By topic: Choice of entity
The PayPal loophole is going away seven months from now. You may remember the strategy where you can avoid giving 1099s to contractors and vendors when you use PayPal or a similar service as your payment platform. In the past, PayPal often did not have to provide those contractors and vendors with a 1099. According to lawmakers, this created a situation where those people who use PayPal have an easy ability to cheat (i.e., not report the income on their tax returns).
In 1935, the self-employment tax topped out at $60. In 2021, the first part of the self-employment tax tops out at $21,848, but the 2.9 percent Medicare part continues after that without limits. Good tax planning for the self-employment tax is like an annuity: it gives you monetary returns—year after year—every year you are in business. So, plan now and consider everything from choice of entity to hiring your children.
If you have fewer than 20 employees (including none because you are self-employed), the SBA is in the process of trying to help you. Two things are going on. First, you have an exclusive window to obtain your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money without competition from the big guys. Second, if you are self-employed, the SBA is creating a mechanism for more PPP money for you.
Do you operate your business as an S corporation? It’s a popular choice due to the tax savings you benefit from. But if you don’t avoid the pitfalls, you risk losing those valuable tax benefits. Download this guide to maximize your S corporation tax savings and avoid common missteps.
As you likely know, the Section 199A 20 percent QBI deduction is a delightful tax benefit. But it is not without its nuances. For example, if you have multiple business and/or rental properties, you need to consider the aggregation issues—both forced by the law and optionally incurred by you.
A small business retirement plan can be a great way to defer income taxes and build net worth. But knowing the right plan for your small business and which plan will allow you to save the most requires some understanding of the tax laws. Choosing the wrong plan can cost you more than just taxes—it can cost you an opportunity to retire early.
Do you own your own business? Do you have close relatives? If you responded yes to both, you have a golden opportunity to slash your business taxes. With the help of family members, you can utilize several tax-saving strategies to reap some nice financial benefits for both you and your relatives.
Are you starting or buying a new business? If so, you have a decision to make regarding the best operating entity for this business. Choose wisely, and you will benefit in many ways, including possible huge tax savings. Choose the wrong entity, and you’ll feel the pain for years to come.
Do you operate your business as a corporation but own your business vehicle personally? If yes, what happens when you trade your existing personal vehicle for a replacement personal vehicle and then have the corporation reimburse you for the newly purchased personal vehicle? There are nuances that you need to know, as we explain in this article.
Self-employed? Your Payroll Protection Program (PPP) payroll is your 2019 Schedule C net profit. Partnership? Your PPP payroll is the adjusted self-employment income of the partners. S or C corporation owner, your W-2 is your income. Why know this? So you can apply for your PPP cash infusion as we explain in this article.
With the COVID-19 experience, you and your partners may be doing a lot of work from home or even working from home primarily. Is the home-office deduction in the mix? If so, because you are a partner, your options for getting a tax benefit for your home-office deductions are tricky. But no worries, we’ll tell you about the two options to use and two options to avoid.
When you choose the LLC as an operating entity, you encounter special rules. Let’s start with the fact that the LLC does not exist as a taxable entity but instead falls into one of the traditional categories such as a proprietorship, a partnership, an S corporation, or a C corporation depending on what you elect or don’t elect.
When you are self-employed with no employees, the PPP program is a COVID-19 gift. If you now have your PPP funds, you need to review this article for insights on how to handle the money. After all, the idea is to have the loan forgiven.
The PPP free-cash program to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is gaining traction and clarity. If you operate your business as a partnership, you have several recent developments that make the free-cash program more to your benefit, as we explain in this article.
The properly used business vacation home or condo does not run up against the oppressive vacation-home, passive-loss, or entertainment-facility rules. That’s a huge plus. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, use of the vacation home for business lodging makes good sense.
The partnership choice of entity allows special allocations of income and expenses to individual partners, which can give the partnership a leg up as your possible choice of business entity. In this article, we explore the allocation rules and give you the ins and outs.
Don’t overlook the COVID-19 Payroll Protection Program (PPP) if you are self-employed with no employees. For this program, you (as a self-employed taxpayer) count as an employee, and with only yourself, you qualify for the COVID-19 cash.
When you operate a husband-wife partnership, you likely are paying far more than you need to pay in self-employment taxes. This article gives you three strategies you can use to save some serious money on the payment of self-employment taxes.
As you likely know, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made a big change in how C corporations are taxed—one flat, 21 percent rate. The new, lower rate makes the C corporation far more appealing than in prior years. But you also need to look at the dark side of this possible opportunity.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s $10,000 cap on your state and local tax deductions probably took cash out of your wallet—especially if you have a profitable S corporation. A C corporation can make your state income taxes on your net business income 100 percent deductible. When should you make the move to a C corporation?
When looking at your taxable entity choices, consider the partnership, especially the multi-member LLC taxed as a partnership. Often the LLC taxed as a partnership gives you the same liability protection as a corporation as it produces superior tax results. Your situation will determine the best entity, but here in this article you find what you need to help with your decision.
Many workers across the U.S. are going to suffer improper reclassifications because of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex and the resulting new California law. As you will see in this article, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) compounds the tax problems for the workers who are reclassified.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought sweeping changes to the tax laws―some good and some bad. But the one change that can potentially provide you the biggest tax benefit is the Section 199A deduction.
Congress changed the IRS procedures for auditing partnerships, and they apply beginning with your 2018 partnership tax return. Under the new rules, an audit can lead to a partnership-level tax at a 37 percent rate. We’ll explain the new rules and how your partnership can potentially avoid paying this new audit tax.
When planning your Section 199A tax deduction, avoid difficult calculations and save time by using the new . Inside this article, you find the rules you need to know to find your QBI, Section 199A wages, and Section 199A property that can figure into your Section 199A deduction possibilities.
You have probably read that the home-office deduction increases your chances of IRS audit. We’ve read that, too, but we don’t believe it. Regardless, there are a few things you can do to make your home office less likely to ever appear in an audit.
Section 1202 allows you to sell a qualified small business corporation on a tax-free basis. Now, add to this no-tax-on-sale benefit from the 21 percent corporate tax rate from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and you have a significant tax planning opportunity.
What rules apply for purposes of the new 20 percent deduction under Section 199A when you rent an office or other building to your personally owned C corporation?
