3 Bills That Congress Should Pass Now

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3 Bills That Congress Should Pass Now

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By Kristie L. Arslan

The NASE is encouraging its members to contact their representatives in Washington and urge them to support three pieces of legislation that are critically important to the self-employed.

1. Senate Bill 2050

The Small Business Tax Extenders Act of 2012 (S 2050), extends key provisions of the small-business bill that was signed into law by President Obama in September 2010. The original bill provided key tax deductions for the self-employed, specifically, the ability to deduct health insurance and startup expenses for the 2010 tax year.

The new bill was introduced in the Senate Small Business Committee by Chairwoman Mary Landrieu, D-La., and ranking member Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. The bill has received bipartisan support with Sens. Scott Brown, R-Ma., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., all signing on as co-sponsors of the legislation.

2. House Resolution 880

The self-employed encounter several glaring inequities in the current tax code. Perhaps the largest is the inability to deduct the cost of health insurance as a business expense. As a result, the self-employed pay on average 15 percent more than big businesses in taxes.

In 2010, the self-employed benefitted from tax savings ranging from $456 to $968. That’s a significant amount. Congressional support for amending the tax code to allow the self-employed to deduct their health insurance is popular and receives bipartisan support. In the House, Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif., introduced, HR 880, Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed Act of 2011, which has received wide, bipartisan support and would make the deduction permanent.

3. House Resolution 4032

The extension of the deduction for startup expenses is another popular provision.

Like the health insurance deduction, the startup deduction is extended in Small Business Tax Extenders Act of 2012, but receives a permanent deduction in the bipartisan House resolution, Help Entrepreneurs Create American Jobs Act of 2012 (HR 4032).

The bill was introduced by Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and is strongly supported by a bipartisan group of 27 of his colleagues.

Why You Need To Act Now

The self-employed community is well served by the introduction of these three bills.

But continued calls for enactment must reach the ears of the elected members in both chambers.

The NASE believes that lawmakers must address these tax bills and signal to our community that they understand the biggest segment of the business population is the self-employed. The NASE also wants Congress to indicate that the self-employed will be treated fairly by the tax code to encourage growth in our economy.

Please call your elected officials and urge them to support these three bills. We've made it easy. You can identify your members of Congress and contact them through the NASE’s Legislative Action Center. 

Kristie L. Arslan is president and CEO of the NASE and provides critical insight to policymakers on issues affecting our nation’s self-employed. You can contact her at advocacy@NASE.org.

Read this article in PDF form here.

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