Associated Builders and Contractors lauds 3 percent tax deferral decision by IRS

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today welcomed the decision by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to defer for one year – from Jan. 1, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013 – the withholding of 3 percent tax on all payments for goods and services made by the federal, state, and local governments with total expenditures of $100 million or more. Three percent withholding applies to the total contract, not to the net revenue generated from a project.

“While we welcome this news by the IRS, ABC firmly believes that delaying the effective date is not a solution because there is still no equitable, practical, or cost-effective way to implement this new requirement,” said ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr. “We will continue to work with our coalition partners to fully repeal this burdensome and unfair regulation.”

“The problem with the 3 percent withholding regulation for construction contractors is that the government will retain the funds necessary to complete a project, such as those needed to pay for subcontractors, materials and suppliers,” said Burr. “In addition, the increased administrative costs to both large and small contractors as well as the government to comply with this withholding requirement will drive up the cost of construction, which in turn, will force smaller firms out of the public sector market.

Currently, there are three bills pending in Congress: H.R. 674, S. 89 and S.164 that would fully repeal Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.