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Will the IRS Scandal Benefit Small Businesses?

We’ve been reporting on the recent IRS scandal that resulted in the resignation of former acting commissioner Steven Miller.  The IRS has been accused of targeting conservative groups claiming exempt status, and while they acknowledged their process in determining which groups needed additional review was flawed, the mistakes were not politically charged.  Regardless, the IRS is facing intense scrutiny.

In a recent SmallBizTrends.com article, author Scott Shane provides three ways in which small business might benefit from the IRS scandal.

  1. Potential challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This new health care law is not favored by most small businesses.  In fact, a recent Gallup Survey of small-business owners found that 48 percent believe the ACA will be bad for business.  Shane explains, “The cost of the new law, and the benefits of any reduced enforceability, will fall largely on small businesses because almost all big companies provide employee health insurance.” Only 61 percent of small businesses offer employees health insurance.
  2. Increased credibility of Tea Party groups.  Because the IRS appears to have been targeting Tea Party groups, their credibility is likely to increase, which is beneficial because they have always supported small business.  Shane claims, “If the Tea Party can capitalize on the scandal to garner support in the mid-term elections, their electoral success should work to the advantage of small business owners.”  This could include tax cuts for small businesses in order to increase job creation.
  3. Potential decrease in IRS audits.  Because of all the negative attention the IRS has garnered due to their questionable audits, they may scale back their audits in the future as they try to regain taxpayer trust.  Shane says, “That would be a welcome respite for successful small business owners who have seen an increase in the rate of IRS examinations in recent years.”

If you’re a small business owner, or if you have small business clients, this is definitely an issue worth watching.

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Resource

Shane, Scott.  “How the IRS Scandal Might Benefit Small Business.” 10 June 2013 SmallBizTrends.com

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