Tax Break For Self-Employed Likely To Vanish (Bloomberg Businessweek)

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Tax Break For Self-Employed Likely To Vanish (Bloomberg Businessweek)

By John Tozzi

The Small Business Jobs Act nixed the tax that self-employed workers pay on health insurance for 2010. Small biz advocates doubt Congress will extend it.

Despite politicians' calls for tax reform and oft-professed devotion to small business, prospects for passing two tax fixes that self-employed business owners like Fleming have sought for years are shrinking, small business advocates say. One bill would make the health insurance tax break permanent, bringing the self-employed in line with payroll workers, whose health insurance is fully deductible. The other would simplify the home office deduction, a proposal that has been around for at least a decade.

"I'm concerned that this is going to fall by the wayside," says Kristie Arslan, executive director of the National Association for the Self-Employed, who has championed both measures. "It's a perfect storm of politics right now. You have a divided house in Congress and you have a Presidential election coming up. The only expectation you can have is gridlock." Arslan plans to urge lawmakers to extend the health insurance deduction when she testifies before the Senate Small Business Committee on May 19. Twenty-two million Americans are self-employed business owners, and more than half work from home, she says.

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