Archive by category Policy

California’s $120 Million Retroactive Tax Saga Winds Down

California’s $120 Million Retroactive Tax Saga Winds Down

Photograph by David Ryle/Gallery Stock It’s been a long, strange trip for California business owners and investors who face millions in back taxes after a 20-year-old tax exemption was struck down by an appeals court last year. Since 1993, California law halved capital-gains taxes due on sales of stock in businesses with less than $50 […]

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Obamacare Can Benefit Businesses If Congress Gives It a Chance to Work

Obamacare Can Benefit Businesses If Congress Gives It a Chance to Work

With the Oct. 1 rollout of government-operated health insurance purchasing exchanges, Obamacare will reach its most important milestone yet. After years of claims and counterclaims, repeated House votes to repeal the law, even an attack ad with Uncle Sam as a leering would-be gynecologist, we’re about to see how this experiment in almost-universal health insurance will […]

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Banks Pulled Back on Small Business Lending Before the Shutdown

Banks Pulled Back on Small Business Lending Before the Shutdown

Photograph by Atilla Altun/Getty Images Lenders say the government shutdown hasn’t yet blocked the pipeline for loans backed by the Small Business Administration. Many banks are still processing loans, with the expectation that the agency will grant necessary approvals when it resumes full function. Some familiar with the complicated process of SBA loan approvals say […]

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Small Business Lending Improves—in Time for the Next Government Shutdown

Small Business Lending Improves—in Time for the Next Government Shutdown

Photograph by Eric Audras/Corbis The government shutdown threw a wrench into U.S. Small Business Administration lending programs, which have provided government guarantees on about $30 billion in loans in each of the last three years. Because the loans require approval from furloughed agency personnel, many loans couldn’t be funded during the shutdown, which lasted nearly […]

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Small Employers’ Health Plan Costs Are Up, Says the NFIB

Small Employers’ Health Plan Costs Are Up, Says the NFIB

Photograph by Ingram Publishing Health-care costs for small businesses are rising. That’s no surprise, and it’s a trend that predates the Affordable Care Act. Now one of the law’s most ardent foes is launching a new survey to gauge small employers’ costs in the years ahead. Nearly two-thirds of companies with fewer than 100 employees reported […]

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Online Merchants Don’t Want Credit-Card Payments

Online Merchants Don’t Want Credit-Card Payments

Photograph by Soyhan Erim/Getty Images In the early days of the consumer Web, online merchants had to get over shoppers’ hesitation to commit credit-card data over the Internet. Now it appears that it’s the merchants who are backing away from online payment forms. Only 69 percent of small business owners accept credit- and debit-card payments […]

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Tax Realities for Self-Employed Who Get Obamacare Subsidies

Tax Realities for Self-Employed Who Get Obamacare Subsidies

Photograph by Getty Images Since I wrote a recent explainer about government subsidies for self-employed individuals who purchase health coverage through the Obamacare insurance marketplaces, many readers have followed up with tax-related questions. (In a nutshell, the Affordable Care Act subsidies I described are available to individuals making up to about $45,000 annually and four-person […]

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The SBA Offers Sweeteners to Encourage More Small Loans

Although the numbers dropped a bit in fiscal 2013, the Small Business Administration’s two primary loan-guarantee programs have been on a roll lately. They topped $30 billion in fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012, setting agency records, according to the agency’s acting chief, Jeanne Hulit. But smaller-dollar-value loans have been decreasing over the past three years, […]

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Why Obamacare Won’t Unleash a Flood of Startups

Why Obamacare Won’t Unleash a Flood of Startups

Photograph by Jim Krantz/Gallery Stock Today marks the start of enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges, which will enable people without employer-sponsored health insurance to buy their own. A RAND working paper argues that by making it easier for self-employed people to obtain health insurance, the Affordable Care Act has “the potential to weaken […]

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How the IRS Thinks About Small Business Tax Scofflaws

How the IRS Thinks About Small Business Tax Scofflaws

Photograph by Corbis   There’s a story from Bloomberg BNA this week that does a good job describing the conventional wisdom on how the Internal Revenue Service thinks about policing small business owners. The story (subscription required) is about an increase in criminal cases against small businesses believed to be shirking employment tax obligations. That […]

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