WASHINGTON (7/9/15)--The U.S. Senate Finance Committee working group charged with examining the business income tax code released its report Wednesday with recommendations for reforms. It contained no mention of altering credit unions’ tax status in any way.
The working group was launched in January to spur congressional tax reform efforts in the 114th Congress.
Protecting the credit union tax status remains CUNA’s top advocacy priority, and CUNA and the state credit union leagues made credit union voices heard during the working group’s proceedings. CUNA, as well as state leagues and credit unions, have been successful in countering a number of inaccurate bank attack ads that have increased in frequency.
As recently as June 9, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, COO Rich Meade and other top CUNA officials met with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chair of the working group, for further discussions on the value of the credit union tax status.
CUNA’s efforts also include reaching out to elected officials and other policymakers, as well as the use of the successful “Don’t Tax My CU” social media initiative, first launched in 2013.
Among other actions, Nussle wrote to the working group in April, emphasizing that the credit union tax status is “good public policy.” Nussle’s letter highlighted the numerous benefits that credit union members and other American consumers receive from the not-for-profit cooperative financial system.
CUNA estimates consumers saw benefits of an estimated $12 billion in savings in 2014 alone, due to credit unions' lower fees, lower rates and higher yields on deposits. Approximately $2 billion of these savings affect bank customers due to credit unions’ competitive effect on the financial services market.
The Business Income Tax Reform Working Group was co-chaired by Sens. Thune and Ben Cardin (D-Md.). The report does mention several structural reforms--outside of the credit union system--to create a business tax code that would “promote tax neutrality and economic growth.”
These reforms include uniformly taxing business income and removing disincentives to save and invest. There is also mention of a potential provision that would require mandatory e-filing of all Form 990s.