You find much beauty and little beast in using a single-member LLC for your real estate ownership. Of course, the big beauty is corporate-style liability protection without tax complexity, as you see in this article.
We took a deep dive into the 263 strategy articles that apply to the self-employed and pulled out 10 that you should spend time with.
To operate successfully as a corporation, you need to be good at paperwork. Also, you may not treat the advance account on the corporate books as your personal slush fund.
It’s common to consider making your S corporation (versus yourself) a partner in your partnership: it saves you self-employment taxes. Does this affect your Section 199A deduction? We’ll explain how it does, what that means, and strategies for you to make things better.
If you own more than 2 percent of an S corporation, you have to follow special rules to deduct your health insurance premiums. The health insurance rules can also apply to family members who work in the business and don’t own a single share of stock. Don’t let the zero stock be a surprise and cost your family money.
On April 11, likely after you filed your tax return, the IRS updated its Section 199A frequently asked questions (FAQs) by increasing the number of questions and answers from 12 to 33. We noted three of the FAQs that will cause problems for many taxpayers. In fact, there will be taxpayers who will need to file amended tax returns because of the FAQs.
Your 199A deduction requires W-2 wages and/or property when your taxable income is greater than $415,000 married, filing jointly, or $207,500, filing as single or head of household. When you are above these amounts and want to calculate your 20 percent deduction, make sure to enter separate businesses separately in the if you do not formally elect aggregation of your Section 199A businesses.
Tax reform may have you thinking of changing your S corporation to a C corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. To do this, you’ll have to terminate your S corporation election and possibly make other tax elections. We’ll explain how you do this and the tax consequences of doing so.
When you are in business for yourself, you have options when it comes to creating tax deductions for your health insurance. The tax rules treat Medicare as health insurance, and that means you have options for how to create your tax deductions for Medicare.
If you operate your business as a corporation but own the business car personally, you have no vehicle deduction possibility without corporate reimbursement, because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does not allow employee business expenses for years 2018 through 2025.
It’s tough to calculate the Section 199A deduction. Under the final regulations, it’s even more difficult, with more adjustments than we expected. We’ll walk through an example of a partner in an LLC to show you how the calculation works. And then we’ll discuss some planning opportunities to increase the deduction.
Making loans to your corporation became more hazardous 33 years ago with the Tax Reform Act of 1986. That was pretty awful. But the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform made things worse for tax years 2018 through 2025. If you operate your business as a corporation, you need to know how the rules apply when you loan money to your corporation.
Your Section 199A tax deduction disregards W-2 wages when your Form 1040 taxable income is equal to or less than $315,000 (married, filing jointly) or $157,500 (filing as single or head of household). Also, you don’t have to think about wages for your out-of-favor business if you have taxable income above $415,000 (married, filing jointly) or $207,500 (filing as single or head of household). But if you are in a group that needs to consider the wages your business paid you and your employees, you have to follow the rules set out by the IRS, as we explain in this article.
The IRS issued final Section 199A regulations that contain some new and very favorable provisions that are important to out-of-favor specified service trades and businesses. Of particular note are the de minimis rules discussed in this article that show you how to break your business into two or more businesses for purposes of the Section 199A tax deduction.
Qualified opportunity funds are a new tax-planning strategy created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform. The new funds have the ability to defer current-year capital gains, eliminate some of them later, and then on the new investment make capital gains tax-free. To put the benefits in place, you need to navigate some new rules and time frames.
You closed your S corporation and then paid expenses for it afterward. Can either you or the corporation deduct those expenses? We’ll explain what the law says, along with that one thing you need to consider for taking deductions for your leftover expenses.
Tax reform made a lot of changes that impact your choice of entity for your business. And if your business is in the cannabis industry, this is especially true. We’ll explain how Section 199A and other Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions impact your entity choice for a cannabis business.
Calculating your Section 199A deduction with one business is complicated. When you have multiple businesses, including businesses with losses, it gets even worse. We’ll clearly explain the rules related to multiple businesses along with how the new proposed regulations may allow you to aggregate certain businesses.
Here’s a resource guide that gives you the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform articles published at the Bradford Tax Institute from January 1 through July 31, 2018, including for each article the (a) topic, (b) code section, (c) prior law, (d) new law, and (e) link.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has changed the way you can look at the S corporation as a tax planning entity. With the new Section199A deduction in play, the S corporation can help increase or decrease that deduction. To make this easier for you, simply download our new guide and get up to speed on how the S corporation works with the TCJA.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made several beneficial changes that affect partnerships and their partners and LLCs and their members that are treated as partnerships for tax purposes.
Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, more businesses are looking at the S corporation election. But you have to make a timely election to get the tax benefits. This article helps you with both a “timely” and a “late” election.
Tax reform gave you a new 20 percent deduction on pass-through income. For S corporation owners, your reasonable compensation plays a key role in determining your Section 199A deduction. Here, we’ll explain what the law says on reasonable compensation and how you can come out ahead.
The tax law has always treated your hobby activities unfairly. Tax reform under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made that unfair treatment even worse by preventing you from deducting any business expenses against hobby income. In this article, you see a strategy that can save your bacon on your hobby activity.
More than 2 percent shareholder-employees of S corporations don’t catch a lot of breaks when it comes to the taxation of fringe benefits. But arming yourself with the correct information will help you maximize your deductions and avoid costly penalties.
If you or you and your spouse own your business and you have children, you need to consider the financial benefits of hiring those children to work in your business. Some businesses benefit more than others, but almost all businesses likely come out ahead with this strategy. And every business needs to thank tax reform for the new increased standard deduction that a business owner’s child can use to pay zero in taxes.
The recent tax reform, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), added some good benefits to your real estate rentals, both commercial rentals and residential rentals. Notably, your qualified business income from your real estate rentals creates a possible 20 percent tax deduction with no effort on your part. And if you want less taxable income, the TCJA gives you enhanced bonus depreciation and new avenues for Section 179 expensing.
The recent tax reform created both winners and losers. One big loser is the W-2 employee who incurs out-of-pocket business expenses to earn his or her W-2 income. Tax reform simplified those W-2 employee business expense deductions by simply making them not tax deductible.
