- Cashing in: Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) has a new bill (S.2246) that would permit business-owning taxpayers with average annual gross receipts of $5 million or less to use cash-method rules of accounting, instead of costly accrual accounting rules. "If we allow small companies to use cash accounting, we can substantially reduce the cost of hiring bookkeepers, accountants and lawyers for thousands of small businesses," says Bond, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Small Business.
- Talking tech: A group of Republican House members has introduced a bill (H.R. 4184) that would allow small businesses to deduct the cost of noncustomized software in the year in which it is purchased. Currently, software costs have to be amortized over three years. The Fairness in Amortization of Software Tax (FAST) Act would put software and hardware expensing on the same level: Section 179 of the Code allows small businesses to expense hardware and other office equipment up to $20,000 in tax year 2000, $24,000 in 2001 and 2002, and $25,000 in 2003.
Stephen Barlas is a freelance business reporter who covers the Washington beat for 15 magazines.