Many Find It Hard To Plan Ahead As Tax Uncertainty Looms (USA TODAY)


Many Find It Hard To Plan Ahead As Tax Uncertainty Looms (USA TODAY)

[NASE Member] Tiffany Washington, owner of Washington Accounting Services in Waldorf, Md., says the standoff about extending the payroll tax cut caused her to put off hiring another employee.

In December, Congress passed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, which added about $40 to the average worker's paycheck. Washington says she was concerned that a drop in take-home pay at the end of the two-month period could lead the new employee to leave for a higher-paying job.

In February, Congress agreed to extend the tax cut through 2012. By that time, Washington says, it was too late to train someone for the 2012 tax season.

One of Washington's three employees recently had to take a leave of absence for medical reasons, leaving her short-handed. That has forced Washington, who has owned the business for five years, to work 70 to 80 hours a week during tax season.

Washington has the advantage of knowing her way around the tax code. That's not the case with many self-employed and small-business owners who can't afford a chief financial officer to help them navigate the constantly changing tax laws, says Kristie Arslan, chief executive officer of the National Association for the Self-Employed.

With the tax code constantly in flux, she adds, "they don't know how to plan or what to do."

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