relations at George Mason University. A native of Middletown, Ohio, Danner holds an MBA degree from Xavier University and an electrical engineering degree from Purdue University.
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