[r63] Messmer Report: 1099 Frankenstein

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, May 28, 2010

A very select group of people would take the time to read a novel of 2,400 pages.

Even fewer would choose to read a law that long, which has become apparent as more and more surprises keep popping up in the healthcare bill recently passed by Congress.

The latest, tucked away on page 737, is a pretty creative attempt to raise revenue for the government. It's actually been called the "Form 1099 Frankenstein."

Currently, businesses need only to send Tax Form 1099 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when they make specific transactions. Paying rent each month or bringing in an outside marketing consultant are both transactions which would require a Form 1099.

Because of the healthcare bill, that's all going to change.

Instead of submitting this paperwork- which includes the business equivalent of a social security number- only when purchasing a service from an individual, businesses will now have to submit one if they purchase over $600 in goods from an individual, from a corporation, or when purchasing goods from a corporation.

The CATO Institute put it this way: "Basically, businesses will have to issue 1099s whenever they do more than $600 of business with another entity in a year."

That's a 1099 for every furniture purchase, every business trip expense, even a large order of coffee or a Costco run. Everything a business does for more than $600 will require one.

At my business, Messmer Mechanical, this will mean hundreds of vendors per year will require a 1099 that never needed one before.  Talk about a waste of time and money!

This will create an avalanche of paperwork for business owners. If the business is big enough, it may be able to absorb the extra work, but most will just get buried by this mandate.

It will doubtless create new jobs, but they will only be jobs, or work, created to meet a government paperwork mandate, draining the resources of small businesses everywhere, and not producing a single usable product.

They'll be growing out of red tape, which doesn't make very good topsoil.

One tax expert said, "This is a huge new imposition on American business, costing the private economy much more than any additional tax that the IRS might collect as a result."

A representative from California has already proposed a repeal of this law, and fifty other House members have signed on in agreement with him.

But the fact this idea went into the healthcare bill in the first place shows just how much we still don't know about it.

And that is why you should always know what you are voting for.