Tech issues in the lame duck session examined

A 3 percent withholding requirement for contractors was passed in 2005 and is set to take effect Jan. 1 2012, and government agencies are already preparing for ...

By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor

The technology industry is closely watching the lame duck session of Congress, now in its fourth day.

“There’s obviously not a lot of time and there’s going to be a lot of focus on tax policy,” Phil Bond president and CEO of the trade group TechAmerica told Federal News Radio.

Bond said his group, along with the rest of the industry, has three issues foremost on their watchlist:

  1. Federal Research and Development Tax Credit – Already expired, Bond said the lack of that particular tax credit is “costing us jobs”.
  2. Contractor withholding – Set to take effect January 1st, the 3% withholding requirement for contractors would “make it almost impossible for small companies to win a good sized contract because they’ll have to withhold so much of the money up front.”
  3. Cybersecurity – The big bills are dead, according to Bond, but they’d like to see Congress “take a couple of items that there’s clear consensus on and move those. Let’s make some progress on this pressing issue of cyber.”

In particular, Bond said he’s hopeful about R&D tax credit and contractor withholding because they could ride along with tax cut extensions being considered by Congress.

If they aren’t acted on, however, Bond said “there’s been a real sense of urgency on some of these things for a good while and I think the outcry is only going to get louder.”

We’re going to keep pounding, pounding, pounding coming back again and again and making the case, but our case will only get stronger because work and research can and is globalizing and so the U.S. has to be competitive with its policies.

For more information, see TechAmerica’s press release, “Tech Industry Calls for Action in Lame Duck Session”.

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