By topic: Employees

Raise Hell: Save Your Employee Retention Credit

IRS Notice 2021-49 disallowing the employee retention credit to more than 50 percent owners who have certain living relatives has to be a mistake. It’s too illogical to stand. In fact, you have to question whether the notice is technically correct.

Vaccinated? Claim Tax Credits for Your Employees and Yourself

If you encourage your employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination by giving them paid time off through September 30, 2021, you can collect refundable sick and family leave tax credits of up to $17,511 per employee. The credit is also available if an employee takes time off to help family or household members get vaccinated or recover from side effects of the vaccination. Similar credits are available if you are self-employed and have no employees.

NUA Choice: A Tax Strategy to Consider If You Own Company Stock

If you are an employee with company stock in your retirement plan, you can use the net unrealized appreciation tax treatment to save money on your taxes.

Don’t Miss Out on the Employee Retention Credit

You likely qualify for the employee retention credit. It has the potential to really help you. The credit is up to $5,000 per employee during 2020 and up to $28,000 per employee in 2021. That’s $33,000 per employee. With 10 employees, that could total $330,000.

PDF Download: Guide to Deducting Meals and Entertainment in 2021-2022

As a business owner, your expenses for business meals and entertainment for most of 2020 were likely little to zero due to COVID-19. But that will probably change for the remainder of 2021 and 2022. And with the new tax law changes, you need to make sure you know the rules so you can maximize your tax savings and deduct up to 100 percent of these expenses.

Payroll Taxes Embezzled; Owner Has Huge Business and Tax Problems

Do you own a business that withholds taxes from employees? If so, you need 100 percent assurance that the withheld payroll tax monies are going to the IRS and not into the pockets of an embezzler. This article explains how you can obtain such certainty.

New Law: Time to Benefit from the Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit rewards your good deeds. And now, because of new legislation, the rules are in place for longer than usual. If you need to hire workers in your business, this dollar-for-dollar reducer of your taxes is one to know about.

Self-Employed During the Pandemic? Washington Did Not Forget You

The self-employed normally get the short end of the stick when it comes to government aid in times of economic disruption. But the COVID-19 pandemic is different. Congress has provided the self-employed with aid never seen before, including forgivable PPP loans, tax credits for sick leave and family leave, increased Affordable Care Act subsidies, and even unemployment benefits. But the benefits are temporary, so take advantage of them now.

Helicopter View of Meals and Entertainment (2021-2022)

COVID-19 is going away, perhaps by early summer. It’s time to start thinking business meals and partying with your employees. The chart in this article gives you a helicopter view of the latest business meal and entertainment rules.

Deduct 100% of Your Employee Recreation and Parties

Here’s good news: Partying with and entertaining your employees remains 100 percent deductible after the many tax changes that have taken place during the past three-plus years. Further, your employee parties are not subject to the new restaurant rules.

PPP Extended—Act Fast or Miss Out

This is likely it—your last chance to obtain first- and second-draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) monies. A new law, the PPP Extension Act of 2021, extends the expiration date to the later of May 31 or when the money runs out. Note the phrase “when the money runs out,” and be forewarned that this can happen within weeks. So, don’t procrastinate—not even for one day.

Can You Claim the ERC for the Owner of a C or S Corporation?

Can your corporation claim the employee retention credit on the W-2 wages it pays to a shareholder-employee who owns more than 50 percent of the corporation? There’s disagreement about this within the tax community. What should you do? Read this article.

Double Benefits: Claiming Both the ERC and Tax-Free PPP

When Congress passed the CARES Act, it gave small-business owners like you two choices: get tax-free Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) monies or take the employee retention credit (ERC). Fast-forward to the new law enacted on December, 27, 2020, and you will find that you can now benefit from both programs, retroactive to March 13, 2020, as you see in this article.

Starting a New Business? Get Up to $100,000 in Tax-Free Money

Congress created the employee retention credit (ERC) to help your business that continued to pay employees even though it was impacted by COVID-19. Fast-forward to the new American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and now you can potentially take an ERC of up to $100,000 during the last six months of 2021 if you start a new business during the pandemic. In this article, we’ll explain how this valuable provision works and the net amount it can put in your pocket.

Employee Retention Credit: Step-by-Step Example

Congress created the COVID-19 employee retention credit to help employers continue to pay employees while affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and the American Rescue Plan Act expanded access to this tax credit in both tax years 2020 and 2021. In this article, you see how a small-business owner calculates and claims this most beneficial tax credit.

Breaking News: New PPP for the Self-Employed and Small Businesses

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.

Update: COVID-19 Tax Relief Measures after the New Law

The CARES Act made many temporary changes in the tax law. The new Consolidated Appropriations Act adjusted some of these and left others to die on December 31, 2020. With all the changes that took place in 2020, you need to know what’s left, enhanced, and over with, as we explain in this article.

Who Qualifies for First Draw PPP Money Today?

Two things to know about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) first draw: (1) The first draw is for those who missed getting in on the original PPP, which expired on August 8, 2020. (2) Don’t think of a PPP draw as a loan. It’s not a loan. It’s a cash infusion. You have to repay a loan. You don’t have to repay the PPP funds.

COVID-19 Relief Law Turbocharged Employee Retention Credit

As part of the March 2020 CARES Act, Congress created a COVID-19 employee retention credit to provide financial support to businesses to maintain payroll. But this credit was not available if you took a PPP loan. Now, thanks to the new COVID-19 relief law enacted December 27, 2020, a business with a PPP loan can retroactively claim employee retention tax credits.

FREE PDF Download: Slash Business Taxes with the Help of Relatives

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.

New Stimulus Law Grants Eight Tax Breaks for 1040 Filers

The massive new stimulus law contains eight new tax breaks that help the average non-business taxpayer. These include something for everyone, both rich and poor. Wealthy taxpayers can contribute more to charity and still get a deduction; average people get an extension of the universal charitable deduction; and low-income taxpayers can get a larger earned income tax credit. Popular programs such as the lifetime learning credit are expanded to help more people. The bill also extends some favorable tax rules, such as the 7.5 percent adjusted gross income floor for the medical deduction.