The new 20 percent tax deduction under new tax code Section 199A has many nuances based on your type of business, taxable income, qualified business income, wages, and depreciable property. Here you have an easy-to-use Section 199A calculator that takes away the pains of manually computing your possible benefits.
Has tax reform created a need for you to switch your S corporation to a C corporation? You will find the answer here. Also, you will find it interesting to see how we make the comparison easy with the chart in this article.
The new 2018 Section 199A tax deduction that you can claim on your IRS Form 1040 is a big deal. There are many rules (all new, of course), but your odds as a business owner of benefiting from this new deduction are excellent.
The new Section 199A deduction is a very nice tax break for business owners, except for owners with high income who also fall into the out-of-favor group. In general, the out-of-favor group includes lawyers, doctors, accountants, tax professionals, consultants, athletes, authors, security traders, actors, singers, musicians, entertainers, and others.
Will your business operation create the 20 percent tax deduction for you? If not, and if that is due to too much income and a lack of (a) wages and/or (b) depreciable property, a switch to the S corporation as your choice of business entity may produce the tax savings you are looking for.
If your pass-through business is an in-favor business and it qualifies for tax reform’s new 20 percent tax deduction on qualified business income, you benefit at all times, including being above, below, or in the expanded wage and property phase-in range. On the other hand, if your business is a specified service trade or business, it is in the out-of-favor group and you benefit only when you are in or below the phaseout range.
In IRS Notice 2015-17, the IRS allowed S corporation owners in 2014 and 2015 to avoid the $100-a-day penalties on S corporation reimbursements of individually purchased health insurance and on providing insurance for the owners only. But 2016, 2017, and 2018 are new years, so what is that status now?
You may not think of yourself as a manufacturer, but you might nevertheless qualify as one under tax law. There is a deduction for manufacturing that applies to a much broader array of activities than most people realize. There’s no catch and no recapture associated with this deduction—it’s just extra cash for your wallet. Find out if you qualify.
Health savings accounts (HSAs) have gained substantially in popularity since enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Tax-wise, the HSA has some great features such as tax-deductible contributions, tax-deferred (even tax-free if used correctly) growth, and possible retirement benefits.
A business owner accumulates earnings in an S corporation and takes no distributions or salary. The business owner then retires and wants to draw the funds out tax-free over multiple years. Are there any issues with this strategy?
The related-party matching rule places your business on the cash method for deducting payments to related cash-method payees. You need to know this rule to avoid unexpected tax results. Also, you need to know how the different ownership thresholds apply because one share of stock could make you a related party. Indirect relationships expand the reach of the rule and can create additional surprises.
If you are buying a business that will include more than one co-owner, you need a buy-sell agreement—period. You have multiple reasons to put the buy-sell agreement in place and not one reason not to have a buy-sell agreement. But when you start to put the agreement in place, you need to consider the planning strategies in this article.
One of our tax professional subscribers disagrees with the S corporation being able to reimburse the owner-employee for depreciation of the home office. She asked whether we can back up our claim that depreciation is reimbursable.
It’s about as good as it gets when you see the words “tax-free” in the tax law. Under the de minimis fringe benefit rules, your business deducts the cost of giving you or your employees flowers, fruit, books, and similar property under special circumstances. The recipients—you or your employees—receive the de minimis fringe benefits tax-free.
You generally buy an existing business because you believe that the existing business represents less of a risk than starting a new business from scratch. That may be true. And you help make that true when you do your due diligence.
Each state’s LLC act provides default rules for governing your LLC and the members’ rights and responsibilities. Odds are they don’t provide what you want. Luckily, the defaults can be overridden by an operating agreement.
When you buy a business, you probably don’t want the former owners competing with you—at least not for a while. To prevent the competition, you generally enter into a noncompete with the former owners. This has tax implications that you need to consider.
Last month we explained how an S corporation could rent the sole shareholder’s personal residence for 14 days or less, obtain a tax deduction for rent, and create tax-free income for the shareholder. An enrolled agent raises six issues that he thinks could negate this free-rent strategy. Learn what the issues are and why the strategy really does work.
If you have employees who have worked for your business for years and years, you might be thinking of buying them something as a way of showing your appreciation. If you follow a few rules, you can make those presents “employee achievement awards”—and thus tax-deductible for the business and tax-free for the employees. (Depending on how you operate your business, you might even qualify as an employee eligible for the tax-free award.)
When you are looking to buy a business and then operate that business as a C corporation, you should consider the tax benefits you can realize by creating debt as part of the corporate capital structure. If you do this, you need to put the debt in place so that the IRS will respect the debt as debt and not treat it as equity.
Do you operate your business as an S or C corporation? If so, have you considered renting your home to your corporation for corporate meetings and perhaps the annual holiday party for employees? You should. Why? If you do the rental right, the corporation deducts the rent, and you receive the rental income tax-free.
Do you operate your business as a corporation but own the vehicle you use for the corporate business in your personal name? If so, to avoid losing your rightful deductions, you need to have the corporation reimburse you for business use. The corporation can use one of two methods for the reimbursement.
The home-office tax deduction provides tax savings to business owners. It turns otherwise nondeductible personal expenses into valuable business deductions. When tax law taxes your business as a proprietorship, you simply deduct home-office expenses on Schedule C. But when you operate your business as a corporation, you face special rules to achieve the same benefits.
When you can buy the target’s stock and treat the deal as an asset purchase, you have a real possibility of bringing tax-benefit smiles to both you and the seller. So if you are buying a business, make sure you know when the tax rules allow you to buy the stock of the target and treat that stock purchase as the purchase of the target’s assets.
The 105-HRA is the medical reimbursement plan you likely want to use if (a) you report your business income and expenses on Schedule C of your Form 1040 and (b) you can make your spouse your one and only eligible employee. Also, if you are single and operate your business as a C corporation, and if you are the one and only eligible employee of your C corporation, the 105-HRA is the medical reimbursement plan for you.
Do you pay yourself on a 1099 for the work you do in your S corporation? Why wouldn’t you, right? It makes life so simple. No payroll taxes to deal with, no withholding deposits, and no payroll services to pay for. Stop right there! Your simple life is about to get very complicated unless you make a change right now.
