When Congress first began discussing raising taxes to reduce the federal deficit last spring, corporate America came out of the woodwork.

In response to hints by House and Senate tax writers that they might increase excise taxes, among other levies, businesses and trade groups launched heavy lobbying campaigns before even a single drafting session had convened. The excise-tax proposals were quickly dropped, and Congress began looking for taxes nobody would notice.

Today, as the Senate begins consideration of a $9 billion tax increase, public and private analysts say the search was largely successful. The Senate bill has ignited little opposition from the corporate sector -- even though most of its new revenue would come from business.

A number of industries oppose specific provisions that would raise their taxes, but the legislation on the whole manages to extract its revenue with relatively little pain. Its impact on average individual taxpayers also would be almost nil.

"It is a speedup of some corporate taxes and the rest of it is in dribs and drabs here and there," said Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.). "With {federal} revenues averaging $900 billion for one year, $9 billion is not a big amount." Packwood pointed out that last year's tax-revision law increased corporate taxes by $120 billion over five years, far more than this measure would do.

"It seems to me the latest Senate bill is a big improvement over the original Senate bill, and we are encouraged by it," said Jerry Jasinowski, chief economist of the National Association of Manufacturers. NAM does not have an official position on the legislation, but Jasinowski said the bill "has been substantially improved by the latest set of changes."

In reconciling their earlier bill with the deficit-reduction agreement struck with the White House last week, members of the Senate Finance Committee agreed to drop several controversial provisions -- not a difficult task, as the revenue target they were shooting for was $3 billion lower. One provision would have repealed an accounting tax benefit for defense contractors and another would have subjected all income, rather than only the first $45,000 of salary, to the 1.45 percent Medicare tax. Employers and employes alike would have been subject to the additional tax.

Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III yesterday praised the bill, calling it "a sound method of raising the funds necessary to implement the {budget} summit agreement." In a letter to Finance Committee Chairman Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.), however, Baker also objected to three provisions: a freeze on the scheduled reduction in the top estate and gift tax rate, higher employer-paid premiums to fund the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., and the extension of IRS power to withhold from tax refunds amounts that taxpayers owe in debts to government agencies.

Some businesses also object to provisions in the Senate bill. The National Restaurant Association opposes an item requiring employers to pay Social Security taxes on tips collected by waiters and waitresses, for instance. And the Chamber of Commerce is expected to announce today its opposition to the entire deficit-reduction package, preferring instead the automatic spending cuts that would go into effect if other measures were not taken.

But most of the bill's provisions, by Bentsen's deliberate design, would affect such a broad range of companies that the impact on each would be slight. Provisions curbing deductions for companies that sell in large part on installment, limiting the deduction for such "intangibles" as customer lists, cutting back deductions for contributions to vacation-pay funds and speeding up the collection of estimated tax payments would indeed raise taxes, but not by much per company.

Business groups say the House bill is far more objectionable. Besides variations of the installment-sales, estimated-tax and vacation-pay provisions, the House bill includes a far stiffer crackdown on tax-advantaged limited partnerships than does the Senate version. It also would repeal the tax-deferral break for defense and construction contractors, and includes several controversial provisions restricting tax advantages of corporate mergers and takeovers.

Both the Senate and House bills also would extend the 3 percent tax on telephone use that is scheduled to expire at the end of this year, close an estate-tax loophole created by last year's tax revision and deny child-care tax credits for expenses of sending a child to overnight camp.