Five Things to Know About Employing Your Spouse

If you own your own business, hiring your spouse to work as your employee can be a great tax savings strategy. But the tax savings may be a mirage if you don’t pay your spouse the right way. And the arrangement is subject to attack by the IRS. Here are five things to know before you hire your spouse that will maximize your savings and minimize the audit risk.

2020 Last-Minute Year-End Retirement Deductions

Does your business have a retirement plan for you and your employees, if any? It should. You have more new reasons in 2020 to get your retirement plan in place and perhaps make changes in existing plans.

Be Sure to Pay the PCORI Fee if You Have an HRA

Business owners who have established 105-HRAs, Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs), and Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Accounts (ICHRAs) to reimburse their employees for medical expenses need to pay an annual fee to help support the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The Latest Payroll Tax Deferral: An Offer You Should Refuse?

Following a presidential executive order, the IRS says employers can stop withholding and paying employee Social Security taxes for the rest of 2020. But employers who do so face potential risks. Do employers have to accept the offer?

TCJA: Don’t Lose Out When Corp. Vehicle Is in Your Personal Name

Do you operate your business as a corporation but use a vehicle that you own in your personal name for the corporate business? If so, be aware that the TCJA changed the rules of the road for tax years 2018-2025. To avoid losing your rightful deductions, you need to have the corporation reimburse you for business use, as we describe here.

PPP Update: Two New Rules for Owners of S and C Corporations

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) rules—they keep a-changin’. In this article, you find new rules that likely increase PPP loan forgiveness for S and C corporation owner-employees with compensation of $100,000 or more.

Case Study: Trade-In on a New SUV—Reimbursement by Corporation

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.

Four PPP Forgiveness Answers for S Corporation Owner-Employees

Tax law definitions do not apply to much of the Payroll Protection Program, making it new ground for owners of S corporations. Here are answers to four questions of concern to many S corporation owners.

Five Answers to Spending the PPP Money on You and Your Employees

If you report your business income and expenses on Schedule C of your Form 1040, your PPP loan forgiveness is straightforward, as you see in the five answers in this article.

Four Insights into the PPP Loan and Its Forgiveness

In this article, we offer insights into (1) how good faith at the time of the PPP application works; (2) the differences in the PPP, EIDL advance, and EIDL; (3) the possibility of automatic loan forgiveness without applying for it; and (4) the four categories of owner-employees.

COVID-19 Strategy: Hire Family Members to Create Tax Benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic may create tax benefit opportunities for you and your family members. For example, you could hire your under-age-18 children, pay them, say, $10,000 each, and they could pay zero federal income taxes. And you or your corporation, the employer, would deduct the $10,000 you paid to each of the children. The child wins. You win. There’s more, as you will see in this article.

Making Smart Selections from the COVID-19 Tax Relief Buffet

The federal government has given you many ways to find relief from the effect of COVID-19 on your business. You have to like the rescue. But it does require you to make choices as to which assistance to accept, because the selection of one type may preclude benefiting from a second type.

COVID-19: New SBA Loans for Small Businesses—Maybe a Great Deal

COVID-19 has hit American businesses hard, to say the least. You may be eligible for up to $10 million to help pay workers and keep your doors open under a brand-new SBA program. And with this program, you may qualify to obtain some loan relief.

Tax Loophole Allows Tax-Free COVID-19 Payments to Employees

A special tax loophole exists for disaster-related payments. Such qualified payments are deductible by the payor and tax-free to the recipient. The COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as a disaster and activates this tax benefit. We’ll tell you how both you and your employees can benefit from this provision today.

COVID-19: Significant Payroll and Self-Employment Tax Relief

If you are in business for yourself—say, as a corporation or self-employed—payroll taxes and self-employment taxes are likely two of your biggest tax burdens. Here’s some possible good news: Congress decided to give you significant relief from these taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll tell you what relief options are available and whether or not you qualify.

Does California’s AB 5 Turn Your Contractors into Employees?

California’s new AB 5 law turns many 1099 independent contractors into W-2 employees under California law. Does this new AB 5 law apply to your business? What if you are out of state? What are states other than California doing? Can you keep your workers as independent contractors? In this article, we answer these questions.

Auditor Claims It’s Illegal for Parent to Employ His 11-Year-Old

When you employ your children to work in your business, make sure that you are ready to answer questions from both the IRS and the Department of Labor. The answer to the question in this article may come as a surprise as to what triggered the problem.

Download Your New 2020 Desktop Reference Guide Now

Download this two-page guide so that you have a handy desktop reference with the 2020 corporate and individual tax rates, estate tax rates, self-employed tax rates, Social Security and Medicare tax rates, capital gain rates, standard mileage rates, standard deductions, luxury auto depreciation limits, and select retirement and IRA limits.

Know This About Employer-Issued Incentive Stock Options (ISOs)

With incentive stock options (ISOs), you could be on your way to a very nice payout. But you must consider both the regular federal income tax results and the alternative minimum tax results. In addition, you must pay attention to special rules that apply to so-called disqualifying dispositions of shares acquired by exercising ISOs. This sounds complicated, and it is a little, but we help you find clarity in this article.

Know This About Employer-Issued Non-Qualified Stock Options

You or your spouse may have the opportunity to obtain non-qualified stock options. Or you may have your corporation issue non-qualified stock options to its employees. In all cases, you will want to know both how these options work and what happened to Sheedy.

Per Diems Post-Tax Reform: What the TCJA Has and Hasn’t Changed

If you have employees who travel for your business, would the IRS travel per diem method simplify your record keeping and reduce your risk of audit disallowance?

Dynamex Causing Incorrect W-2 Classifications for Independent Contractors

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.

2019 Last-Minute Year-End Medical and Retirement Deductions

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. This article gives you six action steps for 2019 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.

TCJA Creates New Reasons for Accountable Plan Expense Reimbursements

Failure to use an accountable plan for your employee expense reimbursements (including yourself if you operate as a corporation) turns those improperly reimbursed expenses into taxable wages. In other words, by failing to comply with the accountable plan rules, you turn the tax-free reimbursement into taxable W-2 wages. That’s about as ugly as it can get.

