HOUSTON, TEXAS. JULY 6, 2015 – From June 29-30, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and over 100 professionals representing CPAs and businesses from across the nation gathered for alliantgroup’s Economic, Legislative & Policy Summit—the latest event in alliantgroup’s ThinkTank series. During the two-day event, economic and policy experts alike gathered to provide their forecast for anticipated legislative action, U.S. economic performance and broad tax issues to emerge in 2015 and 2016.

Among those in attendance included former Alabama Governor Bob Riley, former U.S. Congressman Rick Lazio and former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Dean Zerbe, as well as former IRS commissioners Mark W. Everson, Steven Miller and Kathy Petronchak.

During the first day of the event, Senator Grassley gave the keynote address, covering a number of issues on the minds of CPAs and businesses in an open Q&A town-hall-style session. Among the topics of discussion, Grassley reviewed the events that led to the delay in the passing of last year’s tax extenders bill, a piece of legislation that extended over 50 expiring provisions of the tax code and included business-friendly incentives such as the R&D Tax Credit and the 179D tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings.

According to the senator, partisan infighting on Capitol Hill was the main reason for the 2014 delay, and a later panel led by Dean Zerbe confirmed that such partisanship was the main reason Congress cut out provisions that would have strengthened both the R&D Tax Credit and 179D deduction in the final extensions of these incentives.

The proposed provisions would have greatly benefitted small and mid-sized businesses, and Grassley called upon both Congress and the administration to take a more bipartisan approach this year on not only tax extenders, but in pushing other pieces of legislation through Congress. During the event, Grassley stated that he was encouraged by the current movement of tax extenders legislation and anticipates the issue to be settled much earlier this year.

“I think the extenders will be brought up this summer. I think they are already starting the process through the House of Representatives,” said Grassley.

Before this Q&A session, Senator Grassley also met with a group of Iowans to hear their concerns on tax policy and the local economy. David Cooper, chairman of DPT Group, a Des Moines-based engineering services company, explained how the 179D deduction is critical to the success of his business and how it helps keep engineering jobs in Iowa.

“The 179D deduction has been very meaningful for our business,” said Cooper. “We have invested this money back into our company and are now able to hire more engineers. This is not only meaningful for our business, it’s meaningful for Iowa because these engineers are now staying in Iowa and have good paying jobs while raising their families here versus leaving the state.”

In addition to these sessions with Senator Grassley, the summit offered an in-depth look at the current state of the U.S. economy and provided attendees with an overview of the potential legislative and tax policy changes on the horizon for 2016. The event concluded with an overview of the current state of the IRS and what tax practitioners can anticipate from the Service in the year ahead.

“I have had a number of iterations in my career,” said former Congressman Rick Lazio during the event. “But I have never been as thrilled to be associated with an organization as I am to be associated with alliantgroup because they have a real passion for their work. They have a terrific business model, but they are very mission oriented.”

“I would like to thank Senator Grassley and everyone who took the time to attend this event,” said alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav. “Our goal in hosting these conferences is to provide thought leadership to our CPA firms and the businesses they serve. By providing our partner CPAs and businesses the information they need to stay ahead of emerging economic and policy trends, it is our hope that we are offering another avenue to ensure their continued success.”

alliantgroup’s mission is one of education and awareness—we exist to help industry organizations, U.S. businesses and the CPA firms that advise them, take full advantage of all federal and state tax credits, incentives and deductions available to them. Our government has legislated these powerful incentive programs to help businesses grow and successfully compete both in the U.S. and abroad. We are proud to have helped over 20,000 businesses claim more than $5 billion in tax incentives! alliantgroup’s headquarters is in Houston, Texas, with offices across the country including New York, Boston, Chicago, Orange County, Sacramento, Orlando, Indianapolis and Washington, D.C.