Thursday, July 31, 2008

Housing Bill to Hurt Small Business Owners?

Although everyone seems to be talking about how much the new American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act is going to help American homeowners, it will to make life harder for thousands of small business owners. According to Sharon McLoone's business blog on, the bill will force credit card processing companies to collect more information from merchants, and will even impose a 28% fee on those who do not comply. Below is a quote from McLoone's blog, but you can read the full thing at Housing Bill Includes Sweeping Data Reporting Provision.

"The housing bill includes a sweeping provision requiring credit and debit card firms to report the transactions of certain businesses to the IRS, sparking privacy concerns and stirring the ire of the small business community.

Small business lobbyists plan to aggressively push back on the language requiring firms like MasterCard and Visa to give the IRS data on businesses that have made at least 200 transactions annually that together total $20,000 or more.

The provision says that any company that processes electronic payment transactions will have to report to the IRS the annual gross receipts of those transactions for each merchant beginning in 2010.

The soon-to-be law 'will have a significant, negative effect on the small business community,' said Kristie Darien, executive director with the National Association for the Self-Employed.

The provision is part of a greater effort to increase business and consumer tax compliance and narrow the 'tax gap,' which the IRS defines as the difference between the amount of tax that taxpayers should pay for a given year and the amount that is paid voluntarily and on time.

The proposal, which originally was included in President Bush's fiscal 2009 budget request, will raise an estimated $9.5 billion over 10 years, according to a summary of the bill by the House Ways and Means Committee."

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