Business: 2017 the year for tax reform

Businesses don't see much of a chance for tax reform in 2015, a new survey found, despite previously thinking that full Republican control of Congress would boost the chances for a tax overhaul.


The survey, from Miller and Chevalier and the National Foreign Trade Council, found that businesses felt far more confident that tax reform could happen in 2017 –after a new presidential administration takes over.

In all, about half of the close to 150 respondents said they thought tax reform would make it across the finish line in 2017. Roughly a third said they didn't know, while just a handful – less than 3 percent – said tax reform would be enacted this year.

In the groups' 2014 survey, roughly seven in 10 businesses had said that an all-GOP Congress would boost the chances for tax reform this year.

The biggest obstacles to tax reform, the businesses said, was the divide over whether tax reform should raise revenue, and the need for more interest from the Obama administration. Because of that, respondents said they expected the most likely progress this year to be congressional discussion drafts on tax reform.

"Unless the administration is willing to become fully engaged, and shows a willingness to compromise with the GOP-led tax-writing committees, the chances for tax reform before the next presidential election look increasingly dim," Cathy Schultz of NFTC said in a statement. 

Businesses are, however, concerned that Washington will roll back corporate tax incentives without lowering tax rates or making the tax code more friendly for the business community in other ways.