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  • Washington Watch - August 12, 2015
    H R 2911 championed by Senators Grassley R IA and Heitkamp D ND and Representatives Boustany R LA and Thompson D CA allows for small businesses with 49 or less employees to offer HRAs for premium expenses and or qualified health care expenses Efforts during the 113th by Representatives Boustany and Thompson fell short but given the bi partisan bicameral nature of the legislation the NASE is confident that these efforts will be successful The House legislation has 25 co sponsors 13 Democrats and 12 Republicans To learn more about the legislation please read the NASE s letter of support Contact your member of congress and ask them to support S 1697 Senate and H R 2911 House today Find your member of congress here Senator Vitter Introduces Health Care Deduction Bill for SE Senator Vitter Chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee introduced a huge package of tax deductions for small businesses including the full deductibility of health insurance for the self employed S 1827 Small Business Tax Compliance Relief Act does not see to alter tax rates or pursue wholesale reforms Instead the legislation is mostly technical in nature and provides relief from provisions frequently cited as overly restrictive or onerous for a small business stated the Senator in a letter to supporters Read the Senator Vitter s letter The NASE has long championed the full deductibility of health insurance for the self employed The inability for the self employed to deduct the cost of their health insurance is a significant financial burden increases their tax liability by nearly 15 3 annually than other business owners NASE in its letter of support Read NASE s letter of support We look forward to working with the Chairman and his colleagues in advancing this important piece of legislation

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2015/08/12/washington-watch---august-12-2015 (2016-02-14)
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  • Washington Watch - July, 16 2015
    Questions Email Subscriptions Membership Directory About Us Washington Watch Be the first to know about legislative action that affects you and your business View all NASE news Washington Watch July 16 2015 Thursday July 16 2015 HRA Legislation Finally Introduced in Senate and House Leaders in the Senate and House introduced bi partisan legislation that would allow for small business 49 or less employees to provide for Health Reimbursement Arrangements HRAs as a means to financially support their employees in the purchase of health insurance and or other qualified medical expenses The Small Business Healthcare Tax Relief Act S 1697 H R 2911 championed by Senators Grassley R IA and Heitkamp D ND and Representatives Boustany R LA and Thompson D CA allows for small businesses with 49 or less employees to offer HRAs for premium expenses and or qualified health care expenses Efforts during the 113th by Representatives Boustany and Thompson fell short but given the bi partisan bicameral nature of the legislation the NASE is confident that these efforts will be successful To learn more about the legislation please read the NASE s letter of support BREAKING Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Issues Independent Contractor Interpretation On July 15 2015 the Department of Labor s Wage and Hour Division issued an Administrative Interpretation No 2015 1 of the Fair Labor Standards Act as it relates to how an employer s classify independent contractors The NASE is currently evaluating the administrative interpretation and how it will impact NASE members who are independent contractors and or small businesses utilize independent contractors NASE on C SPAN NASE Vice President of Government Relations Public Affairs Katie Vlietstra was a guest on C SPAN Washington Morning discussing the tax code implications for the self employed and the growing on demand economy

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2015/07/16/washington-watch---july-16-2015 (2016-02-14)
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  • Washington Watch - June 18, 2015
    money to purchase a computer if it was required by the college the student attends Additionally the legislation would allow a student to redeposit funds into the 529 account if they withdraw from college within 60 days and avoid a penalty and simplifies tax rules for distribution from multiple accounts The proposed changes to the 529 plans followed the President announcing that he was considering included in his FY 16 budget proposal the elimination of the tax free treatment of 529 plans and taxing the plans earnings Many argue that 529 plans are a key tool for middle class families to save for college With strong bi partisan bi cameral support there is significant confidence that this bill will reach the President s desk for signature Rep Paulsen R MN Re Introduces Independent Contractor Legislation H R 2483 Independent Contractor Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2015 creates a two part test that establishes a formal definition of who is an independent contractor The two criteria to determine status would be the individual either has investment in equipment or is subject to income fluctuation and the individual has control of time worked and performance of services The legislation would also clarify a safe harbor provision of the tax code which will also help define an independent contractor Additionally the bill provides a new section to the Internal Revenue Code Section 3511 which will assist businesses in making the proper classification By adding this section the goal of H R 2483 is to assist business with compliance and proper classification of individuals as independent contractors In 1978 Congress enacted Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 to provide a safe harbor for businesses with respect to the employment classification of individuals This came as a result of inconsistent employment tax audits where the definition of employee was unclear Congress affirmatively acted to make the Section 530 Safe Harbor permanent in 1982 However this issue wasn t included in tax reform in 1986 and therefore was not codified as part of the Internal Revenue Code HRA Legislation Coming Soon The NASE has been working with Rep Boustany R LA and Rep Thompson D CA to re introduce their legislation that would allow for health reimbursement arrangements HRAs in the marketplace Health Reimbursement Accounts have historically been a very powerful and effective tool for the small business community HRA s allows small business owners to do the right thing by helping provide financial assistance to their employees for qualified health care expenses Established in 2002 Health Reimbursement Arrangements HRAs or Health Reimbursement Accounts are employer funded tax advantaged employer health benefit plans that reimburse employees for out of pocket medical expenses and individual health insurance premiums Health Reimbursement Accounts are funded solely by the employer and cannot be funded through employee salary deductions In September 2013 through Technical Release No 2013 03 the Departments of Treasury Health and Human Services and Labor significantly restricted the use of HRAs by small employers stipulating

