Narrow Window for Tax Reform is Cause for Urgency

February 19, 2015

House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-1) has set an ultimatum for tax reform in 2015 – either a tax rewrite is done by this summer or not at all. As was stated in a recent POLITICO Pro article, “That tight seven-month time frame is aggressive and specific, two attributes not typically associated with recent talk of tax reform.” Ryan has chosen to dedicate much of his time and effort as Ways & Means Chair to the tax reform cause, stating that this is a large reason why he is not running for President in 2016. He has also shown a willingness to work with the Obama Administration to get something passed, even if it is not a comprehensive package. Ryan said, “If we can do tax reform in phases and those phases work, well, then I’m open to doing that.”

Clearly, if Chairman Ryan has a sense of urgency on passing tax reform, then those who want to be treated fairly as this legislation is crafted must also ramp up efforts. We must actively work to ensure that advertising in particular is protected as an ordinary and necessary business expense, since it has already been targeted in recent tax reform proposals as a source of new revenue. The proposals to increase the tax burden on the effort to sell by imposing a requirement that 50 percent of advertising be amortized over 5 or 10 years would substantially hurt job creation and economic activity in the U.S. Studies by IHS Global Insight have demonstrated that advertising generates as many as 21.1 million jobs in the U.S. annually. Advertisers cannot simply wait until a new tax bill is out. We must mobilize now and set a summer deadline for ourselves as well in order to show all members of Congress the undeniable benefits advertising delivers to the economy and to our tax system.

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