The Election Result and Small Businesses

November 15, 2016
DMD Staff

What is the likely impact for dental practices as business entities?

The reactions to the 2016 Presidential election are far from over, but whether you’re pleased as punch or peacefully protesting, life—and business—must go on. In this installment of our ongoing series on what the election results may mean for you, we’ll look at a few key questions for small businesses.

Related: What Trump’s Win Means for Your Investments

Had Hillary Clinton been the winner, we might have a much better idea what the next few years will look like for small business owners. Clinton’s plans included some simplified tax and form filing and a proposed increase in the tax deduction that new small businesses can claim for their start-up costs, which would have been a significant boon to young dentists looking to establish their own practices. Clinton also would have been unlikely to meddle much with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which obviously has implications for dentists in terms of pediatric dental care payment and, potentially, decisions around what type of medical coverage you may offer practice employees.

Can we predict the actions of a President Trump?

Under a President Trump, these impacts are less clear. Who knows what will happen with the ACA? Trump campaigned, as did all of the Grand Old Party, on repealing it, but in a meeting with President Obama late last week, Trump already showed signs of backing off of that campaign promise. Still, he will be pressured by his supporters and Republican lawmakers to follow through.

On the small business front, Trump’s business tax proposals touted benefits to business owners at all levels. Among other things, he promised to “level the playing field” for small business owners, sole proprietors, unincorporated small businesses, and pass-through entities. And earlier this year, Trump vowed to cut taxes to 15% or less of income for all businesses. Under this plan, he said, small businesses would benefit most. He also stressed that he would cut regulation of businesses massively.

Policy experts have questioned whether Trump’s tax-cut plans are viable, noting that they would lead to massive revenue shortfalls. Others have suggested that the impact of Trump’s proposals would be felt much more by larger businesses, perhaps at the expense of SBOs.

And, again, it’s unclear what the President-elect’s commitment is to the promises he made while on the campaign trail. But you might be surprised by how often campaign promises translate into presidential priorities. Political resource fivethirtyeight.com has noted that most politicians follow through with “good faith” efforts to actually do what they said they would do during their campaigns.

Of course, Donald Trump is far from your average President-elect. The next few months may prove very interesting for dentists as healthcare providers, small business owners, and investors.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

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