Small Business Poll: Tax Loopholes Should Go

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — A large majority of U.S. small business owners oppose the loophole-oriented tax rules that give big breaks to the biggest firms, a poll indicated Friday.

The poll sponsored by The Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council found more than four out of five respondents indicated they were opposed to rules that allow companies to avoid paying any taxes on profits made offshore.

When divided into political groups, at least 67 percent of business owners from each of the major political parties indicated they were opposed to a territorial tax system while 89 percent of those identified as independents indicated opposition.

At least 62 percent from each political party — an average of 64 percent of all respondents — indicated they would support closing down rules that allow multinational corporations to defer tax payments on foreign earnings indefinitely, the trade groups reported.

Many multinational companies declare earnings on paper in tax havens where they have few employees or property. With this in mind, more than three quarters of respondents (76 percent) indicated they would support a tax system that apportioned taxes among locations where companies made or sold their products and where they owned assets.

Further, when it comes to cutting spending or raising revenues by closing loopholes designed for large firms, 34 percent of small business owners indicated they would prefer to close loopholes.

“Across party lines, this was the top choice of small business owners over other options such as cutting spending on education, infrastructure or military spending,” the trade groups reported.

“Through this poll, small business owners are sending a clear signal to Congress and the president. The priority for reforming our nation’s tax code is to stop multinational corporations from using offshore tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. And these elected leaders are also put on notice to not support any proposal for a territorial tax system for multinational corporations that would lock in what small business owners of all political persuasions view as completely wrong and unfair,” said Frank Knapp, vice chairman of the American Sustainable Business Council.

The survey was conducted March 14-25 by Lake Research Partners and involved 515 interviews with small business owners. The margin of error was 4.4 percentage points.

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