Date: August 20, 1996
PRESIDENT CLINTON SIGNS H.R. 3448,
THE SMALL BUSINESS JOB PROTECTION ACT OF 1996;
THE MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE ACT OF 1996
Today President Clinton signed into law H.R. 3448, the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 and the Minimum Wage Increase Act of 1996.
The bill includes the following provisions of interest to SSA:
Crews of Fishing Boats
- Would treat crew members as self-employed (rather than employees) if (1) the crew of a vessel was normally composed of no more than 10 members, determined on the basis of the average size of the crew during the preceding four calendar quarters, and (2), under limited circumstances, the crew members received cash pay of not more than $100 per trip. The provision would be effective January 1. 1994. It would also apply to the period 1985-1994, unless the remuneration had been treated as wages when paid.
Employer-Provided Educational Assistance
- Would reinstate a provision that expired January 1, 1995, under which certain employer-provided educational assistance was excluded for Social Security and income tax purposes. The extension would be extended, but only for courses that began before January 1, 1997. However, with respect to graduate level education, the exclusion would not apply to xpenscs relating to courses beginning after June 30, 1996.
Retired Members of the Clergy
- Would exclude from Social Security tax the rental value of a parsonage (or the parsonage allowance) and benefits from a church plan (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) received by a retired member of the clergy. Would apply to years beginning before. on, or after December 31, 1994.
- Would define persons engaged in the business of distributing newspapers or shopping news as direct sellers for Social Security and income tax purposes--i.e., independent contractors (self-employed) beginning January 1, 1996.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit
- Would replace the targeted jobs tax credit with the work opportunity tax credit for employ ers hiring individuals from one or more targeted groups. This includes disabled individuals referred to an employer upon completion of (or while receiving) rehabilitation services pursuant to an ndividualized written plan under a State plan for vocational rehabilitation services approved under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- The provision would apply to individuals who begin work for the employer after September 30, 1996.