In October, Shufina and I visited our nation’s capitol to make sure that the self-employed were on the minds of legislators as they tackle tax reform. We met with staff from the offices of Senator Diane Feinstein, Representative Judy Chu and Representative David Valadao members. We also met with Representative Nanette Barragán. We talked about the importance of including the 70 million people in the U.S. economy that are receiving 1099 forms and doing some kind of independent work, whether full-time or part-time.
The gist of our message was published in an op-ed on Wednesday by The Hill – “Tax reform for the growing gig economy.” Then, the House Small Business Committee was so kind to issue a press release to spread the message even further! Policies that we support include HR 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act and…
…we need to consider policies that encourage economic activity and promote the survival, growth and innovation of micro-businesses and the self-employed. Expanding the EITC to the self-employed, letting VITA sites help with Schedule C filings, allowing the self-employed to deduct health expenses from their business income, and ensuring a strong taxpayer education effort through the IRS and other federal programs are just a few examples of the many policies that would help all entrepreneurs, including the lower-moderate income ones.
We also co-hosted a legislative briefing with Intuit in which about 30 people attended, including about 20 legislative staff and the staff person from Ways and Means. I gave a brief intro to the spectrum of entrepreneurs participating in the gig economy and then we had a panel discussion about the policies listed above. Thanks to the following experts who participated!
- Melissa Netram, Intuit, Director of Corporate Affairs (moderator)
- Mohammad Ali, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, Small Business Majority
- Caroline Bruckner, Managing Director Kogod Tax Policy Center, author of Shortchanged: The Tax Compliance Challenges of Small Business Operators Driving the On-Demand Platform Economy
- Rob Yavor, House Small Business Committee
Intuit posted a comprehensive recap of the event on their blog – “Demanding Tax Reform for Our Rapidly Evolving On-Demand Workforce“.
Etsy also weighed in – “Gig economy too important to be left out of tax reform plans“.
An extra thanks to Intuit’s Tax and Financial Center and Melissa Netram for their support in organizing the briefing, Representative Steve Chabot, House Small Business Chair, for sponsoring the room, and the Madison Services Group team for helping with our advocacy efforts.
We’re still waiting for tax reform efforts to include the 70 million people in the U.S. economy that are receiving 1099 forms and doing some kind of independent work, whether full-time or part-time.
The Senate Finance Committee released the highlights for the Senate tax plan today. Legislative language has not yet been introduced. And a summary of the bill provided by the House Ways and Means Committee was issued last week or you can read the entire bill, H.R. 1, “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act“.
Now that we have both sides of the legislature’s plans on the table, it’s time to weigh in again. Our tax code needs reforming. Make sure it’s the reform you want. Collected below are efforts by our colleagues for your consideration for action.
**Small Business Majority issued a statement about the House bill – House Tax Bill Won’t Save Most Small Businesses Money. They also surveyed small business owners and found that small businesses think they are at a disadvantage under the current tax system, and they want to see tax reform that is both fair and responsible. The poll revealed small business owners are concerned about creating a level playing field when it comes to taxes with 7 in 10 small business owners believing that their business is harmed somewhat or a lot when big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes. Also, the vast majority of small business owners (85 percent) feel the tax code unfairly benefits large corporations over small businesses, and that corporations and wealthy Americans should be required to pay their fair share of taxes.
**Many legislators are pushing to pass a tax reform bill by Christmas, but this complicated bill deserves more review. American Sustainable Business Council has a Twitter Campaign to tell Congress you oppose pushing through a bill that will cause big deficits, worsen inequality, and undermine U.S. ability to invest for economic growth.
**CALED is opposing the elimination of Private Activity Bonds. State and local government have used these bonds to catalyze investment in business industry, and infrastructure for over 100 years. Elimination of this program would have significant impact on economic development in California. These are used to fund critical and important public facilities and infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, highways, bridges, railways, water and sewage facilities, energy facilities, low-income housing, and countless others. California is one of the largest issuers of these bonds. By eliminating Private Activity Bonds, the ability of California to finance these projects will also be eliminated, as governments and project sponsors will be forced to borrow at higher interest rates. Read the CDFA Letter. If you agree, you can take two minutes and sign the letter.
**The initial bill from the House Ways and Means Committee repeals the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and terminates the final two years of NMTC allocations, which were authorized through 2019 under the PATH Act passed by Congress in 2015. OFN is asking that you take action to preserve the NMTC.