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COVINGTON, KY - APRIL 8: Kathleen Malone works on tax returns at the Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service Center Friday April 8, 2005 in Covington, Ky. The tax filing deadline is a week away. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images) COVINGTON, KY - APRIL 8: Kathleen Malone works on tax returns at the Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service Center Friday April 8, 2005 in Covington, Ky. The tax filing deadline is a week away. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)  

NFIB: Small businesses want simpler tax code

As lawmakers contemplate tax reform, a new survey of small businesses suggests owners want lower rates and fewer deductions.

“More than half (52 percent) of small businesses believe that simplifying the tax code should be a top priority out of all potential revision options,” a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business found.

An overwhelming majority of small businesses, 85 percent of those polled, want to see an overhaul of the tax code; 78 percent of those polled prefer a tax code with less preferential treatment.

“By an overwhelming margin, small-business owners indicated that they prefer lower individual tax rates and a simpler tax code,” said study author and NFIB senior research fellow William Dennis.

“They see economic possibility in growing their businesses, not in growing government revenue through tax increases,” Dennis continued. “In fact, their sentiment that spending cuts must take priority is overwhelming, with 81 percent preferring spending cuts to tax increases by at least three dollars in cuts for every dollar in revenues. Virtually no respondent in the survey favored increasing taxes over cutting spending.”

Another primary concern of small business is the recent spate of trillion-dollar deficits. Small business owners prefer spending cuts over tax increases to reduce the deficit by a ratio of 3 to 1.

“This survey clearly shows that small-business owners believe the tax code is too complicated, too politically motivated, and inconsistent. It is no wonder that more than half of small businesses believe that simplifying the tax code should be a top priority,” said NFIB tax counsel Chris Whitcomb.

The survey found that the organization’s members have little or no faith in the new tax schemes that have been proposed in recent years, including the national sales tax, opposed by 58 percent, and the carbon tax, opposed by 67 percent. Even if these taxes were used to replace other taxes, respondents say they would still be staunchly opposed.

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