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ADA supports Congress' efforts to reform tax system to benefit small businesses

December 08, 2017

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — As the Senate and House continue working to produce a final tax bill, the ADA praised lawmakers for their efforts to reform the nation's current tax system to "make it simpler, fairer and more growth-oriented."

In a Dec. 7 letter sent to the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, ADA President Joseph P. Crowley said the ADA "strongly supports" the Senate pass-through provision that would provide for a 23 percent deduction to pass-through entities.

"This is a simpler and fairer approach and will better benefit our small business dentists," Dr. Crowley wrote, citing ADA Health Policy Institute research that the average dental office contributes an estimated $1.7 million dollars annually to the economy and the dental profession overall has a $272 billion impact on the economy.

"Our dental office pass-throughs are key 'main street' businesses. With more than 50 percent of dental practices organized as pass-through entities this deduction will allow our dentists to expand their businesses, hire more employees, continue to contribute directly to the local and national economy, and ultimately better serve our patients and the public," Dr. Crowley said. 

The basic definition of a pass-through is a business whose profits are passed directly through the business to the owner and is taxed on the owner’s individual income tax return.

Dr. Crowley also encouraged Congress to include three provisions the ADA believes are important to dentists and patients in the final version of the tax reform bill:
  • The cash accounting tax reform proposals from the House and Senate bills.
  • The Senate's Student Loan Interest Deduction provision.
  • The House tax reform provision to exempt medical professionals, including dentists, from paying taxes on loan forgiveness money they receive through the Indian Health Service repayment program.

The ADA is also asking member dentists to reach out to their legislators to remind them that dental offices are small businesses and "the backbone" of local economies.

In an action alert email to members, the ADA urged dentists to contact Congress to tell them that dental offices are key main street businesses and should be treated equally.

"Although both the House and the Senate tax reform proposals included pass-through provisions that would benefit many of our members, the ADA has determined that the current Senate provision that will allow a 23 percent deduction for most of our members' pass-through businesses would be most beneficial to small business dental practices," the email said.

"As you know, any tax benefit for pass-through dental practices would help many ADA members and would give them the means to expand their practices, create jobs, and help their communities," the email continued.

"Take action today and tell Congress that our dental offices are small businesses and the backbone of our local economies," the alert concluded.

The action alert included sample language dentists could use when emailing or calling their members of Congress, including talking points noting that" as many as 54 percent of practices are organized as pass-through entities" and that a single dental practice can bring "an estimated $1.7 million dollars annually to the economy."

Follow all of the ADA's advocacy efforts at