Recent Feature Headlines

April 2020

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.

COVID-19: Tax Season Delayed Until July 15—Wait or File Now?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS postponed certain federal tax returns and payments due on April 15, 2020. The scope of the relief is narrower than you may think, so you need to ask yourself: “Do I qualify?” And if you do, do you still want to file and pay now, or wait?

Husband-Wife Partnerships: Three Tax-Saving Strategies—Part 2

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.

COVID-19: CARES Act Allows $100,000 Tax-Free IRA Grab and Repay

COVID-19 has created many tax breaks for you and your business to mitigate the financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus. In this article, we explain how you may be able to take money from your IRA and other retirement accounts, avoid early withdrawal penalties, and have generous options on repayment (or not). We also explain when you don’t have to take the required minimum distribution from your IRA.

COVID-19: Important Tax Breaks from the CARES Act

Congress just passed the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In it, there are a lot of juicy tax benefits for you and your business. We’ll tell you about a collection of important ones you need to know.

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: IRS Provides Relief from Enforcement Actions

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing you need is the IRS doing bad things, like auditing you or levying your bank account or wages. But don’t worry—the IRS is pausing most of its collection and audit enforcement actions. When you read the article, we’ll tell you what it is stopping and for how long.

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.

New 2020 Section 199A Calculator

In these topsy-turvy times, don’t overlook planning for your free 20 percent tax deduction under Section 199A. Here, you find the rules you need to know to find your QBI, Section 199A wages, and Section 199A property along with an easy-to-use calculator that you can use to figure into your 2020 Section 199A deduction possibilities.

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.

March 2020

If You Don’t Want 100 Percent Depreciation, Elect Out or Else

Most favorable tax elections require you to elect the beneficial treatment. But 100 percent bonus depreciation works in reverse. Here, you have to elect out of 100 percent bonus depreciation in the manner the IRS specifies; otherwise, you claimed it, whether or not it shows on your tax return. In this article, we give you not only the strategies for dealing with bonus depreciation but also the formal election you must make to elect out.

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.

Husband-Wife Partnerships: The Tax Angles—Part 1

If you and your spouse work together in a business that you do not operate as a corporation, you can run into the partnership rules—and they are not usually friendly to a spouse partnership. In Part 1 of this article, you will see how the partnership rules work. You will also see how spouses can elect joint venture tax return treatment.

Beware of the Dark Side When Considering the C Corporation

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.

Section 83(b): Restricted Stock Awards and Your Taxes

When you receive restricted stock awards, you need to decide whether you want to make a Section 83(b) tax election. In this article, we explain the nuances to the Section 83(b) election.

Beat the Unfair $10,000 SALT Cap with a C Corporation

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?

February 2020

Eight Answers to Questions About the SECURE Act

The SECURE Act changed many tax law provisions related to retirement and savings. We wrote about the new law last month and have since received many questions. In this article, we give you the answers to eight questions.

Don’t Waste Donations on Your Church or Charity; Use Your Business

Giving to your church, school, or other 501(c)(3) charity is a noble act no matter how you choose to give. But for the purposes of tax savings, some forms of giving are much more beneficial to you than others. As a business owner, you can use some business strategies to get the money to these institutions as business expenses. While this does not change anything from the institution’s perspective, it hugely increases your tax savings.

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.

Does the Per Diem Expense Option Stick It to Business Owners?

If you’re a business owner, should you take advantage of per diems when you travel? The short answer is yes and no—and perhaps surprisingly, keeping track of your actual expenses is often a better plan anyway. Here’s why.

Avoid the Gift Tax—Use the Tuition and Medical Strategy

Lawmakers have given you an easy strategy to avoid paying gift and estate taxes. The strategy involves tuition and medical expenses that, likely, are common issues for your loved ones. Sadly, this tax avoidance technique is often unknown or overlooked—but not for those who have 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?

January 2020

Top Eight Changes in the SECURE Act You Need to Know

Our lawmakers did it again. They made more last-minute tax law changes, which the president signed into law on December 20, 2019. One such new law is called the SECURE Act. This new law made a lot of changes to how you save for retirement and spend money in retirement. Don’t worry, though. We’ll give you the most important provisions you need to know, and how they impact you regardless of age.

Unlock Tax Deductions with a Rental Property Home Office

Home-office deductions aren’t just for Schedule C businesses. You can have a rental property home office and deduct those expenses on a Schedule E. Besides the usual tax benefits of a home-office deduction, you will gain time that can qualify you as having tax code–defined real estate professional status, and thus unlock 100 percent of your current-year rental losses for immediate deduction against all income.

Congress Reinstates Expired Tax Provisions—Some Back to 2018

Every year, we wonder whether Congress will renew various expiring tax breaks, many of which are known as “extenders.” Many extenders died on December 31, 2017, and Congress let them remain dead for all of 2018. Now Congress has brought them back from the dead—and retroactively to January 1, 2018, meaning an amended return may be in your future.

Retirement Plans Desktop Reference for One-Person Businesses

Download your PDF copy of the retirement plans desktop reference for one-person businesses.

Congress Kills TCJA Kiddie Tax Changes

In December 2017, Congress enacted the TCJA and changed how your children calculate their tax on their investment-type income. The TCJA changes led to much higher tax bills for many children. On December 19, 2019, Congress passed a bill that the president signed into law on December 20, 2019 (Pub. L. 116-94). The new law repeals the kiddie tax changes from the TCJA and takes you back to the old kiddie tax rules, even retroactively if you so desire.

Should You Operate Your Business as a Partnership (or an LLC Taxed as a Partnership)?

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.

Divorce: Beat Alimony, Redeem Spouse’s Stock in Your Closely Held Corp.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act altered the rules of the road in divorce planning. The significant change is that alimony is no longer tax-deductible; therefore, you want to avoid paying alimony. You may be able to sidestep alimony by transferring assets to your ex—and also have your ex carry the tax burden associated with those assets.

Solo 401(k) Could Be Your Best Retirement Plan Option

If you operate as a sole proprietor or are the sole owner of an S or C corporation, the solo 401(k) can create the ideal retirement plan if you don’t have employees who work more than 1,000 hours a year for your business. This article provides you with great insights into the solo 401(k).

Why a SIMPLE-IRA Could Be Your Best Retirement Plan Alternative

Talk to a business owner who has been in business for a while, and he or she will tell you to make sure that you put a retirement plan in place. When you are starting out and have modest income, the SIMPLE-IRA can be the perfect plan, as explained in this article.