Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Ms. Smith Goes to Washington

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Ms. Smith Goes to Washington

Article excerpt

Capitol Hill may be the hunting ground of big business and the lobbyists they hire, but a small-firm CPA found a way to make herself--and her small business clients--heard in Washington.

Sandra Abalos, sole partner of a six-person firm in Phoenix, recently served as a delegate from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to the Congressional Small Business Summit. The meeting consisted of two days of sessions on a variety of issues important to small businesses--including taxation. The NFIB is pushing to have the entire tax code thrown out. "It wants something fairer and simpler," said Abalos, and she's delivered that message to influential legislators in D.C.

However, in the midst of the often emotional debate surrounding radical tax reform proposals, Abalos said she approached the reform discussions with caution. "A lot of people--including business owners--don't understand how hard it is to create a system that's fair and simple. There are unintended consequences." She said that, in the 1980s, tax benefits associated with real estate investments fueled a building boom in Arizona. The 1986 tax reforms eliminated these benefits too quickly. "Limited partners couldn't afford to subsidize the investments without the tax breaks and they went under. Savings and loans followed. So we may have saved money on our personal income taxes, but we all had to pay to save the S&Ls. …

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