November 13, 2017
The United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member Wyden and Senate Finance Committee Members,
Congress has before it a generational opportunity to reform and simplify the broken U.S. tax code, ensuring that Americans keep more of what they earn while unleashing our economy to grow and create jobs. Key to this effort is updating our tax laws to keep pace with new economic realities.
We write to commend Chairman Hatch for including in his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act proposal important legislation, the New Economy Works to Guarantee Independence and Growth (NEW GIG) Act of 2017 (S. 1549), which would simplify and modernize our tax code to meet the needs of service providers in one of the fastest growing segments of the economy.
This legislation introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) would update the tax code and bring it in line with the new sharing, or “gig” economy while settling a long-running classification debate.
The NEW GIG Act would clarify the classification of freelance-style workers that serve client needs through apps provided by companies such as Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Grubhub, Postmates, Handy as well as traditional independent contractors such as computer consultants, freelance writers, and delivery drivers. A recent survey revealed that the freelance workforce grew three times faster than the overall workforce since 2014 and freelancing is extremely popular across all age groups. Millennials, retirees as well as Americans of all ages are taking advantage of the freedom, flexibility and extra income of independent work.
As Sen. Thune said, “the legislation creates a safe harbor for those who meet a set of objective tests that would qualify them as an independent contractor, both for income and employment tax purposes.”
The bill also makes it easier for independent contractors who work on these “on-demand economy” platforms to file their taxes. Our tax code should not hinder the increasing number of Americans that seek jobs as independent contractors to fit their lifestyle, schedule, and financial needs.
The legislative language proposed by Sen. Thune and Rep. Rice – and incorporated into the Chairman’s mark – would simplify the tax code for gig economy platforms and their independent contractors. The clarity and stability that the NEW GIG Act would achieve will pay great dividends in the future of our economy.
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell, former Treasurer of Ohio
Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman