What Does the New Republican Led Congress Mean for Small Businesses?

Naperville small business law attorneys, new republican led congress, small business, Gierach Law Firm, small business owners, federal taxes, federal laws, The power shift that has occurred as a result of Republicans gaining control of the U.S. Congress could provide small businesses in Illinois much needed relief with regards to federal taxes and other regulations. However, though Republicans have gained a majority, the possibility of new laws and reforms being passed could be impeded by both President Obama’s veto power, as well as the Senate Democrats’ ability to prevent GOP-led filibusters that have often been used to stall the passing of legislation. However, the president of the National Small Business Association (“NSBA”) believes that given the fast approaching 2016 presidential election, lawmakers may finally be motivated to create legislation that tackles the concerns of both small businesses and other constituents.

Potential Legislation and Reforms Addressing Small Business Issues

Small business advocates have taken the time to identify some of the hot topic business-related issues that legislators could potentially address in the upcoming months. With regards to taxes, party disputes will probably prevent the grand federal income tax overhaul and lower tax rates for individual small business owners for which groups have been lobbying. As a result, individual business owners will more than likely stay in a higher tax bracket than what is required for corporations. However, small businesses could benefit from the potential permanent extension of an existing small business tax deduction that allows small businesses to deduct the costs of equipment up-front, instead of depreciating the cost over the life of the equipment. While the current 2014 deduction amount is $25,000, in the previous year of 2013 the deduction was for $500,000. A vote on the potential deduction expense could be held by December 31.

Republicans’ Response to the Affordable Care Act

While it unlikely that Republicans will pursue a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), the NSBA believes that they will pursue changes to the ACA that are disfavorable to the small business community. Small businesses are looking to change the part of the ACA that considers full-time employees to be those who work 30 hours or more a week, instead of 40 hours a week, which is typically considered the amount needed to gain full-time status. Because Republicans have already opposed what they view as the excessive regulations imposed by the Obama administration on small businesses, the new Congress could be expected to use their newly enhanced position to overrule certain regulations, especially some that have recently come from the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”).

Another hot topic issue that could gain traction is an increase in the federal minimum wage rate, which many small business owners have opposed. Republicans have vehemently opposed raising the federal hourly minimum wage rate from $7.25 to $10.10. However, on November 10, states throughout the U.S. voted to raise their state minimum wage rates. The success of legislative votes and referendums in favor of raising state minimum wage rates could potentially encourage Republicans to support a higher federal minimum wage rate. Furthermore, the upcoming presidential election could encourage the adoption of a higher federal minimum wage rate in order to garner additional support from constituents.

Consult an Experienced Small Business Law Attorney

In the upcoming months, legislation in favor of small businesses could become a reality. Contact the Naperville small business law attorneys at the Gierach Law Firm today for legal advice with complying with the ACA and other federal laws.