GOP bill aims to eliminate paperwork for small businesses in health reform law

Sen. Mike JohannsMike JohannsTo buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington Republican senator vows to block nominees over ObamaCare co-ops Revisiting insurance regulatory reform in a post-crisis world MORE (R-Neb.) on Wednesday introduced legislation designed to reduce the paperwork burden he says the Democrats’ healthcare reform law puts on the nation’s small businesses. 

“These businesses should be focused on growing, not wasting, their resources,” Johanns told reporters during a press call Wednesday. 

The bill comes in response to a recent report from the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), an independent watchdog operating within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which was recently critical of the healthcare reform law’s requirement that businesses, nonprofits and government agencies report purchases of goods totaling more than $600 using 1099 forms. That provision, NTA warned, “may present significant administrative challenges to taxpayers and the IRS.”

“The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is concerned that the new reporting burden, particularly as it falls on small businesses, may turn out to be disproportionate as compared with any resulting improvement in tax compliance,” the report says. 

Under previous law, such reporting was required of businesses purchasing services, but not goods. The NTA estimates the requirement will affect 40 million small businesses.

Johanns on Wednesday said the provision would increase the number of 1099s filed by the average small business from 10 to more than 200 each year. 

“This mandate doesn’t do anything to create jobs, except maybe at the Internal Revenue Service,” he said. 

Johanns’s bill would simply repeal the new 1099 filing requirement. The Nebraska Republican said Wednesday that 11 additional senators have already endorsed the bill.