November 3, 2010 / 9:29 PM / in 7 years

Obama reaches out to Republicans on tax forms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday suggested working with Republicans on a provision of the new healthcare law that requires businesses to file tax forms on transactions worth more than $600.

Republicans, who won control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s election, have vowed to try to repeal the entire healthcare law.

Obama said at a White House news conference that he would fight any attempt to repeal the legislation, but would be willing to consider some Republican ideas. He suggested the two sides work together to change the new business transaction reporting requirement.

The provision in the healthcare bill requires businesses and tax exempt organizations to file so-called 1099 forms for purchases and service transactions over $600. It was intended to ensure greater tax law compliance and raise an estimated $17 billion in revenues over 10 years to help cover the cost of expanding health coverage to the uninsured.

“The 1099 provision in the healthcare bill appears to be too burdensome for small businesses. It just involves too much paperwork, too much filing. It’s probably counterproductive,” Obama said.

“If it ends up just being so much -- so much trouble that small businesses find it difficult to manage, that’s something that we should take a look at.”

The 1099 reporting requirement, which goes into effect in 2012, sparked an outcry from small business groups. They argue it will increase tax compliance costs and tie up small business owners in red tape while they are already struggling in a poor economy.

“It is clearly a provision that not only has nothing to do with healthcare, but is particularly harmful to the very people we are hoping will lead us out of these economic times - small businesses,” said National Federation of Independent Business spokeswoman Stephanie Cathcart.

“It’s time for Congress to get serious, and focus on full repeal of this onerous and harmful provision.”

Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing Chris Wilson

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