You’ve decided to create a partnership for a new or existing business. Good news: forming a business partnership is usually tax-free. But you must meet the basic requirements for a tax-free formation, and you need to avoid the situations that cause you to owe taxes on the transfer of property.
Business owners continue to get caught in the complex rules of the self-rental trap. A recent case taken from the Tax Court to the Fifth Circuit shows how business owners can get into tax trouble with self-rentals. But with proper tax planning and possible use of special rules called “grouping,” you can minimize and even eliminate the tax cost of the self-rental trap.
When you buy a business, you have much to consider. As you learned in prior articles, you need to consider the type of entity that owns the business and the type of entity you will use to operate the business. On top of that, every asset of the business you are going to buy impacts your tax results. In this article, you see how this all comes together and what you need to do to get the best results.
Sending a child to a special needs school can be an onerous financial burden, with some tuitions reaching even $100,000 per year. Tax law lets you deduct tuition and other related costs as medical expenses, but you need to know which expenses qualify and how you should deduct them. This article shows you not only how to qualify but also a possible best way to maximize those deductions.
When setting up your new or acquired business, you and your co-owners should consider the multi-member LLC, another form of LLC, or the straight-up partnership. This is the last article in our three-part series on the “choices of entity” for a newly acquired business. Make sure to consider the options in this article if you are acquiring or starting a business with more than one owner.
Tax law requires your S corporation to pay you, the owner-employee, reasonable compensation for the work you do. But what about in a year when your corporation has a loss? Does a lack of net profits absolve you from the obligation to pay yourself a salary?
When you are buying a business, you want to buy not only at the right price, but also in a manner that keeps your taxes as low as possible. If you structure your deal as an asset purchase, you can use tax-smart price allocations that give the best tax result. And you likely want to include a stipulation in the purchase agreement that can reduce your chances of an IRS audit.
When buying a business, you face many decisions. One such decision is whether you should buy the assets of the business or the ownership interest. Here, you have both legal and tax issues to consider. Also, depending on the entity you are looking at buying, the ownership purchase option may not be available.
In this part 2 article on choosing the right entity for your newly acquired business, you learn how the three possible corporations work and the advantages and disadvantages of each. In part 1, published last month, you learned about proprietorships and single-member LLCs taxed as proprietorships.
When you start a business either from scratch or by purchase, you need to consider the business entity in which you will operate. In this article, we discuss the sole proprietorship and the single-member LLC as possibilities. Both of these entities offer income tax simplicity.
Small start-up businesses have an unprecedented new way to save money, and it does not involve income taxes. The new way to save money is on your payroll taxes. How? By applying research and development credits to your payroll tax bill.
Whether you sell the assets of the business or your ownership interest, you can expect the buyer to check things out before signing off on the deal. This is called due diligence. And there are various aspects of due diligence, depending on the type of sale you are making and the buyer’s needs.
You have special tax-planning considerations when you sell a business that has zero-basis receivables and/or self-created goodwill. If you operate as a C corporation, you need additional planning because of double taxation. And the good news is that planning helps reduce the tax burden.
Personal service corporations pay taxes at a hefty flat tax rate of 35 percent. As a result, many personal service corporations pay their shareholder-employees year-end bonuses to zero out the taxable income. A recent court case put the kibosh on this for a law firm and should put you on notice.
Take advantage of the government’s tax-free $250,000 home-sale-profit exclusion ($500,000 if married) by selling your home to an S corporation that you establish. This gives you two things: (1) tax-free income and (2) a step-up in basis for the rental house.
Tax law grants tax-free income status to the proceeds you receive from income replacement disability insurance policies. You pay a price for this tax-free income: You may not deduct the premiums. Special treatment applies to overhead disability, and there’s also special treatment for S corporation payments on behalf of “more than 2 percent” shareholders.
Renting equipment to your corporation requires knowledge of the tax laws. If you as a non-corporate lessor want Section 179 expensing, you need to comply with three special rules. If you can’t comply, you may obtain the benefits of Section 179 in other ways as we explain or simply stay with the rental without using Section 179.
When you sell a business, you and the buyer may structure a contingency that can vary the selling price. The tax code gives you three basic reporting possibilities for contingent prices, and, of course, the three possibilities give you planning opportunities.
Using an S corporation to avoid self-employment taxes is a terrific strategy. But things can go very wrong if you use it the wrong way. When you earn income as an individual and then assign that income to your corporation, the IRS will make you regret the day you implemented that strategy.
If you are selling your S or C corporation, you have plenty to think about. And of course, the buyer has much to think about too. By using an election in the tax code, you and the buyer can get on the same page so you can sell with one level of taxation and also give the buyer what the buyer wants most—a step-up in basis of the assets acquired.
When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching, and now’s the time to take action to cut your 2015 taxes. This article gives you six action steps for 2015 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.
Do you have significant insurance needs? If so, the captive insurance company might save you money on your insurance, create a nice tax shelter, and produce a pile of cash. To achieve this agreeable result, you have to follow the rules and consider the tax code safe harbors.
You can make your tax life easier with a business credit card—but only if you use that business credit card correctly for tax purposes. For example, charging an expense to a credit card does not make it tax deductible. You need more proof. And you could create a type of double jeopardy if you operate your business as a corporation.
Here’s a handy-dandy strategy for getting some money to your college student to help him or her pay for school. Have your child engage in an activity that’s not subject to self-employment taxes. If you operate your business as a corporation or your child is age 18 or older, this is a great college funding tool that you need to consider.
Do you rent property to your business? Under the self-rental rule, you could forfeit your expected tax breaks and end up on the hook for unexpected taxes. This is true even if you create a separate entity to rent the property to your business.
Tax law places your collectible activity in one of four tax categories: (1) hobby, (2) investment, (3) trader, or (4) dealer. This means your collectible activity can, depending on category, trigger the AMT, capital gains, and self-employment taxes. When you know the rules that place you in these categories, you can make adjustments. Sometimes the adjustments are easy; at other times, they require rethinking the collectibles activity.
If you are selling your business, you likely want minimum taxes and no exposure to business-related liabilities once the sale is completed. That’s what this article is about. In an asset sale, you see types of taxes and opportunities that make the asset sale work to your advantage. In a stock sale, you likely get tax-favored capital gains, but you may have to give up something to the buyer.
