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Wall Street Journal

Firms Pass Up Tax Breaks, Citing Hassles, Complexity

Monday July 23, 2012
Wall Street Journal Excerpt

"For years, politicians have used tax incentives to try to influence corporate behavior, offering lower tax bills as an incentive to create jobs and buy more equipment, among numerous other things.

But executives at most companies complain that the tax incentives are too confusing or too time consuming due to government red tape.

The result, most companies are paying more taxes than legally required by forgoing the tax incentive programs.

Compliance costs for U.S. businesses reached about $150 billion last year according to congressional researchers.

Tax estimates are that eligible U.S. businesses obtain as little as 5% of the tax incentives that they are entitled to. Firms are leaving billions of dollars on the table every year.

Out of 1.78 million U.S. Corporate tax returns, about 20,000 claimed incentives according to IRS estimates."