Federal Tax Deductions for Section 127 Education of Grandchild

You can use a Section 127 education plan to obtain tax benefits for yourself (or your corporation) while you help your employee-grandchild through college or other training.

Creating More Business Meal Tax Deductions After the TCJA

If you have been looking for some good news on tax-deductible business meals, you will find it in this article. And along with the good news, you will find clarity as to what post-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act rules currently apply to your tax-deductible business meals.

Proprietors and Partners Mistakenly Pay Themselves Illegal W-2 Wages

Why is it wrong for the sole proprietor to pay himself or herself a W-2 wage? Also, why is it wrong for a partner to be paid by the partnership as a W-2 employee?

Use a Single-Member LLC as a Tax-Smart Real Estate Ownership Vehicle

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.

10 Proven Tax Reduction Strategies for the Self-Employed

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.

Avoid This S Corporation Health Insurance Deduction Mistake

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.

Caution: 199A Calculator Is Business-by-Business without Aggregation

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 Section 199A calculator if you do not formally elect aggregation of your Section 199A businesses.

How to Reimburse Medicare When You Have Fewer Than 20 Employees

The Affordable Care Act’s $100-a-day penalty for improper medical reimbursements likely has your attention. It should. But you can find many reimbursements that are allowed without penalty, including the ability to reimburse Medicare when you have fewer than 20 employees.

How to Deduct Medicare as a Business Expense

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.

Employee Recreation and Parties Survive TCJA Tax Reform

When you know the rules, you can party with your employees and deduct 100 percent of the cost. Interestingly, if you feed your employees during a training program, your deduction is only 50 percent. Make sure you know the rules that give you the 100 percent deduction for employee entertainment.

Q&A: Avoiding the $100 a Day per Employee Penalty for S Corporations

The answer in this article explains how the S corporation can pay the solo owner-employee’s individually purchased health insurance without worrying about the $100-a-day penalty.

IRS Updates Defined Wages for New Section 199A Tax Deductions

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.

Entertainment Facilities after the TCJA Tax Reform

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) tax reform crushed a big chunk of business entertainment tax deductions. Fortunately, your business entertainment facility escaped the mayhem and continues as a 100 percent tax-deductible facility. If you want such a business facility, make sure to review the rules in this article.

Update on Claiming Business Deductions for Work-Related Education

Learn how your continuous learning employees probably suffer because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It’s likely good business for you as a business owner to ease that suffering to encourage this continuous learning. On the personal side, you’ll find the tax law subsidies for your individual education to your liking.

Q&A: Health Insurance Premiums and Reasonable Compensation

Your S corporation has to pay you reasonable compensation for the services you provide to the corporation. If your corporation pays your health insurance premiums, does that change the salary amount you need to pay yourself? We’ll tell you the answer and how doing it wrong would cost you money.

Claiming the New Employer Tax Credit for Family and Medical Leave

In many business environments, you compete for employee talent in a variety of ways, including perhaps by implementing a medical and family leave policy. The good news on this front is that your federal government may have given you a tax credit (yes, that lovely dollar-for-dollar offset to your taxes) for what you wanted to do anyway.

Q&A: Statutory Insurance Agent Wins the 199A Tax Deduction

The life insurance sales professional who receives a W-2 with the statutory employee box checked is in a special tax category for income and employment tax purposes and also sits in a favored category under the new Section 199A deduction rules. But he or she may not be favored for 1099 income.

Bird’s-Eye View of Tax-Deductible Small-Business Health Plans

Are you confused by the tax deductions you can claim for your small-business health care? We can help you with our bird’s-eye view. It takes less than two minutes.

Avoid Penalties—Give Notice of 2019 HRA Medical Plan on Oct. 2

You have three good reasons to get your qualified small-business health reimbursement account (QSEHRA) in place on or before October 2. First, this avoids penalties. Second, your employees will have the time they need to select health insurance. Third, you will have your plan in place on January 1.

Q&A: IRS Auditor Doesn’t Know the 90-Day Mileage Log Rule

You cannot expect IRS auditors and agents to know the tax code and regulations. If you can produce the code or regulations that authorize your deductions, you are miles ahead in your audit.

What Did the TCJA Do to Your Tax-Free Supper Money?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changed the landscape for a host of business meal and entertainment deductions. For supper money, the TCJA did damage, both short and long term. But the deduction continues in place, albeit damaged, for tax years 2018 through 2025.

Tax Reform Doubles Down on S Corporation Reasonable Compensation

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.

Beware: Conflicting IRS Rules for Deducting Your Business Gym—Don’t Use the Wrong Ones

If you are thinking of a gym for your employees, this is the article for you. The article keeps you from using the wrong set of IRS regulations. Yep, there two different sets of regulations from two different code sections that could apply.

TCJA Tax Reform Q&A: Does Moving W-2 Income and Employee Business Expenses to Schedule C Increase Taxes?

If you can qualify to move your W-2 income to Schedule C so as to enable those legitimate business expense deductions that you are losing to tax reform, should you do it? Maybe. You need to run the numbers to see if the new Schedule C taxes outweigh the monies you lost by not being able to deduct employee business expenses.

Hiring Your Children to Work on Your Rental Properties

If you own rental property in your name or in the name of a single-member LLC, you report your rental property income and expenses on Schedule E of your IRS Form 1040. But what happens when you have an expense for which the IRS has not created a line item on the form? No problem—simply insert it as we explain in this article.

S Corporation Fringe Benefits after the Recent Tax Reform

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.

Proving Travel Expenses after Tax Reform

Whether you operate your business as a corporation or as a proprietorship, you need to record your tax-deductible travel expenses in an IRS-approved manner. This means you need to know technically what a receipt is—and when you do or do not need one. By the way, the credit card statement is not a receipt.

Tax Reform Increases the Tax Benefits of Employing Your Child

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.

Tax Reform Punishes W-2 Employees—Get Even!

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.

Tax Reform Imposes a Penalty Tax on Transportation Fringe Benefits

The old saying that “no good deed goes unpunished” could certainly apply to the transportation fringe benefits that lawmakers penalized with the recent tax reform.