If you want to convert your C corporation to an S corporation, you need a plan. No plan, BIG tax. The BIG tax means the tax on built-in gains at 35 percent. But it’s worse than that, and bigger than that, because after the 35 percent tax payment, you continue to pay at your regular tax rates on the remaining 65 percent that flows from your S corporation to you. This is torturous double taxation. So make a plan to avoid as much torture as possible, perhaps all of it. This article helps you with that plan by showing you four strategies that you can use.
Selling Your Business: It Might Be Worth More Than You Think, and the Tax Implications Are Probably Crucial
You need to know a number of tax rules when it comes to selling your business. For example, you likely want tax-favored capital gains, but your buyer may not like that idea, as it cuts into the buyer’s tax deductions. This article is the first in a series of articles on selling your business, and it will help you understand how this process is going to work.
If you are an S corporation owner, you can get a full deduction for your health insurance premiums—despite Obamacare and even if your S corporation provides zero health benefits to non-owner employees. You have to follow a few steps to qualify for this deduction, but that’s a piece of cake once you know the rules.
Did You Miss Your S-Corporation Election Deadline—and Thousands in Employment Tax Savings? No Worries—Do It Now!
If you want to file your taxes for last year (2014) as an S corporation for the first time, you might be surprised to discover that the deadline to elect S corporation status has long passed. But if you didn’t file your election in time, don’t despair. By following the rules in this article, you can retroactively create your S corporation well after the deadline and get the full benefit of your tax savings.
The number one way for S corporation owners to pay fewer taxes is to set the right salary. To do this, you want to find the salary sweet spot—an amount that is low enough to save you taxes but high enough to satisfy the IRS and not create a risk of audit. This article summarizes the important cases and rules you need to know in order to determine the right salary for your business.
Would you like to avoid payroll taxes on your S corporation’s inclusion of the cost of your health insurance on your W-2? You can. First, you and your S corporation can take advantage of one of two safe harbors. If you don’t qualify for a safe harbor, you can go back to a law originally enacted in 1939 and claim that you are in a separate class of employee exempt from payroll taxes on the health insurance fringe benefit that your S corporation gave you. And then if all else fails, you can pull out the IRS’s own publication and its online assistance and insist that the IRS follow them, even though they’re legally incorrect.
If you are an S corporation owner and you buy health insurance for yourself or your family, you need to follow the IRS rules described in this article in order to protect your tax deductions for the health insurance premiums. You also learn how to escape the Obamacare penalties for group health care even if you discriminate against your employees.
If you want to cover your employees with group health insurance but worry that the price tag will skyrocket your budget, you need to read this article. You will learn how to limit your annual cost and provide tax breaks to employees for their share of premiums. By following some or all of the strategies, you can drop your after-tax cost of group health insurance coverage.
You can create losses without selling assets when you liquidate your S corporation. But be warned: you first need to know exactly how the gains and losses are going to flow. In this article, you see the hurdles erected by lawmakers and the IRS. You learn what you need to know. With this knowledge, you can plan. That plan might include or exclude liquidation. It depends on where the liquidation chips fall.
When you operate your business as an S corporation or a C corporation, you first need to remember that the corporation is a separate legal entity. If you incur travel expenses on behalf of the corporation, those are corporate expenses. You either need an agreement saying you can deduct the expenses personally or that you will submit the expenses for reimbursement. One of these two choices is really bad.
Let’s say you operate your business as an S corporation but use a personal car for corporate business. To create the proper tax deductions, the right way to handle this situation is for the S corporation to reimburse you using one of two tax law-approved methods.
When you incorporate your business, you have to decide which assets you want to contribute to your new corporation and which you want to keep in your own name. For some assets, you get better tax benefits and better liability protection when you don’t transfer them to your corporation.
When you buy a business, buy the assets—not the stock. The assets will significantly increase your tax savings in the early years of your new business. This article gives you the nuts and bolts of buying a business. It even explains how you can buy the stock of the target corporation and treat the stock purchase as an asset purchase.
Are you thinking of converting your C corporation to an S corporation? If so, you need to examine how the built-in gains tax can create trouble for you. Of course, once you know some of the trouble, you can find ways to mitigate it, and if you are patient, you can totally avoid it.
Tax rates are changing. You completed a side-by-side comparison of your S corporation with other entities, and you decided that it’s time to convert that S corporation to a C corporation or a sole proprietorship.
Are you thinking of converting your business to an S corporation? The IRS will be watching you closely. Learn to avoid the common mistakes that many business owners make.
Let’s say that you have the Section 105 medical reimbursement plan in place that benefits you and your family. What happens if you or your employee-spouse retires? Here’s good news. With planning, your Section 105 plan can continue into retirement.
You might simply file a form to convert your business from a corporation to a sole proprietorship, but this simplicity can trigger unexpected taxes galore. Don’t let the taxes surprise you. Evaluate the tax costs. See if the conversion works to your best financial advantage. Also, make sure to examine tax law’s three special tax-benefit techniques available to small-business owners.
Taxpayers get into a self-directed IRA to achieve investment returns larger than they can achieve with conventional IRAs. Whether that works out or not is the investment side, but another big issue is the tax side. In this court case, the taxpayers learned that they destroyed their self-directed IRA on the first day. Thus, during the six years this self-directed IRA operated it did not exist under the law. This put the IRA owners on the hook for taxes and penalties.
Would you like to find more tax deductions for your business? This taxpayer created an ESOP as one way to gain more tax benefits from his business. He also created a management services corporation to provide services for his existing corporation. But he made one common and most tragic error. He just did not do the work.
How would you like to buy a small business, sell it at a huge profit, and defer the taxes as if you had completed a tax-deferred exchange? You can. It’s not a Section 1031 exchange. But it can give you the same exact tax deferral that you can achieve with a Section 1031 exchange. You find this great benefit in Section 1045 of the Internal Revenue Code.
If you wreck your business vehicle, you will like the involuntary conversion rules that allow you to defer any taxable gain, providing you replace the vehicle within two years. This is true regardless of how you operate your business, corporation, or proprietorship.
Do you operate your business as a corporation? Does the corporation own the business car? Do you drive the corporate-owned car or other vehicle for personal purposes? If so, you need to know how the IRS treats your personal use and what that personal use does to the corporate tax deductions.
