Obama returns focus to small-business tax breaks

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 31, 2012 11:18 AM
Obama returns focus to small-business tax breaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama sought on Tuesday to revive a plan to give small businesses tax breaks and help start-up firms, ideas he proposed over the last year and which will feature in his 2013 budget next month, the White House said.

Obama was set to tell a meeting of his cabinet that a top priority in this election year was to have Congress eliminate capital gains for investments in small businesses and extend some deductions for equipment and software purchases, to help smaller firms grow faster and create more jobs.

"I urge Congress to send me a common-sense bipartisan bill that does even more to expand access to capital and cut taxes for America's entrepreneurs and small businesses," the president said in a statement released by the White House.

The proposals, to be part of Obama's February 13 budget package, include a 10 percent tax credit for small businesses that add jobs or raise wages and a plan to eliminate country-specific caps for some immigrant visas so the United States can attract more high-skilled foreign workers, including entrepreneurs.

They would also reduce taxes on entrepreneurs' start-up costs and make it easier for small firms to go public without jumping through the Securities and Exchange Commission's registration hoops, raising the limit for "mini public offerings" to $50 million from $5 million.

Obama's jobs record will be key to his re-election chances in November.

(Reporting By Alister Bull and Laura MacInnis; Editing by Paul Simao)