Small Business Jobs Act Returns to the House

You spoke up and the Senate listened!  On Thursday, September 16 the Senate voted to pass their version of H.R. 5297 – Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. In a vote of 61-38,  the bill safely sailed through the Senate.

There’s still work to be done…
Even though the bill was viewed favorably by the Senate, it must return to the House for a conforming vote. We anticipate the vote may occur as early as Wednesday of next week when the House returns from recess.

We ask that you contact your congressman on to encourage the passage of the bill and support a discharge petition that will give the House an opportunity to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement currently mandated by law.  Visit the Contact Congress page to call, write or email your representative about today.

To find out how your Senator voted on H.R. 5297, click here for a summary of the vote.

The Senate’s Version
While a repeal of the burdensome 1099 reporting requirement was not included in the Senate’s version, there are a number of key provisions that should prove helpful to photographers and other small business owners once the bill is signed into law.  The following are three highlights from this bill.  Each of these tax provisions were not included in the initial version passed by the Senate:

Tax Provision 1: Tax Equity for the Self-Employed (Section 2042)
A major victory for the self-employed was won through the passage of this bill. The inclusion of Section 2042 allows the self-employed to deduct health care expenses pre-tax. Although only for a single year, self-employed photographers can deduct health care expenses on their 2010 income tax return. 

“While it is only for a single tax year we hope Congress will see the benefit in extending the deduction in future tax years” says David Trust, CEO of Professional Photographers of America.

The passage of this provision is the culmination of a number of self-employed tax equity bills introduced by the House and Senate alike in previous Congressional sessions. 

Tax Provision 2: Enhanced Small Business Expensing (Section 2021)
The inclusion of this section in the bill expands the way that small business owner, like a photographer, can deduct tangible personal property on their income taxes.  It increases the allowance from $250,000 per year to $500,000 per year.  It also allows up to a $250,000 deduction for improvements made to retail property (including leased space). 

Items that fall into this category might include equipment or furniture purchased for your studio, or in the case of building improvements, renovations that are not structural (ex. updating light fixtures and similar hardware).

Tax Provision 3: Extension of Bonus Depreciation (Section 2022)
Another highlight from Senate’s version of bill is the approval of a two year extension to the existing tax provisions relating to “bonus depreciation” or the deduction of capital expenses, like the purchase of studio equipment.  As written, this section would require the property to have been purchased in 2010 and put into use before December 31, 2010.  Due to the limited nature of this extension it will need to be approved by congress again prior to the 2012 tax year.

To ensure these provision become law, make sure you visit the Contact Congress page to let your Congressperson know you want them to join the dispatch petition and vote ‘Yes’ on H.R. 5297.

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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