Do you own your business? Do you pay parking for yourself? An employee? If so, you need to know how the tax-free fringe-benefit rules for parking work, as explained in this article.
Do you operate your business as an S or C corporation? If so, have you considered renting your home to your corporation for corporate meetings and perhaps the annual holiday party for employees? You should. Why? If the rental is done right, the corporation deducts the rent, and you receive the rental income tax-free.
The flow chart in this article helps you visualize what needs to happen at the S corporation for the owner-employee to get any tax benefit from health insurance. The tax rules are not what you would call logical, but the flow chart clarifies the rules and gives you the path to follow to ensure your tax deductions.
When you operate your business as an S corporation, you run into some weird tax-deduction rules, like those that apply to health insurance. For example, the S corporation may not deduct the cost of your health insurance as an employee-owner fringe benefit. Then, if you pay for the health insurance personally, you may not personally deduct the cost of the health insurance as a self-employed individual. Tax law has you in a classic catch-22. But there is a workaround that’s very straightforward and beneficial as described in this article.
Employees complicate your retirement plan design, but you have many design options. This article takes you through six plan designs that open your eyes to the many possibilities you have to ensure that you get from your retirement plan the maximum retirement benefits you want.
Are the S corporation dividends (technically distributions) taxable? If so, how does that work on my personal tax return, and how do I then get the money out of the S corporation?
Tax law picks on “entertainment facilities” and makes them difficult to deduct. This is where tax planning comes in. With good tax planning, you can create deductions for your entertainment facility.
If possible, you want to take money from your corporation in some form other than salaries and wages, on which you pay payroll taxes. One such tactic, the lease of Section 179 personal property to your corporation, can accomplish this, but it rubs against one big gotcha and two steep hurdles. This article shows you how to avoid the gotcha, avoid the hurdles, and get the result you want.
When you draw Social Security benefits before you reach full retirement age, you lose 50 cents on the dollar for each dollar that exceeds the earnings limit. With respect to the earnings limit, you find both good and bad news in 401(k) contributions.
Good news. As you may remember from our previous article, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the Shellito case that involved a Section 105 medical reimbursement plan back to the tax court. We report in this article good news: The tax court reversed its original decision and granted the Shellitos their deductions. Most importantly, this reversal adds clarity to making your Section 105 medical reimbursement plan work.
Do you own an airplane? If not you, how about your corporation? This month, we are writing about the new IRS regulations that govern your use of your C or S corporation’s aircraft. In this article, you will find more than a half dozen strategies that you can use to minimize the tax bite caused by personal use of your corporation’s aircraft.
Do you operate your business as an S corporation? If so, how does the home-office deduction work for the employee-owner? Here are six answers that the S corporation owner needs for the home-office deduction. One of the six answers gives you ideas on how you can comply with the “convenience-of-the-employer” test.
Buy the Building, Rent It to Your Business, Avoid the Self-Rental Trap, and Create Legal Protection with Tax-Deduction Shelter
As you know from last month’s article, the self-rental rules can catch you unaware and alter your rental property tax benefits. You can solve the self-rental problems by eliminating the rental and having your business own the building. That’s one solution. This article gives you a second solution that you might like better. Here, we show you how to qualify for a special election that allows you to treat your rental and your business as one activity for federal tax purposes. This can give you the best of both worlds: (1) legal protection and (2) tax shelter.
If you and your spouse work together in your business, you need to know the rules of the road for owning and operating your proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation. In part 1 of this article we discussed how you can save both self-employment and income taxes with the right mix of income and employee status of your spouse. In this part 2, you learn what you need to do to ensure that your operating business entity allows you to achieve the benefits of part 1.
When you rent to a business in which you and/or your spouse work 500 hours or more, you engage in a self-rental that limits your loss deductions and taxes your profits. In other words, you get tax law’s double whammy. There is one solution to this problem.
CPA subscriber points out that for the Section 105 medical reimbursement plan to work, marriage is not required.
Your husband-and-wife business may already be a success. That’s great. Now, with a little tax planning for the husband-and-wife business, you can increase your after-tax profits and sleep better at night knowing that your business form is good.
The W-2 mortgage loan officer in this tax case beat the alternative minimum tax (AMT) by winning his claim that, in spite of his W-2, he was an independent contractor who should report his business expenses as a proprietorship on Schedule C of his Form 1040.
You might want your S corporation to own an S corporation of its own (QSub). Tax law treats the QSub as if it doesn’t exist for income tax purposes, but treats it as a separate entity for employment tax purposes. On the legal side of the equation, you have two separate corporations with two sets of legal protections.
Because you are in business, you likely have the opportunity to improve your tax deduction for long-term care insurance. In fact, you might achieve a 100 percent deduction. If you are married, the 100 percent deduction can include your spouse.
You might justify a zero salary to the owner of an S corporation in the right circumstances. But there are some pitfalls, particularly if your purpose is to avoid payroll taxes. Further, and this is often overlooked, state law can come into play on the zero-salary game.
To know if the S corporation is the best choice of entity for your business, first you need to consider three advantages and nine disadvantages. Next, you need to take the S corporation advantages and disadvantages that apply to you and get a bottom-line number comparison with your second choice for an operating entity. In this way, you can make a logical choice, knowing that your best choice will stay with you for a number of years and let you pocket more after-tax cash while you sleep better at night.
Do you operate your business as a corporation, an LLC, or a proprietorship? Your choice of entity impacts a variety of tax deductions, and now the cell phone creates a win for the corporate owner and a loss for the proprietorship and the single-member LLC.
When you and/or your spouse own more than one business, you must look at all businesses as one business when applying the Section 105 medical reimbursement plan discrimination rules. If you are blocked by the discrimination rules, consider discriminating in health insurance coverage to your benefit.
This article has 16 tax-deduction targets that you can use to increase your business car, SUV, truck, and van deductions. You don’t need to buy any new vehicles to get the benefits. You simply need the knowledge as laid out here.
If you incorporate your personal service business, you face the personal service corporation tax rates, where tax brackets do not exist and the 35 percent flat-tax rate applies.
