Advocacy on Capitol Hill: U.S. Treasury Reporting Proposal, the “Telehealth Cliff” and Saving the 199A Deduction for Small Businesses

By at 29 July, 2021, 12:39 pm

Business Groups Express Concern About Unwieldy IRS Reporting Proposal

In a joint letter to congressional leaders, a broad coalition of business groups – including SBE Council – objected to a broad and untargeted Treasury Department proposal, which would require financial institutions to report to the IRS on the deposits and withdrawals of all business and personal accounts with a balance of more than $600.

In the letter, the groups noted that:

● The IRS has a poor record of data security, which would compromise taxpayers’ privacy and raise their risk of identity theft.

● Intrusive account reporting to the IRS would undermine the important policy goal of reducing the unbanked population among communities prone to distrust of institutions and government agencies.

● The Treasury proposal would create taxpayer complexity and confusion—undermining the goal of tax simplicity to promote compliance.

The letter was led by the Independent Community Bankers of America. Read the press release here.

Congress Needs to Preserve Telehealth and Virtual Care Options

On July 26, SBE Council joined 430 organization by signing and sending a letter to Congress to urge policymakers to address the “telehealth cliff.”  If Congress does not act before the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), Medicare beneficiaries will lose access to virtual care options which have become a lifeline to many. The letter calls for Congress to advance permanent telehealth reform focused on specific priorities:

● Removing arbitrary restrictions on where a patient must be located in order to utilize telehealth services;

● Ensuring federally qualified health centers, critical access hospitals, and rural health centers can furnish telehealth services;

● Authorizing the Secretary to allow additional telehealth practitioners, services, and modalities; and

● Removing restrictions on telemental health services.

Over the pandemic, telehealth has proven to be an efficient and popular tool to deliver high-quality care. Because of this, many providers and health systems have made substantial investments in telehealth. Congress must act now to pass legislation to ensure patients and providers are not left in the lurch with fewer options to address critical health needs. Read the full press release here.

SBE Council Joins Business Groups Opposed to Section 199A Repeal or Reductions

On June 22, SBE Council joined over 100 associations and organizations in signing a letter to top tax writers on Capitol Hill opposingany reductions or repeal of the 20-percent deduction for qualified business income under Section 199A, including phasing out the deduction above certain income thresholds.”

Unfortunately, on July 20, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) responded by introducing legislation that would phase out the deduction for taxpayers with incomes over $400,000, while eliminating it altogether for those with incomes exceeding $500,000. His bill would hurt many small to mid-size employers that utilize this deduction to invest in their firms and create good-paying jobs – just the type of activity our economy needs to recover from COVID-19’s devastation.

Read an S-Corp Association analysis here,  and an Op-ed “Biden’s Tax Hikes are Unpopular and Congress Know It” by the group’s president Brian Reardon here.

Washington Post Fact Check (AGAIN!). No, 83% of the benefits from Republican tax reform in 2017 did not go to the wealthiest 1%.  The Post again fact checked the claim that most of the tax cut went to the wealthiest 1% – they noted this claim received “three pinocchios”

The tax bill has been in place for more than three years and it’s clear from the available data that the top 1 percent did not end up with most of the tax benefits.    

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