The Small Business Authority releases the SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey once a month. This survey is a window into the concerns of independent business owners. This month’s survey focused on tax returns. More than 1,300 independent business owners were polled. Some of the key findings are as follows:
48 percent of business owners would not prefer a flat tax rate, even if it would not affect their payments in 2012.
57 percent would prefer to pay the same tax amount and would be willing to receive the same or fewer government services, instead of paying a greater tax and receiving more government services.
55 percent of independent business owners surveyed do not completely understand the tax returns they sign off on.
The full February 2012 results showed the following:
Do you understand all aspects of your tax return?
- 45 percent Yes
- 55 percent No
Would you like a flat tax rate with no deductions if it does not affect your payment in 2012?
- 27 percent Yes
- 48 percent No
- 25 percent Indifferent
Would you pay more taxes for additional government services/reduce debt? Or would you prefer to pay the same tax for less services?
- 43 percent would pay more taxes for more service
- 57 percent preferred the same taxes for less service
The SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey always shows interesting results. It is clear from the results of the poll that despite wanting tax simplification, a majority of business owners would prefer not to have a flat tax and give up all their deductions. The fear of the unknown, which is what their effective rate would be versus tax simplification, is not a tradeoff that they are prepared to make at this point in time. It was also interesting to note that business owners clearly do not believe they are getting a good return on their tax dollars, as the majority prefers to have the same tax contribution for fewer services than a greater tax contribution for greater potential government spending. The 1,300 independent business owners surveyed believe that the government inefficiently uses tax dollars. Lastly, a majority of those surveyed revealed that they do not fully understand all aspects of the tax returns that they sign off on. Taxes for small businesses are complicated to compute, a necessary evil, and unfortunately are not completely understood by the independent business owner community.