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IRS to Ease Policy on Electronic Tax Filing

June 03, 1997|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Clinton administration is easing tax-filing requirements for small businesses and helping them compete for government contracts and develop their own pension plans.

Calling small businesses "the backbone of America," Vice President Al Gore announced the initiatives Monday in conjunction with the 34th annual Small Business Week.

Gore said the Internal Revenue Service will provide a six-month extension--until Dec. 31--during which small businesses will not have to pay penalties for failing to file their payroll taxes through the Electronic Federal Payroll System.

"Many of these businesses are still learning about making electronic payments," Gore said. "And today's announcement will give them more time to become comfortable with the new system."

In addition, Gore announced a pilot online procurement service to help small businesses--especially those owned by women and minorities--to market their products on the Internet and increase their share of government and private-sector contracts.

"This is crucial for women entrepreneurs because women own 40% of American small business, yet receive just 2% of federal prime contracts," Gore said.

The service, known as PRO-Net, can be reached through the Small Business Administration's Web site at http://www.sba.gov

Gore also outlined an informational campaign to help businesses develop pension plans for the 32 million workers in small business who currently lack retirement benefits.

The program includes three free publications describing simple pension options. Businesses can get the booklets by calling (800) 998-7542.

"Through our efforts, we not only want to educate employers on the importance of offering a retirement savings plan, but also want to show them that providing these plans can be easier than many business people think," Labor Secretary Alexis Herman said in a statement.

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