Following the November 6 elections, the country’s political make-up largely returns to the status quo: President Obama was re-elected, the Democrats retain their majority in the U.S. Senate and the Republicans remain in control of the House of Representatives.
What can industry businesses expect? The general course and direction of consumer product safety laws and compliance will remain the same, while a number of initiatives such as healthcare reform will move forward. While the Republican House majority likely ensures Congress will not adopt any anti-business initiatives, the industry will have to keep an eye on a backdoor initiative to curb the ability of promotional consultants to do business as independent contractors.
During the “lame duck” period, the most likely candidate for relief is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) situation and the extension of the AMT income “patch.” This is the temporary increase in the incomes level at which the AMT kicks in. One of the small-business issues with the best prospects in the lame-duck session is the renewal of a generous direct-expensing allowance under Section 179 of the tax code. Section 179 of the tax code allows businesses to write off the amount of equipment and asset purchases in the year of purchase up to a certain amount as long as the business does not spend more than a specific total amount on such purchases in a year.
To read more on PPAI’s insight and analysis on what’s happening in Washington, D.C., visit the blog of PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, here.
PPAI has developed tools and education opportunities to help industry members understand and make the best of developments from Washington. The Association recently introduced its Health Care Planning Tool to help members navigate the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as it is likely to prompt questions from promotional products businesses of all sizes. The PPAI Health Care Planning Tool is designed to help PPAI members sort through the decision-making process. It identifies some of the questions, concerns and effects members need to consider moving forward. PPAI members can find more information here.
The PPAI Expo 2013 also turns its attention to issues coming out of D.C. that may affect the promotional products industry. The show features a pair of education sessions examining the latest legislative initiatives and forecasting what’s to come. Held on Tuesday, January 15, register for “Healthcare Reform And What It Means To Your Business” at 8 am and “Eye on DC: PPAI’s Legislative Watch” at 9:30 am when you register for the show at expo.ppai.org/registration.