Yes, Tax Reform Did Kill Prospect and Client Meal Deductions

You asked us to elaborate on how tax reform did away with client and prospect business meals. It starts with the Tax Reform Act of 1986, when business meals were by law placed in the entertainment category. As you know, so-called business-friendly tax reform killed deductions for business entertainment and, along with it, client and prospect meals.

Tax Reform: Wow, New 20 Percent Deduction for Business Income

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.

Tax Reform Wipes Out 50 Percent Business Entertainment Deductions

Lawmakers finally did it. First, they reduced the directly related and associated entertainment deductions to 80 percent with the 1986 Tax Reform Act. Later, in 1993, they reduced that 80 percent to 50 percent. And now, with the newest tax reform, lawmakers simply killed business deductions for directly related and associated entertainment.

Tax Reform Cuts Deductions for Employee Meals to 50 Percent

Lawmakers do not like businesses that feed their employees on the business premises. The new tax reform takes what last year was a 100 percent deduction for a meal served for the convenience of the employer, reduces it to 50 percent this year (2018), and then throws it into the compost pile with a zero deduction in 2026 and later years.

Tax Reform Creates Taxes on Employee Fringe Benefit for Bicycles

You could (and can) deduct your costs for reimbursing employees for their qualified bicycle transportation costs. But tax reform now makes this bicycle transportation benefit a taxable event for your employees. As you will see in this article, even though the reimbursements are now taxable to the employees, you likely should continue the benefits.

 

Tax Reform: Entertainment Deductions That Survived

Traditional business entertainment such as business meals and ballgames with clients and prospects died with tax reform. That’s a sad deal, really. On the good news front, your parties with employees remain deductible, as do your employee entertainment facilities and selected other types of entertainment.

Tax Savings Trap Crushes S Corporation Owner’s Expenses

What can appear logical when planning for the S corporation owner’s business expenses can prove costly to the owner and, as in this article, cost every penny of the business deductions.

Update: 2018 Health Insurance for S Corporation Owners

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?

Q&A: Tax Deductions for Nine Months of Out-of-Town Travel

How does the tax code define a temporary assignment that qualifies you for tax deductions during a full period of stay, such as nine full months? In this article, you learn how federal per diem rates interact with some actual expenses and what you need in place to achieve deductions for a temporary out-of-town work assignment.

Get Paid: Hire Your Child

You can pay your child to work in your business and get paid for paying your child. Yeah, we know. You think this sounds too good to be true, but it’s true. For how the government pays you and why this works, read this article.

A New Way to Beat the 50 Percent Cut on Business Meals

The Boston Bruins deducted 100 percent of their meal expenses for employees who traveled out of town for the away games. The IRS challenged that 100 percent and lost. One big deal with the Bruins’ win is that it is precedent-setting, meaning that the Boston Bruins may have created a road map for you that could lead to more 100 percent business meal–expense deductions (versus the usual 50 percent allowance for business meals).

Q&A: S Corporation Reimbursement of My Home-Office Expenses

If you operate your business as an S corporation and you take advantage of the benefits you receive by having an office in your home, you probably want an easy and audit-proof way to make the reimbursement request. You find that in this article.

Q&A: Tax Deduction for NFL Tickets

You can deduct NFL tickets under the associated entertainment rules. In this Q&A, our member is traveling from Portland to Atlanta to attend a business conference, and while at that conference, he and his team members will attend the NFL game. The conference creates an easy path to this deduction.

Q&A: Back Up Your Claim That You Can Reimburse Depreciation

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.

Flowers, Fruit, Books: Tax-Free Fringe Benefits You Have to Like

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.

Beating Penalties for Misclassifying W-2 Workers as 1099 Contractors

The IRS hit the Mescalero Apache Tribe with a bad result in an employee classification audit. The tribe took the IRS to the Tax Court and forced the IRS to turn over records on the tribe’s workers’ tax payments that will substantially reduce its tax bill. If you have a worker classification issue, you will want to know what the tribe did and why.

Create Tax-Free Fringe Benefit Deductions for Your Smartphone

Do you operate your business as a corporation, a partnership, or a proprietorship, or as an LLC taxed as one of these three entities? Your choice of entity impacts whether you can create a no-hassle, tax-free fringe benefit for your and/or your employees’ smartphones. In this article, you learn the rules that apply and which ones give you the best benefits.

Q&A: Where Do I Find an Accountable Plan Template?

 

Achievement Awards Are a Great, Tax-Free Way to Reward Employees

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.)

Avoid Lost Deductions When Corp. Vehicle Is in Your Personal Name

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.

Lock in the Home-Office Deduction for Your S Corporation

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.

Q&A: Does My Home-Office Deduction Include My Garage?

 

Blueprint for Employee-Spouse 105-HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement)

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.

Q&A: Qualified Small-Employer HRA (QSEHRA)

 

Use a Tax-Advantaged SEP or 401(k) to Retire Early and in Comfort

When you operate your own business, don’t pay yourself last. Pay yourself first. That’s a wealth-building strategy. And if you can combine the pay-yourself-first strategy with a retirement plan, you supercharge your wealth strategy.

Announcing NEW Tax-Deductible Penalty-Free Health Plans for Small Businesses

Finally, the health insurance rules that apply to small businesses that want to provide medical benefits to their employees make more sense and allow some benefits. As you would expect, the new rules are not perfect. After all, this is tax law. But the new rules are light-years ahead of the old rules.

Lawbreakers Rejoice! New Law Wipes Away $100-a-Day Penalty

Do you have fewer than 50 employees? Are you in compliance with the Affordable Care Act? Whether you are in compliance or not, we may have some big news for you. First, if you failed compliance, a new law has likely just released you from the monstrous $100-a-day penalty ($36,500 per employee per year). Second, if you made changes to get into compliance, you may have overtaxed your employees. Now, with this new law, you may be able to undo some or all of that overtaxation.

2016 Last-Minute Year-End Retirement and Medical Tax Deductions

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 2016 taxes. This article gives you six action steps for 2016 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.

Business Tax Deductions with Section 127 Plan for Child’s College

Establish a Section 127 educational assistance plan in your business to help pay your age-21-or-older child’s college or other education costs. If you are in business and you have a child who is age 21 or older in financial need of educational assistance, this is a plan to consider.

