Tax reform: the hot topic in 2012?

As April 15th approaches, every small business owner is all too keenly aware of the symbolism of this day. Regardless of when you actually file and pay your taxes - many small businesses file extensions or are incorporated, in which case the due date is actually the Ides of March - April 15 has become a metaphor for the government’s hand being in your pocket.

Most agree that the current system is way too complicated. Unfortunately, our Rube Goldberg-like tax code, with it’s thousands of moving parts, is too handy for politicians to monkey around with to suit their political agenda. Consequently, generations of business owners have had to deal annually with any number of new provisions, changes, updates, repeals, sunsets, delayed renewals and court rulings ad nauseum, as they attempt to develop an operating budget, pricing, etc., for each new year.

We wanted to know what you thought about the current system and two of the alternative systems that have been debated over the past 15 years. So we asked this question: “As you prepare for National Income Tax Day, do you think it’s time for tax reform?”

The first option was, “The current system is okay with me,” which was selected by a whopping three percent. The next choice was the flat tax, which was chosen by 69% of our respondents (Steve Forbes, call your office). And finally, those who said a value-added tax system would be best, but only if the current income tax system was repealed, came in at a little less than one-third of our sample.

Based on the results of our poll, it looks like tax reform could be a hot topic in the 2012 elections.

On The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with Barbara Weltman, tax attorney, columnist, author of J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes, and publisher of Big Ideas for Small Business®, a free monthly online newsletter, about small business tax tips for 2010 and 2011. Take a few minutes to click on one of the links below and let us know what you think of the current tax code and how you think it should be changed.

Listen or Download: New tax planning tips for 2010 and 2011

Listen or Download: Small business tax and filing obligations

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