What Do Poker and Tax Legislation Have in Common?
"This legislation is revenue neutral."
Whenever a politician makes the above statement, you should watch your wallet, because revenue neutral legislation is just like poker. Meaning, as you may have heard, "every poker game is revenue neutral, but there are always winners and losers."
Hence, "revenue neutral" is another term for "there will be winners and losers." The question is, which one will your business be?
This situation can arise in the federal tax context, but also with any state tax legislation (whether it be income tax, sales and use tax, property tax, credits and incentives, etc.).
If this is the case, what can your company do about it?
Your company can follow legislation closely and make its voice be heard. Your company can get involved in business, trade or industry organizations that follow state legislation closely. Your company may also choose to join a coalition or petition, etc. to take a certain position to help shape the legislation.
If your company isn't proactive, and simply reacts to legislation and its effects, your company may suffer the consequences (i.e., more taxes, etc.).
Someone told me the following statement, but I can't remember who. I think it fits this situation perfectly:
"Be at the table or be on the menu."
Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State Tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
You can reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because state and local taxes are deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.