Unpaid Payroll Taxes? Four Ways to Defeat the Trust Fund Penalty

Business owners and employees who do not pay their payroll taxes can find themselves personally liable for the trust fund portion of those taxes. This is true even if the business operates as a separate legal entity such as a corporation. If you are a business owner or employee in trouble with the IRS over unpaid payroll taxes, you need to consider strategies you can use to stop the IRS from assessing the trust fund penalties against you.

Q&A: Hiring Your Dependent Children

 

Tax Tips for Credit Card, Hotel, and Frequent Flyer Rewards

The IRS deemed that personal use of business-earned frequent flyer miles and hotel reward points are tax-free until further notice. Cash rewards are another matter. First, they are not gross income. Second, they reduce basis. Third, they produce a deduction when you donate them to charity.

Tax Tips for Tax-Free Disability Income and Deductible Premiums

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.

Q&A: Proof for the IRS That No W-2 Is Needed for the 105 Plan

 

Q&A: Affordable Care Act

 

Make Magic with a Section 105 Plan

Health insurance premiums are rising at an astronomic rate. This is one of the biggest monthly expenses for many families. That’s where, because you are in business, a properly planned and executed Section 105 plan can work for you. This plan works like magic—it turns your medical expenses into tax-favored business expenses.

Q&A: Help? Affordable Care Act Health Benefits for One Employee

 

Danger with Business Credit Card

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.

Paying for College

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.

Q&A: Health Insurance Deduction for Solo Owner-Employee of a C Corporation

 

Cut the Cost of College with Tax Credits

The paradox of choice applies when you consider the multitude of tax benefits available when paying educational expenses. In this article, we help you put money in your pocket by taking both the paradox of choice and the complexity out of two education tax credits with our step-by-step guide.

Reward Yourself and Your Employees with Tax-Free Supper Money

Have you ever faced this “problem”? A sudden boom in business requires you and your employees to work late in order to get everything finished. When this happens, how can you thank your employees for their overtime with a tax-free benefit that’s fully deductible to your business? You can provide a supper money fringe benefit if you follow four rules.

One Additional Way to Create 100 Percent Deductions for Employee Meals

Most business meals suffer a 50 percent cut in the amount you can deduct. But here’s one of those business meal strategies that produces a 100 percent deduction. So if you spend $5,000 for meals with this strategy, you don’t deduct $2,500 because of the 50 percent. Instead, you deduct the full $5,000.

How to Avoid Thousands in Federal Taxes and Penalties If You Misclassified Employees as Independent Contractors

You likely want to hire independent contractors whenever possible. But if you are bending and breaking the rules, you face big back taxes, horrific penalties, and interest. So, a question for you: Have you been misclassifying your workers? If so, the IRS has a good deal that lets you off the hook with just a tiny payment. We’re talking a fraction of what you would otherwise owe if you lost your contractor classification in an IRS employment tax audit.

You Can Claim Thousands in Business Education Deductions—Unless You Make This One Mistake

The government wants to give you the gift of education. Your lawmakers in Washington created a tax break for courses that improve or maintain your business skills. You can deduct in full the cost of education ranging from a standalone seminar all the way up to an advanced degree—including the cost of an MBA program. But in order to get this deduction, you have to follow a couple simple rules.

The Easy Way to Make Your Child a Millionaire Using Only His or Her Part-Time Wages

Are You Really an Independent Contractor But Getting a W-2 as an Employee? Change Tax Forms to Cut Your Tax Bill

Three Easy Steps to Deducting All Your Health Insurance Premiums as an S Corporation Owner

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.

Make Employees Happy with Dental and Vision Benefits Using a Loophole in Obamacare

Have you been longing for the good old days when you could offer a Section 105 health plan to your employees without having to comply with the new Obamacare rules? Well, you can still offer such a plan—provided that you limit the benefits to vision and dental.

The Easiest and Funnest Deduction You’ll Claim This Year: 4 Rules for Writing Off Employee Outings—100%!

The government wants you to have happy employees. That’s why the tax code grants you extra deductions when you provide entertainment and entertainment facilities that primarily benefit rank-and-file employees. In this article, we examine how the rules work when you take your employees on a party trip.

Slash Employment Taxes: Take Three Steps Before Hiring Workers

You save employment taxes when you hire workers as independent contractors. But you want to make certain that the workers are indeed contractors, or you could subject yourself to some expensive tax penalties. In this article, we show you three steps to independent contractor status for your workers.

Don’t Let Expense Report Blunders Trigger Unnecessary Taxes, Punishing You and Your Employees

If you reimburse your employees for business expenses, or if you operate your business as an S or a C corporation, it’s crucial that you know and follow the IRS accountable plan rules—this will save money not only for you but also for your employees. We’ll give you two easy-to-use tools that will help you seamlessly incorporate these rules into your business routine.

Don’t Settle for a 50 Percent Write-Off on Employee Lunches: Here’s How to Snag 100 Percent

Through a simple two-step process, you can fully deduct the cost of meals you provide to your employees. That’s right—this strategy helps you avoid the dreaded 50 percent reduction for entertainment expenses. But be careful when you use this strategy—your business may need to classify your meal differently from the meals for non-owner employees.

How to Beat the Absurd New IRS Rule on Taxable Reimbursements of Employee Health Insurance

The IRS just launched its latest attack on your reimbursements for individually purchased health insurance: Even fully taxable reimbursements could still violate the Obamacare rules and expose you to the $100-per-day penalties. But don’t worry. We’ll give you several strategies to beat this new rule.

Hire Your Kids to Work in Your LLC or Sole Proprietorship and Put a Huge Chunk of Their Pay Back in Your Pocket

If you put your kids to work in your business, you can use their compensation to create nice tax savings for yourself. This strategy lets you spend time with your children during the workday and teach them valuable lessons about working life—as well as valuable lessons about money and tax planning.

Write Off Your Clothing and Laundry Expenses without Giving All Employees the Same Privilege

In a previous edition of the Tax Reduction Letter, we explained how you get business deductions for the cost and laundry expenses of work clothes you buy for yourself and your employees. This update explains how you still get your full deduction even if you do not provide this benefit to all employees.

