Washington Watch - May 5, 2010

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Washington Watch - May 5, 2010

Coalition Speaks Out On S Corp Taxation

A coalition of small business organizations, including the NASE, has banded together to contest a House proposal that would hike taxes for service sector S corporations.

In a letter to the Committee on Ways and Means, the coalition states, "this proposal would increase taxes on small business owners who are fully complying with the law. It will add to the tax code’s complexity by creating new categories of business activity that will have to be defined and litigated."

The specific details of the bill have not yet been released, however legislation with similar ends has been introduced in the past. That bill would tax capital investments made by businesses engaged in the service sector, including investments in employees, such as training.

The NASE feels that the self-employed and micro-business communities already face an overwhelming regulatory burden in complying with IRS regulations. Not to mention, the proposal could potentially contradict a key policy decision made by Congress in the new healthcare reform law. When Congress adopted the new 3.8 percent tax applied to most forms of investment income, it exempted active S corporation shareholders.

Check back at NASE Advocacy often for updates on this issue.

Read more about the Committee on Ways and Means here.

SBA Programs Extended, Again

Congress has passed another short-term authorization for Small Business Administration (SBA) programs. The three-month extension will provide funding for small business lending programs, among other uses. This latest extension continues a trend in past years of Congress granting short-term funding, in lieu of a larger overhaul and reauthorization for the agency.

The economic stimulus law enacted some changes for the SBA beginning April 15th, as well. A 90 percent guarantee of funds for lenders, as well as a reduction or elimination of some fees associated with lending.

Read more about the SBA at SBA.gov.

SBA Advocacy: Acting Chief Counsel Testifies On Small Biz Internet Access

Susan Walthall, Acting Chief Counsel for the Office of Advocacy at the SBA, testified before the Senate about the importance and challenges of expanding internet access for small business. Walthall also testified about the Office of Advocacy’s upcoming study, due in the fall, evaluating broadband availability for small business.

Small business organizations have been active on this issue in past years. The Office of Advocacy has filed comment letters on the guidelines for the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the Broadband Initiative Program (BIP) as well as the FCC’s consultative role and the national rural broadband strategy.

The Office of Advocacy, as part of the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008, currently is conducting a study to evaluate broadband availability for small businesses. The study will provide Congress with a snapshot of the status quo, before BTOP and BIP.

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