2017 Business Regulatory Outlook
Hi. I'm Mike Trabold. I'm the Director of Compliance for Paychex. And one of the things we watch really closely is the regulatory and legislative environment and how it may impact our clients and their small business partners. And as we go into 2017, we're watching it very, very closely, as you can imagine, especially given the impact of the recent election. The first item I wanted to talk about quickly is taxes and tax reform and the impact, potentially, on the small business environment.
One of the things that President-elect Trump talked about significantly during the campaign was his intent to lower business tax rates, not just for larger corporations, but also for smaller companies and pass-throughs, like SCORPS and LLCs and so forth. That prospect has really been greeted very enthusiastically by a lot of our clients. It's one of the things that, if it did come to fruition, would really result in opportunities to expand businesses, hire more employees, invest in other ways, which would be very, very positive for as, you can imagine, for a lot of our clients.
Thing to remember is to pay for a lot of those tax breaks and lower tax rates that some of the current tax loopholes or tax breaks that are currently out there for businesses will most likely be eliminated or scaled back to make sure that the overall federal budget doesn't go too much into deficit mode. So a lot to watch as the year progresses and some of this becomes a little clearer.
The next thing I wanted to talk about was the Affordable Care Act. Obviously, a really popular point of conversation during the presidential campaign. President-elect Trump's significant point was repeal and replace. And we're sure he's going to intend to go in that direction, but a sweeping change in the short term is probably unlikely. There's a lot of practical ramifications, a lot of political realities, but we're sure to see some movement towards at least part of that. He really has said he wants to keep a couple of the factors that are currently in place in the Affordable Care Act to continue on-- namely, the ability for parents to keep their children on the plan until they hit 26, and then the current rules around preexisting conditions, he's been very clear he wants to keep those in line.
A couple of the alternatives he's talked about during the campaign were offering health savings accounts in a more significant way, in a more flexible way, as well as allowing the sale of insurance across state lines. In the interim, employers should really watch this very closely, but also remember that any of the existing requirements around the Affordable Care Act are still enforced. Requirements to file and to furnish information to your employees still have to be applied until further notice.
The last item I wanted to talk about was employment law and the various changes that are going on in that area.
The first thing that we're watching very closely is the DOL's overtime law and expansion of overtime eligibility. There was a recent injunction that went through on that, so it's really unclear right now what might happen. Employers should really watch that very closely, as well as get a sense of what President-elect Trump might do ultimately with that rule, which could be a really important and impactful change.
Minimum wage is also very front of mind for businesses, especially at the state level. A lot of states have recently passed or are considering significant increases to the minimum wage. It's one of the things that President-elect Trump also mentioned some degree of support for during the election at the federal level, in terms of increasing the minimum wage.
Immigration is an another area of interest in 2017 that had a lot of conversation during the election cycle and a lot of curiosity by a lot of our clients around what might happen with the H1B visa program that's used to bring in highly skilled individuals from overseas to work, to fill in areas where you need some particular expertise, as well as a lot of the pledges that the President-elect Trump made during the campaign, maybe mandating the federal e-verify, a workplace verification program, and certainly around the new form I-9.
These are only a few of many items that we're tracking and that could potentially impact small businesses. I would encourage you to go out to paychex.com/worx for up to date information and developments as they occur.