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2015/06/18/washington-watch---june-18-2015 (2016-02-14)
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  • Washington Watch - March 26, 2015
    lead off the short form disclosure We believe that the formulation you do not have to accept this payroll card and the advice to ask your employer about other ways to get your wages are unduly negative and will discourage employees from using a payroll card We would ask the Bureau to adopt a neutral formulation that does not needlessly discourage use of these safe and beneficial products Second and relatedly we would urge the Bureau to allow issuers to provide an accurate picture of the card s fee profile in the short form disclosure rather than insisting that they only show the highest possible fee in relevant categories which employees likely would avoid Finally we would ask that the Bureau clarify what constitutes acquisition in this context so that employers may continue to provide informational packets provided by the financial institution to employees that include both the relevant disclosures and a card that an employee may subsequently decide to use to receive his or her wages In 2013 30 6 billion was loaded onto payroll card and the figure only continues to grow The full letter can be read here Freelance Sharing Economy Entrepreneurs Welcome Whether it s the private car service Uber or Lyft the online marketplace Etsy or an accommodation provider called AirBnb these small and individual entrepreneurs operating in the shared services space are part of the growing small business community in what is being called the freelance economy The National Association for the Self Employed NASE the nation s leading advocate and resource for the self employed and micro business community welcomes these new entrepreneurs to the largest small business demographic while reminding them of their rights and responsibilities These sole entrepreneurs express qualities of not being an employee of any other entity control their own destiny s and decide themselves when where how long how much how often and for how much they work The freelance economy includes a variety of new and growing entrepreneurs who operate as independent contractors on demand employees small employers or a variety of shared services for car rides shopping and lodging In this regard anyone can operate his or her own small business by becoming an independent contractor with a larger umbrella corporate business operation But under these arrangements there are specific business responsibilities such as wage and hour laws tax obligations liabilities for accidents and pension and nondiscrimination rules For instance these entrepreneurs may receive paychecks without any federal and or state government tax withholdings Despite being self employed they may still be required to pay a host of taxes including income self employment Social Security and potentially Medicare tax Tax Filing Deadline Approaching 2014 TAX CHANGES AND ADJUSTMENTS The new Affordable Care Act ACA penalty for non compliance Potential individual exceptions to the ACA penalty A streamlined standard home office deduction available The standard mileage rate for business use of an automobile has changed to 56 cents per mile 57 5 cents for 2015 Limits for

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2015/03/26/washington-watch---march-26-2015 (2016-02-14)
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  • Washington Watch - February 26, 2015
    penalties associated with an employer offering a Health Reimbursement Arrangement HRA without an accompanying ACA compliant health insurance plan This delay allows the NASE and its partners an opportunity to move forward with a legislative fix to the agency s interpretation of the ACA as it relates to HRA plans Currently Rep Boustany R LA is working quickly to re introduce his legislation from the last congress Small Business Healthcare Relief Act of 2014 that would allow small employers 49 or less employees to offer an HRA to their employees without consequence There is growing support for this initiative and we look forward to working with both House and Senate champions to ensure the self employed and micro business community continues to have access to an incredibly valuable tool to help their employees Self Employed and Micro Business Owners Remain Concerned Over Health Care Costs Over 66 of small business owners responding to a new survey conducted by the National Association for the Self Employed NASE ranked decreasing monthly premiums as the one thing they would change about their current health care plan The survey conducted October 27 2014 through January 19 2015 gauges the opinions of 188 small business owners and self employed entrepreneurs nationwide on the issue of health care In addition to the overwhelming majority of respondents citing the monthly premium costs as a major concern 53 of those surveyed said they had either low or very low confidence they will be able to obtain both affordable and comprehensive health care coverage in 2015 Additionally of those surveyed only 20 qualified for health insurance premium subsidies further enforcing the importance of working to lower the cost of health insurance across the board for all consumers NASE Non Deductible Dues Portion The NASE is proud of our advocacy