Stop Payroll Tax Embezzlement Before It’s Too Late—and Before It Costs You Your Business

Trust, but verify. That’s the motto you should have when it comes to your payroll tax payments. You likely have a professional or business associate take care of your tax filing and payments. But you could save yourself a lot of trouble down the road by knowing how to verify that your trusted associate has done what he or she claimed to do.

Make Your Company Party More Fun: Find Thousands More in Legal Tax Deductions!

Lawmakers may not always make your life easy, but at least you know they want you to have fun every now and then. The tax code gives you a 100 percent deduction for the parties that you throw for your employees—as long as you invite the right kind of employees.

How to Help Your Employees Pay for Medical Insurance and Reduce Everybody’s Taxes!

The Affordable Care Act allows you to pay for employee insurance by increasing taxable compensation. But that’s not the route you want to take, since it means more taxes for both you and your employees. This article gives you ideas on how to pay for employee insurance without hiking up your tax bill.

Five Steps to Take When Lending Money to Employees

Lending money to an employee can be a great way to help your worker through difficult times and build loyalty to your business. But when you do this, you need to plan for the possibility that your employee is unable or unwilling to repay the loan. In this article, you will discover the sad example of a business owner who suffered the consequences of poor planning. Fortunately for us, his mistakes serve as a guide on preserving good tax treatment for bad loans.

Fatal Place to Borrow Money

You never, ever want to borrow money from this one place. It’s poisonous. If you don’t suffer immediately, you might wish you had. This is a situation in which the money is readily available, you think it’s yours, and you think you are simply borrowing the money. But that’s not what’s happening. You are in truth stealing the money and violating your fiduciary responsibilities.

Defined Contribution Health Plans versus the Tax Code

You may have seen advertisements online for “defined contribution health plans.” If you use one of these plans, be sure you understand how they work. Some of them appear to offer reimbursement methods that violate tax law and expose you to enormous penalties. Read this article to identify both the safe and unsafe types of defined contribution health plans and learn how to comply with the law.

How the Taxman Gets You with Backdoor Taxes

Have lawmakers inserted any sleight of hand into your Form 1040 tax calculations? Yes, they have! And it’s really terrible. For example, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) rules make you pay taxes on your tax deductions. How’s that for true sleight-of-hand terribleness? The AMT even makes you pay taxes on the personal exemptions the regular tax law grants for your children. It’s outrageous. But, because you own a business, there are some things you can do to get even.

Tricks to Deducting Meals with Your Spouse

Would you like to deduct business meals with your spouse? What would the IRS think about that? If the IRS said that the meals were not deductible, what would the courts say? You would think there are hundreds of rulings and court cases that explain this. Not so. There is one tax rule that mostly assures the deduction, but it requires an addition. Spend a few minutes learning how tax law treats your spouse when it comes to business meals.

Small Employer Health Care under Obamacare

This article gives you a bird’s-eye view of the new health care landscape so that you can see all your post-Obamacare health care options together in one place. Choose the health plan that works best for your business based on the number of employees you have and the amount of money you are willing to spend.

Secrets of 105 Plan Multiple Employee Coverage under Obamacare

As you know, Obamacare has a dramatic impact on Section 105 medical plans that cover more than one employee. Of course, the first question is who is an employee for purposes of the Section 105 medical plan. And if you have multiple employees, you will be happy to know that this article gives you eight strategies for making the 105 plan work for you.

S Corporation Owner’s Path to Health Care under Obamacare

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.

The Best Way to Pay for Group Health Insurance

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.

Tax Deductions for Entertainment Facility (Part 3), Employee Use

Learn how employee use of your ski cabin or beach home produces a 100 percent business asset with deductions for depreciation, operating expenses, and mortgage interest. This can make for a great fringe benefit for both the employees and you. It also can make for a profitable investment.

HSA Solution to Obamacare

Do you employ 50 or fewer employees? Are you looking to do something on the health care front, but not interested in the group health insurance option? Health savings accounts (HSAs) could be exactly what you are looking for, especially as Obamacare becomes law.

Tax Deductions for Entertainment Facilities (Part 2), W-2 and 1099

You have many ways to make your entertainment facility tax deductible. For example, you can treat use of the facility as compensation to the users. Tax law tags two types of people in your business for purposes of entertainment facility W-2 and 1099 compensation: “specified individuals” and others. For specified individuals whose use of the business beach home, ski lodge, or other entertainment facility creates taxable compensation, tax law limits the business’s deduction for its entertainment facilities. For compensated taxable use by nonspecified individuals, the business faces no special limits on deductions for entertainment facilities.

How to W-2 the Vehicle You Provide to an Employee

You provide your employees with an automobile for business use. You know that their personal use of the vehicle must be included in their wages, but how do you calculate that amount? What valuation rules are available? This article tells you what your choices are and how to apply them.

Tax Deductions for Entertainment Facilities (Part 1)

How would you like a business tax deduction for your yacht, hunting lodge, hunting lease, airplane, beach cottage, fishing camp, swimming pool, ski lodge, or tennis court? Tax law contains a clear set of rules that you can follow to create such deductions. And as you would expect, the rules are pretty demanding.

Fatal Error Makes Management Service Firm Fail as a Tax Strategy

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.

Tax Treatment of Vehicles Provided for Employees

Have you considered providing your employee with an automobile? Would that automobile be used by the employee for business purposes or personal purposes? The tax effect for the employee depends on the answers to that question. This article gives you what you need to know.

Tax Deduction for Parking at the Office

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 Make This Big Mistake with Your Independent Contractors?

If you have workers who are paid on a 1099 as independent contractors, you need to avoid one fatal mistake. When you make this fatal mistake, you subject your worker employment classification to either the tax court’s common-law seven-factor test or the IRS’s 20-factor common-law test. Both of these tests are hard on the employer and often result in harsh reclassification of the 1099 independent contractors to W-2 employee status.

