Senate Considers Bills Favorable to Home-Based Businesses and the Self-Employed

PPA urges the U.S. Senate to pass two key tax provisions that will be beneficial to alleviating the tax burden faced by small business owners like photographers. As the Senate prepares to debate H.R. 5297 - The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, PPA has sent letters of support to the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee leadership and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), applauding their efforts to ease some of the challenges faced by many photographers.

Tax Provision 1: The Senate’s Version
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Chairwoman of the Committee and Ranking Member Olympia Snow (R-ME) have proposed a substitute to H.R. 5297, which includes a provision (Section 2042) to allow self-employed business owners to deduct their health care expenses pre-tax for one year. This particular provision has been introduced on a number of occasions by both the House and Senate as a permanent change to the tax code. 

Currently, self-employed photographers must factor in the cost of health care into their self-employment tax payments. “We believe that the inclusion of the provision in Section 2042, even if only for a single year, is a positive move toward the self-employed receiving permanent tax relief for health care costs” says David Trust, PPA’s chief executive officer.

Tax Provision 2: Senate Amendment 4330
An additional provision to this bill has been introduced by Boxer. This amendment (S.Amdt. 4330) would change the current tax code to allow business owners to select a standard home office deduction in the amount of $1,200 rather than using the existing tax criteria to calculate the deduction.

Like Section 2042, this provision has also been introduced in previous years as a means of helping home-based business owners. The inclusion and passage of this provision should reduce the confusion and worry faced by small business owners when opting to take advantage of the home office tax deduction.

Make Your Voice Heard!
It is anticipated that discussion on this bill will move quickly. As a result, a vote could happen as early as this week or next. To encourage your senator to support the passage of this bill, visit the Contact Congress page to send an email or letter.

In addition to representing members on copyright issues, PPA is a strong advocate on small business issues, primarily relating to health care. Through the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, PPA advocates health care solutions that meet the needs of small business owners, employees, the self-employed and their families. In previous congressional sessions, PPA has supported various health reform bills, in particular those that would provide trade associations the ability to create insurance pools on behalf of its members.

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