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Pa. lawmakers to introduce bill to simplify tax prep for businesses

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Three state legislators say they plan to introduce legislation tomorrow to make it easier for businesses at tax time.

A trio of state legislators -- including Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-Cumberland County, and Rep. Seth Grove, R-York County -- say they plan to introduce legislation tomorrow to make it easier for businesses at tax time.

"Small businesses spend an average of 40 hours preparing taxes and thousands of dollars to hire experts who understand complex tax codes," the legislators said in a news release. " They would rather spend that time and money growing their businesses and adding jobs."

The two local House members are expected to be joined by Sen. Scott Hutchinson, R-Butler County, during a Tuesday news conference announcing the details of their legislation. Tuesday is also known as "Tax Day," or the deadline to file 2013 taxes.

The lawmakers say they plan to introduce three bills, "which aim to simplify the Pennsylvania tax code for small businesses, the state's biggest job creators," the release said.

A spokeswoman for the House GOP said the bills are modeled after three concepts favored by the National Federation of Independent Business. Warren Hudak, president of Cumberland County-based accounting firm Hudak & Co., which specializes in small-business accounts, explained the three bills:

The first would permit "like-kind exchanges," which allow a business owner to sell a business and buy a new one "without causing a taxable event," Hudak said. The second bill would increase the Section 179 expense depreciation from $25,000 to $100,000. Section 179 deals with business improvements that can be deducted over several years.

The final bill would loosen net operating loss rules, Hudak said, to allow a business owner to claim legitimate losses. All of the changes will make the state tax code more in line with the federal code, he added.

"It will help business owners by reducing paperwork," he said.

The three lawmakers plan a 10:30 a.m. news conference with business owners at the state Capitol.

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