Why Small Business Vows to Continue the Healthcare Fight



Updated – March. 5, 2016 


Losses for small business even at the Supreme Court level over ObamaCare won’t deter the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), www.nfib.com.

NFIB serves small business. It fought ObamaCare because imposed higher costs and convoluted mandates.

Years later, it’s helping small businesses deal with it but vows to continue the fight.

David Castillo Dominici investigationBusinesspeople still fear the unknown — unknowingly failing to comply with the complexities of ObamaCare.

Despite the legal losses at the U.S. Supreme Court level, the mom-and-pop business owners’ and larger companies’ fight will continue against the jobs-killing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

“While we are certainly disappointed, NFIB respects the decision to uphold the individual mandate by the Supreme Court,” says Dan Danner, President and CEO of the NFIB. “Clearly this mandate has now become a tax on all Americans and a broken campaign promise from President Obama not to raise taxes.”

The NFIB has long voiced opposition to PPACA because of the threats from uncertainty, new taxes and onerous regulatory requirements.

It’s a major reason why hiring for living-wage jobs hasn’t increased.

Plus, most micro firms are not able to provide healthcare coverage and face heavy fines that threaten their odds for success.

Moreover, entrepreneurs are a courageous, independent lot. They have a dream. Most want to preserve their business, financial, personal, and political liberties. To them, PPACA is tantamount to slavery.

“We are concerned about the precedent that this will set in Congress’ ability to mandate other aspects of our lives, but we will move forward from today to continue to fight, harder than ever, for real healthcare reform for our membership,” adds Mr. Danner.

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”

-Khalil Gibran

“Under PPACA, small-business owners are going to face an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses,” says Mr. Danner. “We will continue to fight for the repeal of PPACA in the halls of Congress; only with PPACA’s full repeal will Congress have the ability to go back to the drawing board to craft real reform that makes reducing costs a number one priority.”

His bottom-line: “The power and control of healthcare decisions should be in the hands of the consumer, not the government.”

NFIB’s chief lawyer concurs.

“This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom – the freedom to choose what they want to buy with their own money,” says Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.

The high court’s ruling also drew a negative reaction from a leading think tank, the Washington Policy Center (WPC), and its healthcare analyst and retired heart surgeon, Dr. Roger Stark.

“… most Americans oppose this law, and most Washingtonians oppose the individual mandate,” says Dr. Stark. “They believe, rightly, that the law will result in higher costs, fewer choices, and worse care for them and their families.”

He cited a KING5 poll in Washington state that showed 64 percent of respondents opposed the individual health insurance mandate, and nearly half disliked the entire ACA.

Dr. Stark co-founded the open-heart surgery program at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, and authored the book: “The Patient-Centered Solution, Out Health Care Crisis, How It Happened, and How We Can Fix It.

WPC Op-Ed articles are published on The Biz Coach here.

Several of the recommendations by Grant Thornton (www.grantthornton.com) in 2012, are still relevant:

  • New mandatory summaries of benefits and coverage – An employer will need to update its summaries of benefits and coverage in conformance with new guidance prior to the next open enrollment period. This may be problematic for employers offering multiple plan options and medical plans with carved-out benefits (for example, separate medical and pharmacy benefit providers).
  • Form W-2 health plan reporting – An employer must update its payroll system in order to report the cost of its health care coverage on Forms W-2 issued for 2012.
  • Plan design changes to mitigate the effect of the “Cadillac tax” – Starting in 2018, a provision of the PPACA imposes a 40 percent excise tax on the insurer or plan sponsor for a health plan whose value exceeds a certain threshold. With proper planning this impact can be lowered or eliminated through wellness programs and plan design changes that encourage cost-effective behavior. Also, employers should consider whether they will pass the cost of the excise tax to their employees, because the employees’ health care benefits cause the excise tax to apply.
  • Elimination of its health care program – An employer may want to consider whether to continue to offer health care as a benefit or have employees buy their coverage through one of the many exchanges being established.
  • Proper handling of accounting issues – An employer may not have taken into consideration in its financial statements the effect of the PPACA provisions regarding the Medicare Part D subsidy taxation rules and potential Cadillac tax.
  • Communication about the effect of the decision to employees – The Supreme Court decision may raise a number of questions from employees that employers should be prepared to address.

Meantime, let’s wish the WPC luck in educating voters. And wish the NFIB luck – so their entrepreneurial members can achieve their dreams of successful businesses.

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”

-Khalil Gibran

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici at www.freedigitalphotos.com

Tax Tips for Your 2011 Year-End Tax Planning

November 9, 2011

If you haven’t completed your year-end tax planning, you might want to consider it now.  Just in time, come 12 pointers from Grant Thornton’s Washington national tax office.

“It’s not too late to change what goes on your tax return when tax season rolls around,” says Justin Ransome, a Grant Thornton partner in a press statement. “Just a little bit of planning in November can often go a long way on April 15.”

The professional services firm acknowledges that tax burdens for everyone are as challenging as ever, as policymakers are trying to maximize tax revenue to balance budgets.

Grant Thornton is quick to remind you to see your tax advisor for your own situation, but offers 12 tips that fit most anyone’s circumstances.

For brevity here, Grant Thornton’s excerpted list includes:

  1. Accelerate deductions and defer income. Why pay tax now when you can pay tomorrow? Deferring tax is a cornerstone of tax planning. Generally this means you want to accelerate deductions into the current year and defer income into next year. There are plenty of income items and expenses you may be able to control, and business owners and self-employed taxpayers often have the best opportunities.
  2. Bunch itemized deductions. Many expenses can be deducted only if they exceed a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI).
  3. Maximize “above-the-line” deductions. Above-the-line deductions are especially valuable because they reduce your AGI, and AGI is used to test whether you’re eligible for many tax benefits.
  4. onsider charitable contributions carefully. Think about giving appreciated property to charity so you can deduct the full value without paying capital gains taxes. But don’t donate depreciated property.
  5. Leverage retirement account tax savings. It’s not too late to maximize contributions to a retirement account. Traditional retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs still offer some of the best tax savings in the tax code.
  6. Roll over into a Roth account. “Roth” versions of traditional retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, also provide a great savings opportunity. You don’t get a tax break when you put money into a Roth account, but the money grows tax-free and is never taxed again if distributions are made properly.
  7. Expense business investments. Business owners have been given a great opportunity to save on taxes while investing in their businesses this year. Legislation enacted in 2010 doubles a bonus depreciation tax benefit for property a business places in service before the end of the year.
  8. Consider your salary as corporate employee-shareholder. If you own a corporation and work in the business, you need to think carefully about your salary structure.
  9. Make up a tax shortfall with increased withholding. Don’t forget that taxes are due throughout the year. Check your withholding and estimated tax payments now while you have time to fix a problem.
  10. Don’t forget to use annual gift tax exclusion. If you may have to pay estate taxes eventually, consider establishing a gifting program for your children and grandchildren to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion.
  11. Watch out for the “kiddie tax.” The “kiddie tax,” which requires a portion of a child’s unearned income to be taxed at the parents’ marginal rate, has been expanded to apply to full-time students under the age of 24 whose earned income does not represent at least one-half of their support.
  12. Perform an overall financial checkup. The end of the year is always a good time to assess your current financial situation and your plans for yourself and your business. You should think about cash flow, health care, retirement, investment and estate planning.

“Keep in mind that these tax tips are general tax advice and may not be applicable to your particular circumstances,” warns Mr. Ransome. “Make sure that you consult with your personal tax adviser before implementing any changes or additions to your tax planning strategy.”

That’s excellent advice, too. For more details, I strongly urge you to read Grant Thornton’s 2011 year-end tax guide. 

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more financial tips:

Budgeting Basics for a Micro Business

In Any Economy, What Drives Your Profit, Really?

Embezzlement – Tips to Protect Your Nonprofit or Company Assets

Accounting / Finance – Why and How to Determine Your Break-Even Point

6 Values for Financial Protection

“We don’t seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business?
-Will Rogers

 

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Columnist Terry Corbell is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?

 

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.