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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson April 15, 2011

President signs repeal of purchasing paperwork requirement

In April 14, 2011, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 4, the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011.

This little-noticed provision of the health care law required that all businesses report any purchase exceeding $600 to the Internal Revenue Service, via form 1099, which is now filed annually for freelancers. Initially, the idea behind the provision had been to increase revenues by tightening compliance. But lawmakers in both parties quickly realized that the provision represented a massive expansion of paperwork, with companies suddenly having to file 1099s for all significant purchases of goods, and having to file them on transactions with corporations in addition to transactions with  individuals.

Arguing that the new paperwork demanded of companies didn"t justify the fiscal benefits, lawmakers set about overturning the provision.

Scrapping the provision by itself would have led to a $10 billion increase in the deficit over the next 10 years, so lawmakers instead added two other provisions designed to increase federal revenue by an equivalent amount and offset any rise in the deficit.

One of the added provisions would slightly reduce health insurance subsidies for people of modest income who qualify to buy insurance from health insurance exchanges authorized by the health care law. The exchanges are scheduled to begin operating in 2014. The other would "repeal requirements for reporting payments made with respect to rental property which is not part of a trade or business,” according to a Congressional Research Service summary.

The House passed the measure on March 3, 2011, by a 314-112 vote. The Senate followed suit on April 5, 2011, by a 87-12 vote. The president signed it on April 14.

"Today, I was pleased to take another step to relieve unnecessary burdens on small businesses by signing H.R. 4 into law,” Obama said in a statement. "Small business owners are the engine of our economy and because Democrats and Republicans worked together, we can ensure they spend their time and resources creating jobs and growing their business, not filling out more paperwork.”

House Republicans promised to repeal the mandate in the health care bill that requires small businesses to "report to the Internal Revenue Service any purchases that run more than $600." It"s now law, so we"re moving this to Promise Kept.

Our Sources

Angie Drobnic Holan
By Angie Drobnic Holan March 17, 2011

House passes repeal of purchasing paperwork requirement

A little-noticed provision of the health care law included this requirement: That all businesses report to the Internal Revenue Service, via a form 1099, any purchase of more than $600. The idea was that this new requirement would increase compliance and thereby increase revenues.

Both Republicans and Democrats have said they would like to repeal the requirement because it's simply too much hassle for business owners. But if lawmakers simply repeal the requirement, it will increase the deficit by about $10 billion over 10 years. So they're looking for other measures to increase revenues to include with the repeal, so the law will not add to the deficit.

The House passed a bill on March 4, 2011, repealing the requirement but also slightly reducing subsidies for people of modest income who qualify for health insurance.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the Senate was considering other ways to offset the costs of the bill.

We don't know the ultimate fate of the rule repeal, but a version has passed the House. So for now, we rate this promise In the Works.

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