Owens: Fiscal cliff deal extends small biz policies

WASHINGTON – A recent deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff also extended a series of small business policies.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act extended Bush-era tax cuts for earners making up to $450,000. U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, said it also includes measures that will promote job growth and give small businesses a chance to thrive.

“I remain confident we can achieve this in the year ahead if we work in a bipartisan spirit and keep the needs of small business owners in mind as we proceed,” Owens said in a press release. “Extending certain small business tax relief as part of the fiscal cliff deal was a good first step.”

The legislation will extend tax credits and other policies aimed at supporting small businesses and family farms, Owens said. The American Taxpayer Relief Act includes the following:

-An extension of the New Market Tax Credit for two more years. Owens said the program was established in 2000 to “spur increased investment into operating businesses and real estate projects, typically in small communities like those in Upstate New York.”

-A 100 percent exemption on Qualified Small Business Stock through 2013. The provision applies retroactively to investments made in 2012, creating additional incentive for outside investment in startup businesses in need of capital, Owens said.

-An extension of 50 percent “bonus” depreciation for businesses on qualified capital assets placed in service before Jan. 1, 2014.

-For S-Corporations – which pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credit to shareholders for tax purposes – an extension of the five-year built-in gains holding period for tax years beginning in 2012 and 2013. The bill also extends certain basis adjustments regarding stocks of S-Corporations to incentivize charitable contributions.

Owens said he will continue to look for ways to reduce federal mandates that impact small businesses. He urged local business leaders to contact him with concerns.

“As Congress looks to cut its own costs in the months ahead, businesses should stay in touch to let us know when government overreach is hampering growth,” he said in the release. “Every dollar businesses spend on mandates and paperwork is a dollar that doesn’t go to help create jobs. If I can help reduce these burdens or work with agencies to find solutions, I’m eager to do so.”