Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) expressed outrage over the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy’s failure to submit comments to a recent Request for Comment solicited by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding a new IRS Form 1099 mandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The measure will require that, starting in 2012, every business in America must collect data and report to the IRS on business purchases that exceed a threshold of only $600 per supplier.  In a letter sent yesterday, Senator Snowe called on Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, to provide a specific plan for how his office will address the 1099 issue to mitigate unwarranted impacts on small businesses.

“Repealing this onerous provision has been a top priority for the entire small business community; but regrettably, not only did Congress fail to repeal it as part of the Small Business Jobs Act signed into law last week, that bill actually expanded its scope and increased penalties for failure to collect and remit this information,” said Senator Snowe.  “The practical effect of this measure will mean that millions of businesses will have to send billions of new information reporting forms to the IRS and other businesses.  The fact that the SBA Office of Advocacy – the government’s sole watchdog for small business – had nothing to formally say about this burdensome mandate is troubling, and it has led me to question whether the independence of that office is threatened.”

Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) introduced an amendment to the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act to repeal the 1099 provision.  That amendment failed to pass the Senate by a vote of 46-52.  Senator Snowe voted in favor of the amendment.

A copy of the letter may be accessed below.