Denizens Founder Julie Verratti Testifies on Tax Simplification and Reform

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Earlier this week, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth Taxes and Capital Access held a hearing on small business tax simplification and reform. Julie Verratti, co-founder and business development manager at Denizens Brewing Company in Silver Spring, Md. was invited to testify as a witness for her business and the Brewers Association (BA) on a hearing entitled Keep It Simple: Small Business Tax Simplification and Reform, Main Street Speaks.

Other witnesses called to testify included: Mr. Troy K. Lewis at Lewis & Associates, CPAs, LLC, Mr. Mel Schwarz, partner and director of tax legislative affairs at Grant Thornton, LLP and Mr. Robert M. Russell, attorney of international tax controversy, planning and policy at Alliantgroup.

Small Business Hearing Slider
BA Federal Affairs Manager Katie Marisic and Denizens Brewing Co. Founder Julie Verratti prepare before the small business tax hearing.

Verratti started off her testimony by speaking about Denizens Brewing Company, a restaurant and production brewery founded in 2014. The only woman and minority owned and operated brewery in Maryland, Denizens produced more than 1,100 barrels in 2014 and is on track to brew 1,500 in the coming year.

“We are happy to comply, but these tax burdens could be a deterrent for a smaller brewer.” Julie Verratti

Verratti then discussed the patchwork of tax issues that craft brewers must comply with on a state and federal level, including the amount of time and the manpower that is expended. When discussing how taxes impact growth Verratti said, “We are happy to comply, but these tax burdens could be a deterrent for a smaller brewer.”

She then went on to thank Congress for permanently extending the small business expensing limitation and phase-out amounts in Section 179 when they passed the PATH Act, and for removing the bonding requirements and changing the filing requirements from bi-weekly to quarterly for craft producers who pay less than $50,000 a year in federal excise taxes.

Verratti also spoke about the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 2903/S.1562), which would lower federal excise taxes for craft brewers and other alcohol producers. “Knowing that we would have access to additional capital is an incentive to continue growing and hiring, which will produce more federal revenue over time. A reduced federal excise tax liability would be extremely helpful to the craft brewing industry and the national economy.”

View the Julie’s full written testimony.