 

This Mistake Causes You to Pay Your Payroll Taxes Twice

Is your last payment of payroll taxes in the hands of the IRS or in the hands of an embezzler? How would you know? There’s one easy way to know: simply use the IRS’s online service to check. But that’s a lot of trouble, so why bother? Because if the money has been stolen, you (1) are out the money and (2) have to pay that same amount to the IRS. If you have to pay twice, you are going to be furious. Don’t let this happen.

 

Clarifying Flow Chart for S Corporation Health Insurance

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.

Increase Tax Deductions for Business Meals at Employee Meetings

As you likely know, tax law contains a number of rather ugly rules. One such rule is the disallowance of 50 percent of certain meal and entertainment costs. For example, party with your employees and get a 100 percent deduction, but have a serious meeting with your employees in a restaurant and you are stuck with the 50 percent deduction. Interestingly, there is a totally different rule that gives you better tax deductions when you serve the business meal to your employees at a meeting that takes place on your business premises.

Retirement Plan Design When You Have Employees

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.

6 Year-End Medical and Retirement Tax Tips

In this article, you’ll learn four tax-planning strategies for your medical deductions and two strategies for your retirement. If you want to implement the strategies for 2012, you need to get busy now. There’s not much time left, and one of these strategies requires action before December 1.

Six Answers to the Home-Office Deduction for the S Corporation Owner

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.

How the Business Owner Can Discriminate with the Health Savings Account

If you operate your business as a proprietorship, S corporation, or single-member LLC, the HSA gives you, the owner, the ability to discriminate in benefits on your behalf. In addition, you get the HSA’s front-end tax deduction, tax-deferred growth, and no taxes on withdrawals used for medical expenses.

Section 105 Plan for Unmarried and Same-Sex Couples

CPA subscriber points out that for the Section 105 medical reimbursement plan to work, marriage is not required.

W-2 Mortgage Loan Officer Avoids AMT with Employee Business Expense Deductions on Schedule C

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.

Better Deductions for Long-Term Care Insurance Costs

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.

Create a Business Tax Deduction for Your Timeshare When You Allow Use by Employees

This subscriber owns a timeshare that he is not going to use this year. He wants to know how he can obtain business tax deductions if he lets his employees use it, assuming the employees do some good work. He learns that he has two possible ways to let an employee use the timeshare, one of which is tax-free to the employee. The second method is to call use of the timeshare “compensation” to the employee, which produces the unusual result of taxable income to the employee in an amount often different from the tax deduction for the business.

S Corporation Pays Zero Salary to Owner

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.

Corporations Beat Proprietorships in Tax Deductions for Cell Phones

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.

IRS Now Says No Payroll Taxes on Family Employment in a Single-Member LLC

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.

New IRS Forgiveness Program for Improper 1099 Payments to W-2 Employees Is Not the Gift It Appears to Be

Is your worker an independent contractor or an employee? You want to get this right at the beginning. But if you improperly classified an employee as an independent contractor, the IRS has a tax penalty relief program for you. Should the IRS plan not have the best relief for you, consider the Section 530 employer protection plan.

Single-Member Limited Liability Company (LLC) as Choice of Entity

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.

Should Your S Corporation Discriminate on Your Behalf with Its Health Insurance Coverage?

Tax law makes it hard for the owner of an S corporation to win deductions for his health insurance. First, the corporate-provided health insurance is not a tax-free fringe benefit for the owner. Second, the S corporation has to pay for the health insurance or the owner will suffer a loss of tax deductions. Third, the S corporation payment for the health insurance will produce wages either exempt or nonexempt from FICA and Medicare taxes. This article shows you how to make the three tax deduction rules work for you.

Employer Uses De Minimis Fringe Benefit Rules to Deduct Tax-Free Gift of Flowers to Employee

Many small businesses underutilize tax deductions for de minimis fringe benefits. The beauty of the de minimis classification is that the business gets the tax deduction and the employee gets the benefits tax-free. This makes for happy owners and employees.

Use Business Tax Deductions to Build Your Child’s College Fund

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.

Best Tax Deduction for Employee Party

Does your chart of accounts contain two categories for your business entertainment tax deductions? It should. Your tax deduction for an employee party goes into a different deduction category from your regular business entertainment. Learn about the two accounts and how to get more tax deductions when you party with your employees.

Commissioned W-2 Salesperson Beats AMT with Expenses on Schedule C

The courts have determined that the alternative minimum tax (AMT) cheats many commissioned W-2 employees out of their rightful deductions. To fix this problem, the courts have allowed certain commissioned W-2 employees to move their employee business expenses from the IRS Form 2106 itemized deduction category to the tax-advantaged sole proprietorship on Schedule C.

Best Small-Business Retirement Plans: Part 5, the Defined Benefit Pension Plan Option

The defined benefit retirement plan might be your choice of retirement plans if you are age 50 or older and your business earns a healthy income.

Court Rules That This Independent Contractor Is a W-2 Employee

You are not self-employed for tax purposes just because your employer says so. This is true even when your employer is the British consulate general.

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.

How to Audit-Proof the Owner’s S Corporation Salary

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.

The Best Small-Business Retirement Plans: Part 2, the Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Option

This is the second article in our series on the best small-business retirement plans. Here we identify the four major advantages and three disadvantages to the SEP.

Prevent Payroll Embezzlement

You need preventative steps to ensure that you are paying the wages you think you are paying to your employees and that your payroll tax deposits are actually being sent to the IRS and not to an embezzler’s pockets.

Tax Lawyer Is an Employee, Not an Independent Contractor

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.

Nine Important Facts about the New Age 27 Health Insurance Rules

The new under-age-27 health insurance coverage grants windfalls, pitfalls, and planning opportunities.

Tax Tips for the S Corporation’s Fringe Benefit Realization

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.

Tax-Free Supper Money Tax Tips

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?

Tax-Free Lunches for 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?

Tax Tips for S Corporation’s HSA

When the S corporation makes HSA contributions on behalf of its more than 2 percent shareholder-employee, the S corporation treats the contributions as compensation to the shareholder-employee. In turn, the shareholder-employee has a deductible HSA on his or her personal tax return.

