Washington Update: Business equivalency rate gains momentum

What you can do to support equal rates for all businesses

Read the BER policy perspective View the BER infographic
Learn how the BER works
Visit to write your elected officials in support of the BER
For the past two years, Grant Thornton has spearheaded the push for tax reform that treats all businesses fairly, including pass-throughs. Firm leaders from across the country visited Capitol Hill to share their unique perspective as practitioners and met with their elected officials in support of the firm’s proposed business equivalency rate (BER). Last week, Congress affirmed that they got the message.

On July 8, the Senate Finance Committee’s five bipartisan tax working groups released their reports on tax reform. In its report, the Business Income working group acknowledged the importance of rate parity for pass-throughs, stating, “It is apparent that pass-through businesses play a critical role in our economy and in our communities. Clearly, business tax reform needs to ensure that these businesses are not ignored in an effort to reduce the corporate tax rate.”

Senior Vice Chair Stephen Chipman and CEO  Mike McGuireThe report went on to reference Grant Thornton by name and considered the merits of the BER as a possible solution to ensure pass-throughs are fairly accounted for in any business tax reform effort. While it stopped well short of endorsing the proposal, the BER’s mere inclusion is positive sign.
  • Read WNTO’s latest Tax Legislative Update for an overview of the working groups’ recommendations for business and international tax reform.
  • View National Managing Partner of Tax Services Randy Robason’s comment letter in response to the Business Income working group’s report.
“Being included in Business Income working group’s report is a proud achievement,” said Senior Vice Chair Stephen Chipman. “We still have a long way to go before our vision of comprehensive tax reform is realized, but this latest development confirms that our voice is being heard. Members of Congress and their staffs understand the role pass-through businesses play in our economy. They value our input as they seek to craft policies that drive growth. It is our duty to answer that call as the tax reform discussion evolves.”

Oscar Osorio, Mary Moore Hamrick, Art Flach, Stephen Chipman “With all attention shifting to 2016, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any significant action on tax reform until after the race for the White House is decided,” said National Managing Principal of Public Policy Mary Moore Hamrick. “This report is a step in the right direction for pass-throughs, but we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas. As tax reform continues to be shaped in coming months, we must be prepared to hit the ground running when our new president and Congress are sworn in. I urge you to review the BER materials and get involved by visiting We can only achieve equal tax treatment if members of Congress hear from pass-throughs in their districts and states.”