Bill Pushing for Business Tax Transparency Passes State Sentate

Bill Pushing for Business Tax Transparency Passes State SentateA bill passed by the Illinois State Senate would make public the tax data of all publicly traded companies. Senate Bill 282 narrowly passed the Senate by a vote of 30-27 and now heads to the House. Business interests say the bill, which would disclose (two years after filing) a qualifying company’s tax liability before and after deductions, what deductions are claimed, and more, would put some companies at a competitive disadvantage.

In an interview with the Illinois Times, Mark Denzler, vice president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, said his organization opposes the bill because of the disclosure of sensitive information. “The overwhelming problem is that tax information is proprietary and confidential information. Companies are planning more than two years down the road. Someone may look at a cash position, they may look at (tax) credits, and it may be indicative of which way a company is moving, if they’re making investments or not making investments,” said Denzler.

But Senate President John Cullerton said that two-thirds of Illinois businesses pay no state income tax. He said that although there are some companies that are exempt from paying taxes, it’s imperative to find the companies that may be exploiting state tax loopholes. Cullterton cited the Chicago-based company CME Group, which last year was granted very favorable tax incentives from the state after the company claimed that they paid the most companies of any company in the state, and without those incentives, they would have moved to another state. But no one from the state ever checked to see if CME Group’s claims were true. Cullerton said the bill’s passage is necessary in order to have these safeguards in place.

Many aspects of running a business can have both legal and tax ramifications attached to them. If you own your own business, it’s important to consult with a skilled Illinois business attorney when issues come up that may require expert advice.