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2015/02/26/washington-watch---february-26-2015 (2016-02-14)
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  • Washington Watch - December 10, 2014
    Watch Be the first to know about legislative action that affects you and your business View all NASE news Washington Watch December 10 2014 Wednesday December 10 2014 NASE Pushes for HRA Reprieve in 2015 The NASE along with the Council for Affordable Health Coverage National Association for Home Builders and the National Federation of Independent Business asked congressional leaders to consider including language championed by Congressman Blackburn R TN that would prohibit the application of certain health insurance market requirements no lifetime or annual limits and coverage of preventive health services for Health Reimbursement Arrangements HRAs and similar accounts used by a small employer in 2015 The NASE hopes that this stop gap measure could be included in upcoming legislation that would fund the federal government and allow for the NASE and other partners to fully repeal the Departments of Treasury Health and Human Services and Labor s Technical Release No 2013 03 that significantly restricted the use of health reimbursement arrangements by small employers Read NASE s letter to Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi NASE Survey Launches Your Health Care in 2015 As you explore health care options for the 2015 year we would like to hear from you about your existing coverage how you are dealing with any coverage changes for the coming year and what changes if any you would like to see to in your coverage Take NASE s Your Health Care in 2015 survey today House Puts Forth 1 1 Trillion to Fund Federal Government House leaders put forth a 1 1 Trillion spending bill that would fund most of the federal government through September 2015 The bill targets the Department of Homeland Security only providing funding through February 27 2015 in attempt to stop the President from moving forward on his Executive

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2014/12/10/washington-watch---december-10-2014 (2016-02-14)
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  • Washington Watch - December 4, 2014
    the biggest extender is for those individuals living in a state without an income tax to continue to be able to deduct state and local taxes on their federal returns Other tax benefits extended in the bill include A deduction for higher education tuition and fees for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of 80 000 or less Employer provided commuter transit and parking benefits Tax deductions that elementary and secondary school teachers take for school supplies they purchase A measure that exempts people whose mortgage debts were cancelled from paying income taxes on up to 2 million of the forgiven debt A tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums A measure that allows people who live in states without an income tax to deduct state sales taxes they ve paid A tax deduction for individual retirement account distributions that are given to charity Open Enrollment Five Tips from the NASE On Saturday November 15 2014 the health care exchange marketplace opened for 2015 health care enrollment Before you sign online to shop for health care coverage for 2015 the National Association for the Self Employed offers these five helpful tips 1 Do a full assessment of your current health care needs Being able to assess what is important to you and your family will make it easier to sift through the plan option in the exchange For example do you anticipate any big medical expenses birth of a child surgery etc What is your current prescription drug needs Do you require specialists for a known health ailment 2 Have your 2013 tax filing information ready and available Your 2013 tax filings will be important for you to have available in order to gauge what if any health care subsidies you may be available to take advantage of in 2015 3 Make a full list of your current doctors in front of you You ll want to ensure that your doctors are considered in network for any of the potential plans you are considering selecting 4 For those already enrolled previously in the exchange do you need to increase or decrease your coverage Having the right health care plan that best fits your individual needs is essential Paying for an oversized plan that provides many bells and whistles you haven t utilized in the past and will be unlikely to utilize in the future may be a good place to start in order to help cut costs around your health care budget next year 5 Establish a realistic business budget that includes calculating health care costs Any good business owner knows to prepare a budget that helps provide planning and stability down the road As you prepare for the beginning of Saturday s open enrollment period have an idea of what your budget is for health care costs in 2015 and what s a realistic amount for you to spend on coverage for you and or your family Open enrollment is from November 15th through February 15th Want more information visit

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2014/12/04/washington-watch---december-4-2014 (2016-02-14)
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  • Washington Watch - July, 31 2014
    Rulings on ACA Subsidies Last week two federal appeals courts handed down conflicting rulings on the legality of premium assistance tax subsidy being provided by individuals families participating in federally facilitated exchanges The two courts Washington D C and Virginia offered their contradicting rulings just hours apart leading many to believe that the Supreme Court will have to sort out the issue during the court s next session The issue how the IRS interpreted the legislative intent of the Affordable Care Act allowing for premium assistance to be provided to those participating in either state or federally facilitated exchanges The ACA provides tax credits premium assistance for those purchasing health insurance through an exchange established by the state however since many states 36 in total declined to establish state based exchange marketplaces causing residences of those states to participate in the federally facilitated exchange marketplace The IRS interpretation allowed for tax credits to be given to participants in both the individual and federally facilitated exchanges While the contradictory rulings have no immediate impact on the ability of individuals to access tax credits it might require the Supreme Court to step in and definitively rule on the challenge Cantwell D WA Introduces Women s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 On Wednesday July 30 2014 Senator Maria Cantwell D WA chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee introduced The Women s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 The bill focuses on supporting women owned small businesses through small business counseling contracting and access to capital The most exciting element of the bill is the expansion of micro lending to women owned small businesses increasing the SBA Microloan capacity to 7 million a 2 million increase and focusing on loans under 50 000 The SBA stats show that 46 of

    Original URL path: http://selfemployed.nase.org/about-us/nase-publications/washington-watch/archive/2014/07/31/washington-watch---july-31-2014 (2016-02-14)
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