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Federal jobless tax for employers expiring quietly

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Federal jobless tax for employers expiring quietly

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:29 am

Nearly every private employer in the U.S. will get a tax cut on Friday.

It won't affect workers' paychecks. But the expiration of a 35-year-old "temporary" unemployment tax — about $14 a year per worker — will mean real money for some big companies at a time when President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to raise taxes on businesses by closing some loopholes.

Amid a fierce debate over whether higher taxes should be part of a deal to reduce annual deficits — in exchange for letting the government go further into debt — the small cut in federal unemployment taxes has received little attention on Capitol Hill. Most employers probably don't even know they are getting it, especially those who are being hit with bigger increases in state jobless taxes.

But business groups say every little bit helps, whether you're a small employer struggling to make a payroll or a huge company like Wal-Mart, with more than 1.4 million U.S. workers. That's nearly $20 million a year in savings for Wal-Mart.

George Wentworth, senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project, said letting the tax expire now is going to make it harder to replenish federal unemployment trust funds.

"For 35 years, that additional 0.2 percent has been critical to stabilizing the system, and certainly there's probably never been a time when the system had a greater need for that," Wentworth said.


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