New Law Grandfathers Discriminatory Health Insurance

Many one-owner and husband-and-wife-owned businesses opt for discriminatory health insurance plans for their businesses. The new health care law eliminates that discrimination for new plans but allows grandfathered plans to continue as before.

Reimburse Corporate Owner-Employee for Depreciation

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.

Tax Audit Tips on Hiring Your Child

When the IRS invites you for a tax audit, the examiner does not know that you hired your children. This fact surfaces during the initial interview or survey process, and the IRS instructs its examiners to examine this hire closely. You avoid all the problems when you have the right records.

Tax Tips for S Corporation Employing Owner’s Mom

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.

How You, the Small-Business Owner, Can Cash In with Tax Credits for Health Insurance on Employees

Tax credits are a true incentive for the business owner. They reduce taxes dollar for dollar. Now, you have waiting for you a hefty 35 percent tax credit on small-business health insurance coverage for employees. Here are the rules you need to know.

How the New Health Care Law Treats You, the Owner of a Small Business

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.

New Health Care Law Makes Cash Gift to You with Deductions for Children Under Age 27

For business owners who have children ages 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26, the new health care bill contains a healthy break, and perhaps even better than that. Amend Section 105 plans now for this new provision. Download your sample plan from this article.

Business Education Tax Guide

Learn how the government pays you to get educated. The basic rule: you may deduct education that maintains or improves the skills you need in your business, providing the education does not qualify you for a new business.

What is a 1099 Independent Contractor?

If you are thinking of hiring your workers as 1099 independent contractors, this article is for you. The article shows you how the rules work and helps you understand what you need to properly classify your workers as independent contractors.

Buyer Defaults on Business Seller’s Take-Back Loan

The business bad debt generates the best bad debt tax breaks, except when the debt is incurred to protect, enhance, or continue your employee relationship (i.e, keep the corporation in business so you have a place to work).

Payroll Taxes Embezzled; Owner Has Big Tax Problem

Do you own a business that withholds taxes from employees? If so, you need 100 percent certainty that the withheld payroll tax monies are going to the IRS. You can achieve 100 percent certainty with the IRS EFTPS registration..

Pocket More Cash by Paying Transportation Fringe Benefits

You can use the transportation fringe benefit in lieu of wages. In fact, you can ask the employee to take a pay cut equal to the transportation fringe benefit. Amazingly, this swap of a pay cut for the transportation fringe benefit works out to give the employee an after-tax cash raise in pay and it puts cash in your pocket too.

Federal Tax Deductions for Section 127 Education of Grandchild

You can use a Section 127 education plan to obtain tax benefits for yourself (or your corporation) while you help your grandchild through college or other learning.

Federal Tax Deductions with Section 127 Plan for Child’s College Education

Establish a Section 127 educational assistance plan in your business to help pay your age 21 or older child’s college or other education costs. If you are in business and you have a child that’s age 21 or older in financial need of educational assistance, this is a plan to consider.

Sample Educational Assistance Plan

As a subscriber, you may download this sample Section 127 educational assistance plan in Microsoft Word. Then, simply modify the document to your business use.

Boondoggle Trip with Employees

Most entertainment deductions are cut by 50 percent when you complete the tax return. Tax law grants a number of exceptions to the 50 percent cut. One exception eliminates the 50 percent and grants a 100 percent deduction to the party, facility, or entertainment that is primarily for the benefit of employees.

Discriminate with Your 105 Plan

Use this Section 105 medical reimbursement plan template to make sure you provide maximum medical benefits to you and your family while legally discriminating under both tax law and ERISA rules.

 

Tips to Audit-Proof Your Records

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.

Recruiting Expense

You may deduct travel, meals, and lodging in an unsuccessful attempt to hire an employee.

 

Tool Allowance Fails

New tax rules have pretty much killed the once-common tool and car allowances as expense reimbursement methods.

 

Commissioned Employees Beat AMT by Claiming Independent Contractor Status

The dreaded alternative minimum tax (AMT) taxes the regular tax deductions claimed for employee business expenses. These taxpayers said, “enough” and took their cases to court where they won their deductions by claiming employee business expenses on Schedule C.

Coffee for Employees

You may deduct coffee and sodas in the workplace, as long as you file them correctly.

Tail Insurance

As a surgeon, you might get malpractice tail insurance (insurance that covers malpractice claims should you quit and go to another hospital). We suggest having the hospital pay the insurance costs, even if they deduct your pay, to protect yourself from the AMT.

Expense Allowances Can Be Dangerous

Save yourself time and trouble. Reimburse employees for actual expenses. Forget those two troublemakers: per diems and allowances.

Guide to Aircraft Deductions for the One-Owner Business

Many people, through keen knowledge of the tax law, have been able to use the law to their advantage and buy personal aircraft. Unfortunately, lawmakers changed the rules for deducting personal aircraft. We summarized the new rules for you.

Solo 401(k) Could Be the Perfect Retirement Plan for You

Incorporated and unincorporated businesses can use the solo 401(k) to benefit the owner (including a husband and wife). In most cases, the solo 401(k) allows the one-owner or husband-and-wife owners to put away more than they could in other plans (up to $49,000 this year, depending on age and earnings—adjusted for inflation in future years).

New Law and New Times Require a Close Look at Your Retirement Funds

This new law requires that you look at your retirement plans through new eyes. Caution is one watchword here. You have much to consider, including how to obtain a strong rate of return on your retirement assets and factors outside your control like the pension bailout of the airline industry. With the new rules, the 401(k) looks better and better, especially if you have employees.

New Law and “Hire Your Child”

The expansion of the kiddie tax to children under the age of 18 has zero negative effect on the hire-your-child strategy.

Medical When You Have Two Businesses

When designing the medical plan, you need to consider all your and your spouse’s proprietorships, LLCs, and corporations as one business. If employees exist in one of these businesses, you have employees in all businesses. Plan your discrimination or nondiscrimination accordingly.

W-2 for Section 105 Plan

The W-2 reporting requirements exempt the Section 105 medical plan reimbursements from entries on the W-2.

Pension Coverage for Employees

You often have many alternatives when it comes to pension coverage for you and your employees. This is an area where you should speak with several individuals, including your tax advisor and life insurance agent, before making a decision.