Washington Watch - January 25, 2013


Washington Watch - January 25, 2013

NASE Announces Legislative Priorities for the 113th Congress

In 2013-2014, the National Association for the Self-Employed will focus advocacy efforts on a number of important issues to the 22 million self-employed Americans. We will work broadly with all levels of government (federal and state) and with all parties, to ensure the voice of America’s smallest businesses is heard. Focusing on four key areas:

1. Health Care
With the implementation of key components of the Affordable Care Act slated for 2014, the NASE will be working to ensure that access to health care by the self-employed is both affordable and flexible.

2. Tax Reform

The NASE supports in principal an effort to reform both the individual and corporate tax structure to ensure a more equitable tax code for the self-employed and a more competitive U.S. economy.

3. Self-Employment Assistance Program Expansion
The expansion of Self-Employment Assistance programs is a key component of the NASE advocacy agenda for 2013-2014. Currently only seven states have actively implemented this program in their states and it is our goal to see the program expand throughout the country, especially in states with high numbers of self-employed. Self-Employment Assistance programs offers unemployed workers the opportunity to create their own jobs by starting their own small business. States can pay an allowance, instead of regular unemployment insurance benefits, to help unemployed workers who opt into this program while they receive training and assistance with launching their new business. The NASE will work with the SBA and DOL to encourage states to adopt the program and provide best practices for implementation.

4. Fiscal Health of Federal Government
Three key fiscal issues must be addressed by Congress in the first quarter of 2013, ensuring continued economic recovery and providing a level of fiscal certainty for the backbone of our nation’s economy- small business. It is imperative that Congress address these three issues in a timely fashion and put forth solutions that address the federal deficit while also encouraging growth of our economy.

To learn more about the NASE’s priorities and philosophy, please read NASE President &CEO Kristie Arslan’s Huffington Post blog on Moving the Small Business Community Forward.

NASE Advocacy Efforts Lead to Simplified Home Office Deduction

On Tuesday, January 5, 2013, the Department of Treasury announced that starting in the 2013 tax year, a new simplified deduction calculation would be available for those with a home office, used regularly and exclusively for business, resulting in a $1,500 standard deduction. Based on $5 per square foot calculation, that would cap the allowable space to 300 square feet.

For well over a decade, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) has implored the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Small Business Administration, and Congress, to address the complex nature of the Home Office Deduction. The cumbersome process for calculating the deduction, involving both direct and indirect expenses, deterred nearly half of home-based business from completing the IRS Form 8829.

Over the years, the NASE has advocated for a standard $1,500 deduction that would allow for the nearly 9 million home-based businesses to easily take the Home Office Deduction without error. Not surprisingly the IRS simplification offers just that, a standard $1,500 deduction based on a square-footage calculation.

To learn more about the simplified Home Office Deduction, please read the NASE Fact Sheet and NASE Press Release on the announcement.

NASE Message for 57th Presidential Inauguration: Moving Forward with Small Businesses

On Monday, President Barack Obama celebrated his second inauguration and with the start of his final four-years, Kristie Arslan NASE President and CEO offered these words to President Obama:

“As President Obama takes the oath of office, over 22-million of America’s smallest businesses – including the self-employed and micro-businesses – stand ready to move forward with a robust plan that supports new business growth and helps current business owners keep their doors open and expand. Our country needs supportive small business policies that bolster their ability to thrive in our slowly rebuilding economy.

“We not only need sound economic policies for existing small businesses, but also self-employment training assistance and micro-lending programs that can help foster new businesses. We must reinstate the self-employment tax deduction on health insurance, expand the Health Reimbursement Arrangements to allow self-employed business owners to receive the same benefits as employees, and urge states to implement Self-Employment Assistance programs as part of their job training and work requirements for unemployment benefits.

“Now is the time for the president and Congress to make the tough decisions as the small business community does every day to grow our business, support our families and contribute to our communities. Now is the time for you to do the job we elected you to do - to rebuild our economy and strengthen our nation.”

You can read the entire press release, here.

Washington Watch Online

Visit NASE Advocacy to view archived editions of Washington Watch. While you’re there, read the latest updates from the Washington, D.C. office, write your Congressperson, and find out how you can join the fight for micro-business.

Courtesy of NASE.org