November 8, 2017
The United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Brady, Ranking Member Neal and House Ways and Means Committee Members,
We write to urge the House Ways and Means Committee to simplify and modernize our tax code to meet the needs of service providers in one of the fastest growing segments of the economy with the addition of the New Economy Works to Guarantee Independence and Growth (NEW GIG) Act of 2017 (S. 1549) to the House tax reform legislation.
The legislation introduced by Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) 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 and many in between 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 Rep. Rice and Sen. Thune would simplify the tax code for gig economy companies 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.
This addition to your legislation would incentivize more people to participate and succeed in these new jobs. There’s no cost to taxpayers, and it’s true reform.
Given how Congress has before it a generational opportunity before it make the tax code more beneficial for all Americans, it’s simply common sense to update our laws for the next generation economy.
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
former Treasurer of Ohio
Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman