Small Business Update: Tax Reform and More | NFIB
NFIB President Juanita Duggan shares a recap of the recent tax reform victory and a preview of what’s to come in 2018.
As the voice of small business, NFIB works to affect positive change on behalf of our members. Below is a list of recent victories by our Legal Center, Political, and Government Relations teams.
NFIB’s Policy Victories:
- Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- EO 13771: Requires agencies to repeal two existing regulations for each new regulation it would like to issue. Also, the total net costs of all new regulation issued between now and September 30 must be less than or equal to zero.
– NFIB submitted a list of regulations of particular concern to small businesses to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in response to the EO. NFIB will continue to submit problem regulations
- EO 13777: Requires agencies to conduct a 90-day review to identify regulations that should be used to meet the requirements of EO 13771.
- Presidential Memorandum: Permits the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Congressional Review Act (CRA)
(Congress has a legislative vehicle under the CRA they can use to overturn regulations from the end of the prior Presidency. The 115th Congress has used CRAs to get rid of some of the worst regulations from the end of the Obama administration.)
- Federal contracting: Repealed a rule that would have blacklisted businesses with possible safety violations from federal contracts, even if the allegations were still pending.
- OSHA: Repealed a rule that would have required employers to keep track of injuries for five years in the past, even though statute limits this obligation to six months.
- Locally-run retirement plans: Repealed a DOL rule that would have allowed cities and local governments to require employers to enroll automatically employees in plans run by these governments.
- Permanently increased Section 179 small business expensing threshold to $500,000 from $25,000, and indexed threshold to inflation.
- Made the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent for the vast majority of small business owners.
- Maintained the 15% tax rates on capital gains and dividends for the majority of small business owners.
- Made permanent the $5 million exemption for the estate tax, indexed for inflation, and prevented an increase in the tax rate from 40% to 45%.
- Obtained new simplified deduction for home offices, allowing business owners the option of taking a standard deduction for home office related expenses.
Put the Brakes on Burdensome Regulations
- Federal court temporarily blocked the Department of Labor from enforcing the new overtime rule, which would have raised the minimum salary threshold from $23,660 to $47.476 on December 1, 2016.
- Federal court temporarily blocked enforcement of EPA’s Waters of the U.S. overreach. In February 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order to EPA to review the rule, with an eye towards rescinding it.
- Secured permanent relief of a troubling provision in DOT’s Hours of Service rule that would have required two consecutive periods of between 1-5 a.m. in order to use the 34-hour restart. The restart is now back to a straight 34-hour period, without exception.
- DOT withdrew its rulemaking to increase the minimum levels of coverage for motor carriers like freight trucks and buses. The rulemaking would have increased their minimum coverage requirements up to 500 percent, potentially $4 million. Currently, the minimum coverage for most trucks is $750,000.
- The NLRB abandoned an effort to make all private employers post a sign encouraging unionization.
Reduced IRS Reporting Requirements
- Repealed the expanded 1099 reporting requirements from the healthcare law.
- Stopped the IRS from forcing businesses to reconcile their gross receipts with the new Form 1099K.
Repealed Harmful Provisions in Obamacare
- NFIB led an effort through Congress to get a bipartisan healthcare relief bill introduced, passed, and signed into law. This law reverses the IRS regulation that prohibits employers from directly paying for or reimbursing their employees’ individual market health insurance plans and the accompanying $100/employee/day penalties for small businesses.
- NFIB prevented premium increases and administrative burdens by delaying:
- the Cadillac Tax for two years until 2020
- the health insurance tax for one year (2017)
- the medical device tax for two years (2016-2017)
- NFIB repealed small business deductible limitations included in the healthcare law.
- Prevented mandatory federal expansion of small business insurance definition, avoiding further unnecessary premium increases for small and midsize businesses.
NFIB’s Legal Center Victories:
- Legal Center listed as one of the top-ten most influential groups to file briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court by the SCOTUSblog.
- Responsible for obtaining a federal court decision that blocked a Department of Labor FLSA/overtime rule that would have impacted 44% of small businesses.
- Scored big wins in two major 2016 Supreme Court cases–striking down an unfair Clean Water Act ruling and upholding attorney’s fees awarded to a wrongfully accused employer.
- Filed over 50 amicus briefs in 2016, including 25 in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Sued and stopped the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing the pro-union “persuader” reporting rule that would have limited small business access to labor attorneys.
- Obtained a U.S. Supreme Court emergency order to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. President Trump has vowed to overturn this rule.
- Successfully blocked EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Rule that radically expands the jurisdictional reach of the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers. Under this Rule, ordinary landowners will be prohibited from developing any portion of land that is even occasionally wet without an exorbitantly expensive federal permit. President Trump has vowed to permanently overturn this rule.
- In a 7-1 victory, the Supreme Court agreed with NFIB’s brief and adopted a more sensible, reasonable limit on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s investigatory powers.
- Successfully rescinded the “Union Walk Around Rule.” NFIB argued that OSHA violated the law in announcing the “Union Walk Around Rule,” which was created outside the normal rulemaking process and allowed union representatives to accompany OSHA inspectors when inspecting non-unionized companies.
- EPA initiated a formal proposal to rescind the Clean Power Plan. In 2015, NFIB joined with other industry groups, and 24 states, and sued in federal court to stop EPA’s enforcement of the rule. In response to the lawsuit, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an unprecedented decision, issued an injunction preventing EPA from enforcing the rule until lower courts could decide the merits of NFIB’s claim.
NFIB’s Election Victories:
- NFIB Federal PAC endorsed 289 congressional candidates and had a 91% winning percentage in 2016.
- 25 NFIB members were re-elected and 4 new members were newly elected to Congress. There will be 27 NFIB members serving in the 115th Congress.
America’s small business owners are busy running their businesses. As the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, NFIB is busy working hard in the effort to overcome the challenges you and hundreds of thousands of small business owners face on tax reform, ever-expanding government regulation, and healthcare. Below are a list of challenges from our Legal Center and Federal Public Policy teams.
Small Business Relief from Federal Healthcare Law
- NFIB was the only business organization to challenge the new healthcare law before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- The health insurance tax (HIT)increases average family premiums by $500 per year and cost up to 250,000 jobs.
- The individual mandate provisioncosts an individual an average of $5,046 per year.
Healthcare Reform for Small Business
- Small businesses deserve health insurance that is affordable, flexible, and predictable. For more information, please visit, www.nfib.com/healthreform.
Small Business Tax Relief
- Reduce marginal tax rates affecting small business owners.
- Repeal the estate tax and Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
Kill Burdensome Regulation (IRS, EPA, DOT, DOL, NLRB & OSHA)
- NFIB will fight to ensure the Waters of the U.S. rule is rescinded by the Trump Administration.
- We’re leading the charge to get a permanent victory on the overtime rule.
- Opposing troubling DOT mandates on trucking, such as electronic logging devices, speed limiters, and increased insurance requirements.