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Washington Watch - May 22, 2013

Meaty Discussions Continue on Comprehensive Tax Reform

On March 15, 2013, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenues Measures held a hearing on the Small Business Tax Reform Discussion draft as a part of the committee’s efforts to overhaul and simplify the tax code.

Once again, the National Association for the Self-Employed in a statement for the record, impressed upon the committee to ensure the importance of true, comprehensive reform that tackles the current challenges faced by the 22 million self-employed Americans, specifically in the area of individual tax reform.

The NASE pointed to the Joint Committee on Tax report that reviewed the hundreds of comment letters received and highlighted three areas of reform providing a great starting point for creating an equitable tax code for America’s self-employed:

  • Raise the self-employment exemption amount to the standard deduction amount;
  • Simplify depreciation calculators, reporting requirements, and accelerated options for most standard business items and amounts, all of which could be included as a line on Schedule C; and
  • Provide additional safe harbors (similar to the home office deduction) providing standard deduction options based on industry and location.

The NASE will however continue to push for the inclusion of the self-employed health insurance deduction, for our members this is the single most significant tax inequity they face when compared to other business entities.

Our advocacy efforts continue in this important, if not critical, area of concern for our members. Additionally, we encourage you to let your voice be heard by submitting your own ideas as to how the committee can reform and improve the tax code.

Read the NASE’s Statement for the Record.

As Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Employment Verification Program Receives Attention

On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the substantial comprehensive immigration reform bill that had been under consideration for two weeks; the legislation received bi-partisan support, 13-5, and will now move to the Senate floor for consideration.

In the days leading up to the Senate vote, both chambers held hearings on the impact of employment verification program on small businesses.

The issue of employment verification is of utmost importance to the NASE and our members. In a survey released early this year, an overwhelming number, 77%, indicated that immigration reform was important to them and their business and 58.8% responded that employers should have to verify employment states of all new hires.

As the debate continues, the NASE will work to impress upon lawmakers in both chambers the importance of having an easy and manageable employment verification system that is accurate.

Bipartisan Congressional Small Business Caucus Gets Started

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) officially kicked off the Bipartisan Congressional Small Business Caucus on Monday, May 20, 2013. The Caucus membership includes 19 other members of congress representing a diverse number of states, they include:

Reps. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mike Honda (D-CA), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Ron Barber (D-AZ), Mark Takano (D-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Chris Collins (R-NY), Steve King (R-IA), Denny Heck (D-WA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-MO).

The Caucus aims to work in a bipartisan fashion to address the issues that faced America’s small businesses, focusing on four areas:

  • Raising awareness of issues that most impact small businesses including access to capital, access to technology, regulation and taxation, and exploring legislative solutions to encourage entrepreneurship and small business growth;
  • Providing a forum for candid conversation with small business owners to gather recommendations on what issues and priorities Congress should focus on to assist small businesses;
  • Advancing and promoting small business initiatives that support local commerce and strengthen communities,
  • Providing information and education to help Members of Congress arrange job fairs, business roundtables, trade expos and other events in their districts that promote small business growth and encourage job creation.

The NASE looks forward to working with the Caucus on issues of importance to America’s small businesses, the 22 million self-employed.

Bipartisan Small Business Caucus Press Release

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