SBA Office of Advocacy Tax Roundtable: February 21, 2020

SBA Office of Advocacy Small Business Tax Roundtable
Friday, February 21, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Hearing Room
428A Russell Senate Office Building*
Washington, DC 20515

I. Welcome and Introduction of Small Business Representatives (10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.)
Charles Jeane, Assistant Chief Counsel, SBA Office of Advocacy

II. Discussion of the Challenges of Using § 199A (10:10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.)
Thomas J. Nichols, Shareholder and President at Meissner Tierney
Tom West, Principal, Passthroughs Group KPMG US
Ed Decker, Partner, Washington National Tax, RMS US LLP

III. Open Discussion/Other Small Business Issues (11:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)          

* The closest Metro Station to the Russell Senate Office Building is the Union Station Metro stop on the Red line.

** Roundtable meetings are open to all interested persons, except the press, to facilitate an open and frank discussion about issues of interest to small business. Agendas and presentations are available to all, including the press. Anyone who would like to receive roundtable agendas or presentations, or be included on the regular distribution list, should contact The purpose of these roundtable meetings is to exchange opinions, facts, and information and to obtain the attendees’ individual views and opinions regarding regulatory and policy issues impacting small business. The meetings are not intended to communicate or achieve any consensus positions of the attendees.

Topic Summaries

  1. Discussion of the Challenges of Using § 199A. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included the new Internal Revenue Code § 199A to bring some parity for passthrough entities that cannot benefit from the significant reduction of the corporate tax rate. The deduction is effective for tax years beginning in 2018 and available until tax years beginning before December 31, 2025, and generally allows a 20 percent deduction of qualified domestic business income, subject to significant limitations. The deduction is both a tax benefit and a compliance challenge for small business.


  • Thomas J. Nichols is a Shareholder and President of the Milwaukee law firm of Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C., a 170-year-old law firm, where he has been representing closely held businesses in tax and business matters since 1979. He has been a member of the S corporation Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section since the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was enacted, as well as a member of the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee of the S Corporation Association. In all these capacities, he has been actively involved in the development of tax law and regulations at the national level, including testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.
  • Tom West is a Principal in KPMG US’s Passthroughs Group. Tom joined KPMG in March 2019 from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy. There he served as Tax Legislative Counsel where he developed and reviewed policy, legislation, regulations, and other public guidance dealing with domestic federal tax law, including the 2017 federal tax reform legislation. From January to June 2017, Tom served as the acting Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.
  • Ed Decker is a partner with RSM, the nation’s fifth largest audit, tax, and consulting firm and a leading provider to middle market companies. Ed is based in Iowa but works with the firm’s Washington National Tax Practice, focusing on S corporations and related tax matters. He currently serves on the Board of Advisers for the S Corporation Association. Before joining the firm’s National office in 2014, Ed spent the first 15 years of his career working directly with closely held passthrough businesses located in Iowa and Illinois.

2. Open Discussion/Other Small Business Issues. A general discussion and open forum to discuss other current events and regulatory topics of specific interest to small business, including items on Treasury’s Regulatory Agenda, draft proposed and final rules pending review at OMB, and other pending policy and regulatory actions.