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Tax Cuts for Small Business in Obama's Proposed 2010 Tax Plan

The Treasury Department released its "Greenbook" for 2010. Tax policy headlines have centered on tax cuts for most individuals' and tax increases for top earners. However, the Treasury Department's proposals also include measures to eliminate some tax loopholes, and a purported $99 billion in proposed tax cuts for small businesses.

The Treasury Department's Greenbook is its revenue proposals for a given year. The Greenbook for 2010 calls for $736 billion in tax cuts for working families, almost $100 billion in tax cuts for small businesses and closure of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tax breaks and overseas tax havens.

Let's get straight to brass tacks -- what's in it for small businesses?

According to the Treasury Department's press release, the plan would cut taxes on small businesses by:

  • Making the Research and Experimentation Credit permanent (which rewards research and development expenditures but is set to expire at the end of 2009 after many extensions);
  • Eliminating the capital gains tax on investments in small business stock (to help small businesses attract capital); and
  • Expanding the Net Operating Loss Carryback provision (which, as explained in this blog post allows businesses to spread losses back over past years paid taxes).

While the Treasury Department's Greenbook lays out the administrations goals for 2010 tax policy, the details of if and how these proposals will be accomplished remain to be worked out with Congress. Chances are high that we will see much more debate -- particularly on methods for closing tax havens and on how to extend the business loss carryback provision -- before all is said and done.