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Tax reform has been on the minds of everyone recently. During a late August speech in Springfield Missouri, President Drumpf began his drive to change the tax code. The speech, which touched on many of his core campaign promises, discussed some generic ideas for what tax reform should entail, both for individual and business filings.

The outline of the Presidents plans included a focus on lowering the tax rate for individuals and corporations, with a belief that doing so would improve the American economy and boost the GDP by three percent. What this means for business is important, and could affect profits and growth drastically.

What Does This Mean for My Business?

There are three key proposals which would have a direct impact on American businesses. The first of these is to set the corporate tax rate at 15%. The current corporate tax rate is set at 35%, however many businesses pay significantly less after deductions.

The second item is to set the pass-through rate for business owners at 15%. This would allow small business owners, as well as other pass-through designated companies, the ability to pay a much lower rate. Currently, pass through businesses are taxed at personal rates because their profits pass directly to the owner and controlling groups. This change would have the largest impact on American business, as around 95% of all companies are now pass-throughs, rather than C-corporations.

The final change would be a one-time repatriation of all corporate profits at a reduced rate. This would allow large corporations who shelter their profits overseas to avoid taxation when bringing their funds back to U.S. soil. This would only really affect a very small proportion of business.

What this means for any specific business depends on how large that business is, how it is classified, and what’s its profits are. The bulk of American companies are currently pass-through entities, which means that this change to the tax code would have the largest overall impact on our economy. It would essentially shift their personal taxes lower than where they currently sit, giving those business owners a significant tax advantage. The larger corporations, known as C-corporations, would also receive a lower tax rate, and if they have any money held overseas the ability to bring it back into the states.

The core concept behind these ideas is that the corporations will now have more money to use for expanding their business, raising their pay rates, and providing an influx to the economy. There is some debate as to whether that would be the case, however, and these plans could change as the policy progresses.

Why This May Be Too Soon to Talk About

The problem with tax reform is getting it passed. When Congress returns they face additional hurdles to creating a passable plan and to even getting to a vote. In addition to passing a bill to avert a debt default and writing a bill to fund the government, ensuring that the government remains open, Congress must now work on funding for Hurricane Harvey relief. All of this must be done in a limited number of work days this month, and that’s if Congress doesn’t decide to take another swing at repealing the ACA before they hit their time limit on reconciliation.

All of this seems to point to tax reform being a secondary issue. What is more likely is Congress decides to pass on reform this year, and instead pass a series of tax breaks, which would mostly impact the individual filings. And even if Congress was to introduce legislation on business tax reform, it is likely to be so controversial that the ensuing debate would prevent it from passing in this session.

We work hard to keep you apprised of changes that will impact your business and we will keep you posted if any significant movement is made on tax reform.  In the meantime, we recommend staying focused on keeping your business growing in the current tax climate.  If obtaining additional funding is a key part of that process for your business over the next year, our team is standing by to help secure the financing you need.