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The OAO in Washington

The OAO in WashingtonJohn&Peggy

I was recently in Washington DC, where I was able to advocate for opticianry and small businesses. This advocacy consisted of meeting with congressmen and senators from Ohio, and other states, letting them know how important opticianry is not only to our customers and patients, but also to our economy.

Of course, as we all know, before we can tell anyone how important what we do is, we need to let them know what we do! Opticianry is not difficult to describe, if you keep it simple. My “go to” description of my profession is “We are the pharmacist to the eye doctors. We fill eyewear prescriptions.” And yes, this is a conversation I have each time I meet with legislators, even if I’ve met them before, as reminders are always helpful.

Once I was sure they knew who opticians were, and why we are important, I let them know about three issues that are important to opticians. The first is the extension of the 20% tax break for businesses. The second is the importance of licensure for opticians, and the third is the Corporate Transparency Act.

20% Tax Break:
Even if you do not own a business, there is a good chance that your
employer will be adversely affected if this break is allowed to expire. On a
personal level, this tax break, when established in 2017, allowed me to hire
two more employees, as well as invest in new equipment.

I don’t think I need to go to much in depth on this one. Without a license,
there is no accountability of opticians, putting consumers at risk. There
are many other reasons, but when speaking with legislators, I keep it short
and to the point.

Corporate Transparency Act
This might seem like something that would not affect you in any way,
especially if you don’t own your own business. However, this reporting is
required for any company with less than 20 employees, AND the person
responsible, and liable for fines of up to $500 per day and up to 2 years in
jail. Now…here’s the kicker, it’s not necessarily the owner of the business
who is responsible, but could be a location manager or supervisor. Yes,
YOU could be held liable for not filing a report that you knew nothing

There’s a good chance that most of you reading this have not bothered to
read this far, but those of you who have, should make others aware of this
regulation. If it is not repealed, you will be responsible after January 1,
2025 to comply.

Following legislation like this can seem dry and boring, but by following it,
we can take action to have some control over our careers, our income,
and the future of our profession.

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