Small Business ALERTS, Office of Advocacy, November 2, 2015
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
November 2, 2015
Please see the update from the SBA Office of Advocacy. You can stay up-to-date on our office by reading our comment letters and reviewing our research. As always, we are seeking your input on current regulatory alerts and your participation in our regulatory roundtables. Please be in touch directly with the listed Advocacy contact for any questions or comments on these topics. Feel free to contact me with other questions or concerns.
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OPEN COMMENT PERIODS
IRS Issues Proposal to Eliminate Automatic Filing Extensions
On August 12, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that would eliminate the automatic extension of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series, effective for the 2017 filing series.
The IRS requires employers to report wage and salary information for employees on Form W-2. Currently, employers who file W-2 Forms can receive an automatic 30-day extension with the IRS. Then, a second 30-day extension may be requested. In the proposal, the IRS warns that it would grant a non-automatic extension only in limited cases involving extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe. The IRS requests comments on the appropriate timing to remove the automatic 30-day extension including whether special transitional considerations should be given.
Submit comments here by November 12, 2015.
Advocacy contact: Dillon Taylor at 202-401-9787.
DHS Proposes Extension of F-1 Visas for STEM Students
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on the optional practical training program (OPT). The OPT program allows international students at U.S. colleges to work for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to their degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields. The proposal will allow F-1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months of OPT in the U.S. to extend the OPT period for 24 months. This extension would replace the current 17-month STEM OPT extension.
The proposed rule will affect small employers by requiring a formal mentoring and training plan, enrollment in the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program, and site visits. These costs are estimated at $700-$850 a year. The proposed rule will also affect small schools by requiring extra paperwork. Advocacy is seeking feedback on the numbers and types of small entities affected by this rulemaking, the compliance costs of this rule to these small businesses, and any significant regulatory alternatives that may minimize the impacts of this rule.
Submit comments here by November 18, 2015
Advocacy Contact: Janis Reyes at 202-205-6533
EPA Proposes Changes to the Requirements for the Certification of Applicators for Restricted Use Pesticides
On August 24, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed rule, “Pesticides; Certification of Pesticide Applicators.” This proposed rule would apply stricter standards to certified applicators of restricted-use pesticides by expanding competency standards, by adding certification requirements for certain high-risk application methods, and by requiring annual safety training for uncertified applicators. The proposal requires applicators to renew their certification every three years. The rule also establishes a first-time nationwide minimum age of 18 for certified applicators and for persons working under their direct supervision.
Submit comments here by November 23, 2015.
Advocacy contact: Tabby Waqar at 202-205-6790.