Press release

TTC/EY Tax Reform Business Barometer reports easing but still strong expectations of movement on tax reform by end of 2013

Washington, 17 October 2013

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Despite concerns over the federal government shutdown and the debt limit, business tax professionals expect forward movement on the initial stages of tax reform in 2013, according to the monthly TTC/EY Tax Reform Business Barometer issued by The Tax Council and Ernst & Young LLP.

The October survey and report set the median likelihood at 70% that a detailed tax reform plan will be released by the chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means this year. Respondents had a median expectation of 35% that a tax reform plan will be put forward by the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The median represents the percent at which half of all respondents proclaim a greater likelihood, and half report lower.

These median likelihoods are lower than in last month’s barometer, 80% and 50%, respectively, reflecting not only the uncertainties associated with the current budget impasse, but also the reduced time available this calendar year. To some extent, projections of change tend to reflect a reduction in time between the survey and proposed target date. 

“Most business tax professionals think there is a strong likelihood of progress toward tax reform even with the significant uncertainty about the federal budget in early October,” said Lynda Walker, Executive Director of The Tax Council. “Despite the decline in the forecast of progress this fall, the expectations did not fall off a cliff. Survey respondents believe there is a one-in-five chance of tax reform by the end of calendar year 2014.”

Updates to other tax reform expectations by business tax professionals include:

  • A median expectation of 20% in early October that federal tax reform will be enacted by the end of 2014, down slightly from 23% in September.
  • A 42% median expectation that federal tax reform would definitely or likely help their organization, while 28% said it would definitely or likely hurt their organization. Only 14% do not anticipate any significant change to their organization, and 16% were unsure.

A majority of the tax professionals who think tax reform will help their organization also think tax reform will increase overall revenue.

“Business tax professionals who think tax reform will be helpful to their organizations are more optimistic about federal tax reform being enacted in 2014 than those that think it will hurt,” said Tom Neubig, Director of Quantitative Economics and Statistics (QUEST) for Ernst & Young LLP. “A tax reform that makes the American economy more efficient and makes US companies more competitive could also increase revenues with a stronger economy.”

The TTC/EY Tax Reform Barometer defines tax reform as legislation that substantially broadens the tax base or changes the tax rate for either corporate or individual taxpayers.

The barometer is a monthly survey completed by approximately 100 leading US tax executives and practitioners that tracks trends in the views of business tax professionals while tax reform is debated and developed in the US Congress.

Click here to read the full report.

About The Tax Council
The Tax Council is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, membership organization promoting sound tax and fiscal policies since 1966. Its membership is comprised of (but not limited to) Fortune 500 companies, leading accounting and law firms, and major trade associations.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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This news release has been issued by The Tax Council and Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of EY serving clients in the US.