Jeweler Testifies to Congress Against 1099

On Feb. 9, a Maryland jewelry store owner testified on Capitol Hill about the impact of the new IRS Form 1099 reporting requirement.

Seth Shipley, of Ship­ley’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry in Hampstead, Md., spoke to the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business on behalf of the National Retail Federation. Illustrating the potential burden on his store, he explained it would take about 1,000 hours a year to complete the additional 1099 forms. (The new regulation would require businesses, beginning in 2012, to file a 1099 for any vendor that is paid more than $600 annually. Previously, businesses did that only for individuals or partnerships performing professional services that cost $600 or more.)

“I am a veteran, and speaking before ­Congress was a real honor,” says Ship­­ley. His testimony came as Washington was taking action to repeal the provision. A bipartisan bill that would revoke the requirement passed the Senate Feb. 2; the House approved a similar measure March 3. President Obama has signaled his support for repeal once the bills are reconciled.

Meanwhile, Shipley urges retailers to speak out: “Small businesses provide a substantial amount of our country’s income. If we join together, our voice should at least be as loud as Walmart and McDonald’s.”

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