The American Institute of CPAs has thrown its support behind the introduction of S.723, the SIMPLE Cafeteria Plan Act of 2005, which would allow small businesses to provide non-taxable benefits like flexible spending accounts to employees. The bill was introduced by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. "We believe that now is the time to allow small businesses to offer the same health insurance and savings options currently available to employees of large companies and government agencies," said Tom Purcell, chair of the AICPA's Tax Executive Committee and an associate professor of accounting and a professor of law at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. The institute also endorsed other provisions in the measure that would allow cafeteria plans of all sizes to offer long-term care insurance as an optional benefit; permit the carryover of unused flexible spending account funds; simplify and increase dependent care accounts; and curtail the "use it or lose it" rule, which causes employees to forfeit their own dollars to their employers when the dollars are not spent on health care or dependent care.

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