For years, politicians have used targeted tax breaks to try to influence corporate behavior, offering lower tax bills as an incentive to hire more workers, boost energy efficiency and buy more equipment, among other things.
But executives, particularly at small and medium-size companies, complain that many of the tax deductions are either too cumbersome or too confusing. In some cases, the cost of obtaining the tax benefit is greater than the benefit itself--a wrinkle that has helped spawn a cottage industry of tax-credit consultants. Also problematic is the threat of pushback from the Internal Revenue Service.
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