Date: July 30, 1996
HOUSE AND SENATE PASS n.R. 3448,
TIlE SMALL BUSINESS JOB PROTECTION ACT OF 1996;
THE MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE ACT OF 1996
The House passed H.R. 3448, the SI11all Business Job Protection Act of 1996, on May 22, 1996. The Senate passed an amended version on July 9, 1996. Both versions of the bill contain provisions of interest to SSA. The Conference Committee to resolve the differences between the two versions is scheduled to meet on July 30.
- The House-passed bill would treat fishermen as self-employed (rather than employees) if (1) they were part of a crew of no more than 10 members on a vessel, determined on the basis of the average size of the crew during the preceding four calendar quarters, and (2), under limited circumstances, they received cash pay of not more than $100 per trip. The provision would be effective January 1, 1997. The provision would also apply to the period 1985-1996, unless the remuneration had been treated as wages when paid.
The Senate-passed bill has the same provision as the House bill except for the effective date. The provision in the Senate bill would be effective January 1, 1995. It would also be effective for the period 1985-1994, unless the remuneration had been treated as wages when paid.
Employer-Provided Educational Assistance
- The House bill would extend for two years a provi sion that expired January 1, 1995. under which certain employer-provided educational assistance was excluded for Social Security and income tax purposes . The extension would app ly to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1994, and before January 1, 1997, but would not apply to assistance for graduate level education for taxable years beginning after December 31,1995.
The Senate bill would extend for three yea rs the exclusion for employer-provided educational ass istance (including the application of the exclusion to graduate education.) The extension would apply to taxable years beginning afte r December 31, 1994, and before January 1, 1998.