Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act and Tax Credits Central to CEO Sentiments: Fresh Insights from Marcum-Hofstra Survey
OCTOBER 10, 2023 (New York City, NY) – The latest edition of the Marcum-Hofstra University CEO Survey provides new insights into the viewpoints of middle-market CEOs. With a spotlight on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and tax incentives, the survey presents CEO perspectives on the business environment and the impact of significant legislative actions.
Today’s leading issue for most surveyed CEOs, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, prompted a wide range of reactions. 47.5% felt a positive economic ripple effect due to the Act, while 23.2% held opposing views. At the business operations level, 38.4% acknowledged benefits stemming from the Act, but an equal number reported no significant changes or pointed to potential economic pitfalls within the legislation.
Tax credits and incentives emerged as another critical focus area. A robust 83.3% of CEOs were familiar with industry tax credits and incentives. However, the complexity of the application process was identified as the top deterrent preventing businesses from realizing the benefits of credits and incentives, followed by the next most common hurdles, a lack of information about these tax programs and limited internal resources.
CEOs maintain a positive outlook on the business environment, albeit with a slight dip in overall optimism compared to the previous survey. The percentage of CEOs with a “very positive” outlook decreased to 11.0% in the latest survey from 12.4% in June 2023. The real estate, technology, and healthcare sectors observed an increase in CEO optimism, while the construction sector witnessed a decline.
“Our latest insights reflect a fluid and rapidly evolving business landscape facing CEOs. Despite pockets of optimism in sectors such as real estate and technology, a prevailing sense of caution persists,” said Jeffrey Weiner, Chairman & CEO of Marcum. “Notably, our findings also reveal that while many CEOs are familiar with tax credits, only about half capitalize on these key opportunities. The responses indicate that the complexity of applying for the incentives is a primary barrier, and that matches what we hear from clients reaching out to Marcum’s tax credits and incentives team for solutions.”
Key Findings from the CEO Survey
CEO Business Environment Outlook
- CEO optimism about the business environment has slightly declined from June 2023.
- 11.0% of CEOs rated their outlook as “very positive,” down from 12.4%.
- 35.7% of CEOs rated their outlook in the upper range of positive, a decline from 39.6%.
- The overall weighted average dipped to 6.5 from 6.7.
CEO Outlook by Industry
- Optimism remained constant across most industries.
- Significant gains in optimism in real estate (46%), technology (57%), and healthcare (35%).
- Decrease in optimism in the construction sector (19%).
Influences on Business Planning
- Economic concerns remain the top influence, though they’ve declined from 55.2% to 49.8%.
- Availability of talent as a top 3 influence increased from 42.8% to 44.8%.
- Concerns about rising costs declined from 42.0% to 38.4%.
Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
- 47.5% of CEOs felt the Act had a moderately positive impact on the U.S. economy.
- 23.2% believed the Act harmed the economy.
- 38.4% experienced benefits in their businesses due to the Act, but 23.3% felt a negative impact.
Tax Credits & Incentives
- 83.3% of CEOs were at least somewhat familiar with industry tax credits and incentives.
- Over half (51.3%) had taken advantage of these incentives.
- The most utilized credits were job creation (29.7%), training (25.5%), and investment (21.7%) credits.
- The primary deterrent for not seeking credits was the application process’s complexity.
New Hires’ Preparation
- Only 30% of CEOs felt new hires had most of the skills needed.
- Over half (53.2%) felt new hires needed additional training.
- 47.5% said new hires were less prepared compared to the past, while 23.6% believed they were more prepared.
The survey is developed, conducted, and analyzed by Zarb School MBA students, led by Dr. Andrew Forman, associate professor of international business and marketing, and in partnership with Marcum.
“The Marcum-Hofstra CEO survey provides students with an understanding of the importance of keeping abreast of government programs, particularly those related to tax credits and incentives, and to proactively assess how various initiatives will impact their business,” Dr. Forman said.
About the Survey
The Marcum-Hofstra CEO Survey is a periodic gauge of mid-market CEOs’ outlook and priorities for the next 12 months. The survey polls the leaders of companies with revenues ranging from $5 million to $1 billion-plus and was conducted the week of September 11, 2023. 260 mid-market CEOs participated.
“As institutions for higher learning and research, it’s vital that we continue to highlight the perceptions and concerns of business leaders in today’s fast-evolving economic landscape,” said Janet Lenaghan, dean of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business. “The recent Marcum-Hofstra CEO Survey underscores their sentiments concerning pivotal legislative moves such as the Inflation Reduction Act. These insights not only inform academia but provide a roadmap for policymakers and the broader business community.”
About the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University
Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business prepares students to become tomorrow’s global leaders. Located just 25 miles from New York City, Zarb students have access to internships and networking opportunities across every industry. The Zarb School combines entrepreneurial, hands-on learning and research with real-world experience and mentorship in state-of-the-art facilities, including a Behavioral Research in Business Lab, Center for Entrepreneurship, and academic trading room. Our undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting, management and entrepreneurship, marketing and international business, finance, and business analytics are ranked and recognized by US News & World Report, Princeton Review, Poets & Quants and Fortune Magazine. Visit hofstra.edu/zarb for more information.
About Marcum LLP
Marcum LLP is a top-ranked national accounting and advisory firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurial, middle-market companies and high net worth individuals achieve their goals. Marcum’s industry-focused practices offer deep insight and specialized services to privately held and publicly registered companies, and nonprofit and social sector organizations. The Firm also provides a full complement of technology, wealth management, and executive search and staffing services. Headquartered in New York City, Marcum has offices in major business markets across the U.S. and select international locations. #AskMarcum.