Companies Bypass Tax Breaks (WSJ)

Complexity discourages businesses from making use of tax breaks.

Many companies are passing up corporate tax breaks they qualify for because the deductions are too complex or require too much work, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For example, the federal Opportunity to Work credit rewards companies for hiring disadvantaged workers, including unemployed veterans, welfare recipients and ex-felons. The credit generally lowers a company’s taxes by $2,400 per employee, but it involves extensive paperwork and processing the paperwork can take a year or more. A University of Florida professor, Sarah Hammersma, calculates that companies claim the credit for only 20% to 35% of employees who are eligible.

A tax deduction for energy-efficient buildings can involve computer modeling that costs up to $50,000, a factor that discourages many businesses, especially smaller ones.

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