April 2006

IRS targets small businesses | Focus

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IRS targets small businesses

by Ambika Puniani Bailey
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The Bush administration, long a stalwart supporter of business—particularly small business—has introduced an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposal in its 2007 budget that has small-business advocates ready to fight.

The Bush budget, which was delivered to Congress in February, includes a proposal to decrease the $345 billion tax gap—the amount between what is owed the federal government and what actually is paid.

According to the IRS, $109 billion of the gap is from understated income accounts from small businesses and $39 billion results from underreported self-employed tax accounts. It hopes to begin to trim that amount next year.

In the proposal, the government wants credit card companies to report annual reimbursement payments to merchants. In addition, credit card companies would have to withhold taxes on payments to companies that have not provided valid taxpayer identification numbers. And the Department of Treasury would like credit card companies to report aggregate payments in excess of $600...

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