The IRS admits that its regulation that made the single-member LLC a corporation for payroll tax purposes is unfair to small business family employment. To right this wrong, the IRS allows the single-member LLC to use the family employment rules to exempt FICA and Medicare taxes retroactively to January 1, 2009. The regulation granting this change expires on or before October 31, 2014.
In the right circumstances, the single-member limited liability company (LLC) gives you corporate liability protection combined with easy Schedule C (proprietorship) rules for your tax return. In this article, you learn the two tax advantages and two tax disadvantages to the single-member LLC.
Is your business entity the best tax-deduction business entity for you? Do you need liability protection? How do the different entities produce different tax deductions? If you are looking for answers to these questions, this article is for you. Also, the article contains one sure way to select the best business entity for you.
If you want to operate your business as an S corporation, you need to recognize that the S corporation is a separate legal entity and that you are an employee agent of that corporation. You also need to ensure that the S corporation is the earner of the income. You may not assign your income to your corporation.
Your business ownership creates an opportunity for a tax plan that can give you tax deductions for hiring your children and can give your children tax-free income. But your tax plan does not stop there. Your children might start Roth IRAs where they can invest their tax-free income in a college fund. Done right, as described in this article, the government pays you for your help with this plan.
How does the owner of a corporation claim a tax deduction for an office in the home? Rental is not the best method. Deducting employee business expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions is not the best method. The best method is to use an accountable plan, as you will learn in this article.
Tax-deductible business expansion beats both capitalization and start-up expense classification. Capitalization basically means no tax deduction until you get out of the business. Start up means you can deduct up to $5,000 and then must amortize the remaining start-up expenses over 15 years.
If you are looking to buy a business individually, this article explains the tax deductions you achieve when you begin to think about the business you want to buy. If your corporation is going to buy the business, this article explains how to apply the process of thinking about it to the corporation. The rules for buying an existing business are different from those explained last month for creating a business from scratch.
The Roth IRA is tax advantaged. The foreign sales corporation also is tax advantaged. Imagine putting the tax-advantaged foreign sales corporation inside a tax-advantaged Roth IRA. That’s what happens in this article.
Does the Proprietorship Exemption from Payroll Taxes Apply when the Owner of a Single-Member LLC Hires His 15-Year-Old Child?
The single-member LLC is a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes, but a corporation for employment tax purposes.
Giving money to and taking it from your corporation needs an audit trail and paperwork to ensure proper treatment. If you operate without the formal paperwork and without the proper logging of entries, you can have unexpected and unwelcome experiences with the IRS and the courts.
The self-directed IRA is not a common sight, but it is even more uncommon, almost rare in fact, for the self-directed IRA to have an interest in a tax-advantaged domestic international sales corporation. This article gives insight into what’s possible with a self-directed IRA.
Setting the owner of an S corporation’s salary so that the owner saves money on self-employment taxes requires attention to some details. This article shows how a CPA with S corporation earnings of $246,000 had a reasonable salary of $91,000 according to the IRS. If you follow the principles used by the IRS to identify the $91,000 salary, you build audit-proof support for the salary.
When you operate your business as a corporation, you need to pay attention to the details if you want the corporation respected by the IRS. If you fail in the details, your corporation could lose its status as a corporation and cause you big trouble.
This is the first in a series of articles on retirement plans for small-business owners. In this first article, you learn the basics. Why should you have a retirement plan? When should you start contributing to your plan? What types of plans are available to you? Regardless of the type of business entity—proprietorship, LLC, S corporation, or C corporation—this article gives you the basics you need for a quality retirement plan.
Learn why it is important to get the independent contractor classification correct. If your supposed contractor status is in reality employee status, you suffer major penalties.
Tax law creates trouble for selected fringe benefits that the S corporation gives to a more than 2 percent shareholder. The loss of benefits and accompanying complications are factors to consider in the selection of the S corporation as your choice of business entity.
You might think that you are entitled to your Social Security benefits. In fact, that would be logical. Unfortunately, however, it’s not true. You need to plan your benefit collections, or you could lose a huge chunk to taxes.
Revenue Procedure 2010-13 requires disclosure of the business and rental groups you form to avoid the disallowance of losses under the passive-loss rules. At first glance, you might think, “Oh, no, not more disclosures.” But further examination shows an audit-proofing aspect to this disclosure that is most appealing.
Do you provide supper or other meal money when you require your employees to work overtime? If so, is the meal money a tax-free fringe benefit or is it additional W-2 compensation to the employees?
Under the right circumstances, you can provide tax-free lunches to your employees. That’s nice. But what about you? How do you, the business owner, qualify for this tax-free fringe benefit?
This issue contains 21 last-minute tax tips that you can use for 2010. We broke the tips into two articles: one for vehicles and one not related to vehicles. This article contains 12 last-minute tax tips that are not related to vehicles.
To operate successfully as a corporation, you need to be good at paperwork. Also, you may not treat the advance account on the corporate books as your personal slush fund.
The CPA in this court case operated as an S corporation with a low salary. The low salary got the IRS’s attention. To salvage bigger things, the CPA had to take the IRS to court
If you operate your business as a corporation but own the business car personally, your best result comes about when you have your corporation use an accountable plan to reimburse you for actual expenses, including depreciation and Section 179 expensing.
When your S corporation employs a relative, you need to be aware of the stock attribution rules that can wreak havoc on the health insurance fringe benefit.
Tax law allows an individual to be a real estate dealer with respect to his dealer properties and a real estate investor with respect to his investor properties.
Poor planning for the S corporation owner’s business expenses can cost the owner every penny of his deductions.
The new health care law grants a nice tax credit to business owners who cover their employees. How about the owners themselves? Lawmakers did them no favors, but one group of proprietors might catch a break.
Should you or your corporation be unlucky enough to face an IRS audit, there is one record that stands out as critical to your audit health. If you are missing this one record, the IRS audit can quickly expand to other areas of your tax return.
The zero salary strategy is getting hammered by the IRS and the courts. You need to take a reasonable salary. If your purpose in having the S corporation is to save self-employment taxes, you want that reasonable salary to be audit-proof low.
Section 1031 exchanges are perfect when you are going to stay in the real estate rental or investment business. When it’s time to cash out, you need to look at different strategies that help you avoid taxes and give you cash to spend (liquidy).
