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Littlefield: It's all about 'protecting our house'

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Roy Littlefield is executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA). He and other organizations were supporters of legislation to repeal the Form 1099 reporting provision.

The provision not only passed, but also was recently signed into law by President Barack Obama (see"President repeals reporting provision 1099"). In his "victory speech," so to speak, Littlefield credits many for the result, and emphasizes the need for TIA to remain ever vigilant.

"On April 14, 2011, President Obama signed H.R. 4 into law. This eliminates what is commonly known as the '1099 Reporting Requirement,' which would have mandated that every business owner file a Form 1099 to the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) to report all purchases over $600.

"You don’t need much of an imagination to see this would have been a paperwork nightmare for American businesses (including those in the tire industry), who would have undoubtedly passed the cost of complying with this requirement on to all of us.

"Organizations like the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and others spent countless hours pounding the pavement on Capitol Hill, knocking on doors and meeting with dozens of U.S. Representatives and Senators. There is an old saying that making laws is like making sausage -- it is not a glamorous or pretty endeavor. I couldn’t agree more.

"It took a great deal of educating, pleading and cajoling to get this provision repealed, but the end result is indeed very 'delicious.' And, every tire industry business owner -- and all other American business owners -- will also now savor this victory.

"But, it would not have happened if it weren’t through the dedicated efforts of associations like TIA. And, in turn, we would not have been able to achieve this success if it weren’t for the support of our tire industry members. I’d like to think that association members 'get it' -- they really understand that unless they unite behind an organization like TIA, they will be left defenseless at the hands of those who would like nothing better than to see an industry that is weak and helpless.

"When you look at other industries, such as pharmaceuticals or banking, or even groups of like-minded individuals, like gun owners, you clearly see what strong support of their association can accomplish in the halls of power.

"I like to think of it in terms of a 'house' -- the more time and resources you spend on making sure your house has strong locks, sturdy windows and a reliable security system, the far lower the chance is that someone will try to enter your house with the intent to cause harm. On the other hand, if you are apathetic or think that ensuring that your house is secure should be left up to someone else, you will be far more vulnerable to a successful attack.

"We’ve protected the tire industry house, as our fellow association coalition partners have protected their houses, from the 1099 reporting requirement. But, there are other potential 'intruders' that will continue to lurk about, such as individuals/groups harmful to the tire industry who want to be involved with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) consumer education effort, the “Right to Repair” issue, and more.

"The questions that I ask of you are, will you join us, so we can defend our house? And, if you don’t do it, what do you think will happen when our house is left defenseless?"

(For more information on the issue, read "TIA says requirements would cripple small business owners.")

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