April 11, 2019

Senator Hassan Calls for Finance Committee to Hold A Hearing on Impact of Wayfair Internet Sales Tax Decision on Small Businesses

Senator Hassan Also Calls Out Political Gimmick by Treasury Department to Downsize Core Tax Form That Could Affect Millions of Students’ FAFSA Applications

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To watch the Senator’s questioning, click here.

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan yesterday called for the Senate Finance Committee to hold hearings on how the Supreme Court’s backward ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. – which will require New Hampshire businesses to collect sales tax for other states – will create burdensome red tape for Granite State businesses. She made the request during a Senate Finance hearing, and followed up with a letter to Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“Last month, a poll of federally-licensed tax preparers indicated that 86 percent believe small businesses are unprepared to deal with the impact of the Wayfair decision,” Senator Hassan said. “This is very concerning, and though state tax filing is not the subject of today’s hearing, internet sales tax collection requirements are under the jurisdiction of this Committee.”

Ranking Member Wyden voiced his support for Senator Hassan’s proposal for a hearing, calling it an issue that is “very important in my state as well as hers.”

Senator Hassan introduced a bill last year with Ranking Member Wyden that would prevent new red tape from being imposed on small businesses as a result of the Wayfair decision.

The Senator yesterday also questioned Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig about a problematic change that the Treasury Department made to the 1040 tax form this filing season. The Treasury Department downsized the 1040 tax form in an effort to make good on Congressional Republicans’ political promise that the tax law that they passed in 2017 would simplify taxes so much that they could be filed on a postcard. In order to fit this information on the postcard form – however – the Treasury Department had to remove all the real tax information and hide that information on six separate, equally complicated schedules.

“Now we’re learning that this hasty gimmick may be having serious, real world consequences – including disrupting financial aid for the 20 million students who use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year.” Senator Hassan said. “FAFSA allows students to use an IRS retrieval tool to automatically and accurately fill in their family’s tax information. However, the tool draws from the Form 1040 and now that postcard no longer has that information, it no longer exists.”

Senator Hassan continued. “As a result, millions of students may need to manually input their own tax data – leading to inaccuracies that could cause serious delays, and even some students losing their financial aid.”

The Senator asked for Commissioner Rettig’s assurance that the IRS would be able to solve this problem and securely transfer tax information for students and families into the FAFSA before the form becomes locked in a few weeks for the application cycle in October.

“We are working with the Department of Education on this issue,” Commissioner Rettig said. “We’re sensitive to the importance of this issue and we’ll work with your staff as well.”

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