Section 1237 grants a safe-harbor to qualified taxpayers who want to subdivide land. The safe-harbor requires the taxpayer to pass seven tests, but then rewards the taxpayer with tax-favored capital gains treatment (versus ordinary income treatment).
Good tax planning can avoid ordinary income treatment on the subdivision of land. The planning involves avoiding the partnership entity and using an S corp. for development.
Tracking and proving deductible expenses for three businesses requires good planning, but this planning can pay you for the effort.
Tax law favors the son or daughter working for the mother or father in a proprietorship or husband and wife partnership. If you operate your business as a corporation, you also can come out ahead by hiring your child.
To deduct a loss on a charter fishing activity, you must materially participate in the activity. When the activity is organized as an LLC, you have more choices for material participation than a limited partner.
The U.S. government taxes your profits and subsidizes your losses. That’s nice. Not all governments share in the losses.
Computers and programs like Quicken make it easier to track business and personal activities. Even so, there are rules of the road that you should follow to ensure the best results.
If your corporation is not going to pass the “it earns the income” test, then it’s time to take the steps to dissolve this useless corporation. The secretary of state for the state of incorporation has guideposts for you to follow.
The court made it clear that every taxpayer may properly use the tax law to reduce his or her tax burden, but the use of paper entities that fail the economic reality test does not work.
If you are using home equity loan proceeds for your rental property LLC, you need to pay attention to both the legal and tax aspects of that transaction. The legal part is needed for liability protection. The tax part is needed to ensure your tax deductions.
The Heineman case gives a roadmap to how a husband and wife might deduct the cost of attending a board of directors meeting where they are the only participants. Using the principles enunciated in Heineman, husband-and-wife corporate owners will find deducting the out-of-town board meeting easier than deducting board meetings that occur in town.
The most recent hot entity for real estate ownership is the LLC. The fact that it’s hot does not necessarily make it the best option for you. When considering your choice of entity, examine qualification for single-member LLC status, extra state income taxes, and how this compares with the S or C corporation possibilities.
If you draw Social Security retirement benefits before full retirement age, you face the loss of $1 in benefits for each $2 of earnings over $14,160. Further, when the provisional income on your tax return exceeds $25,000 (single) or $32,000 (married), you must include at least 50 and not more than 85 percent of your Social Security benefits in taxable income. Thus, your receipt of Social Security benefits triggers the need for planning.
The law gives you no choice but to keep the proper tax records on a timely basis. This is pretty easy when you know what to do. One easy rule to follow is to never commingle your activities in your bank accounts. Both the rule that requires a mileage log and the rule that requires a time log are more difficult, but absolutely essential to proving your deductions.
When husband and wife receive individual 1099s from the same firm, they generally can improve their after-tax cash results by having one spouse earn the 1099 income and having the other spouse work as an employee.
This is our grand summary of the inner workings of Section 105 medical reimbursement plan. Use it wisely!
The IRS just posted the limits on its website, but there is still one way to elect single-member status. We give you the details and planning strategies.
Even accountants can be wrong about tax law. Learn for yourself the difference between partnerships and proprietorships. See what the law says, and why it’s important.
To file for joint partnership of a business, you must attach a written statement to your 1040. There is no official form to use, so we give you an example of what you can say.
The major tax benefit to operating your business as an S corporation is the possible savings on self-employment taxes. As a single-owner or husband-and-wife-owned business, an S corporation might be right for you.
The husband and wife who work together must consider the joint venture election if they want the business treated by the IRS the way they think it should be treated.
As a two-person team that splits costs and commissions, these two people are a partnership for legal purposes. They have three choices: file as a partnership, C corporation, or an S corporation.
As a two-person real estate team, these two taxpayers are real estate dealers, according to the tax law. They have two choices: file as a partnership or as an S corporation.
As a person who buys and sells stocks, you will see a huge difference in how the law treats you if you’re a dealer, trader, or investor.
Hiring your children can be a really good move. If you have a sole proprietorship or a husband and wife partnership, you can save a lot of money in taxes. Be careful, though, with corporations, LLCs, estates, and partnerships.
Assigning your personal commissions to your corporation does not work. In this court case, this insurance agent had unfiled tax returns and unpaid taxes for the years he assigned his 1099 income to his corporation.
At a meeting of landlords, the guest lawyer stated that the S corporation terminates with too much passive income. Many attendees heard this comment incorrectly. The too much passive income termination problem applies to S corporations which were previously C corporations.
The IRS fulfilled its promise and audited twice as many Form 1040-Schedule C taxpayers and S corporation returns. Your odds of audit vary by both choice of entity and gross receipts in that entity.
When you operate your business as a corporation, you need to reimburse the business use of the personal car as a reimbursed employee expense. The corporation may use either the IRS mileage method or the actual expense method for the corporate reimbursement to the employee-owner.
When you operate your business as a corporation, you claim the office-in-the-home deduction as an employee. The law requires that this employee use be for the convenience of the employer. Generally, you want the convenience of the employer reason in writing.
When you have your corporation reimburse your home office as an employee business expense, you treat the home as if you had claimed the office-in-the-home deduction personally.
The corporate reimbursement of the owner-employee for office-in-the-home expenses includes condo fees and mortgage payments.
The properly used business condo does not run up against the vacation-home, passive-loss, or entertainment-facility rules.
When you take early retirement and your income is greater than the thresholds, your Social Security benefits are subject to (1) recapture by the Social Security Administration and (2) taxation by the IRS. Tax planning to avoid both benefit recapture and taxation of benefits involves the possible use of an S or C corporation.
In 1935, the self-employment tax topped out at $60. In 2006, the first part of the self-employment tax tops out at $14,413, but the 2.9 percent Medicare part continues after that without limits. Good tax planning for the self-employment tax is like an annuity. It gives you monetary returns—year after year—every year you are in business. So, plan now and consider everything from choice of entity to hiring your children.
To make sure that the IRS will treat the C corporation’s advances to the employee-owner as tax-favored loans rather than tax-penalized dividends, make sure you can answer “yes” to the seven questions.
The IRS audit manual states: “If you rent all or part of your residence to your employer and use the rented portion when performing services for the employer, you cannot deduct home-office expenses attributable to the rental.” Thus, forget the rental to the corporation and use the corporate-reimbursement-to-the-employee strategy for maximum benefits.