Weekly Tax Brief
- Published: 04 April 2019 04 April 2019
If your company is merging with or acquiring another business, it’s important to understand how the transaction will be taxed. For tax purposes, a transaction can basically be structured in two ways: stock (or ownership interest) or assets. For tax and nontax reasons, buyers usually prefer to purchase assets, while sellers generally prefer stock sales. Buying or selling a business may be the most important deal you’ll ever make, so seek professional tax advice as you negotiate. After a deal is done, it may be too late to get the best tax results. Contact us.
- Published: 22 March 2019 22 March 2019
While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces most income tax rates and expands some tax breaks, it may cause you to see these five itemized deductions shrink or disappear when you file your 2018 tax return: 1) state and local tax, 2) mortgage interest, 3) home equity debt interest, 4) miscellaneous, and 5) casualty and theft loss. The combination of a much larger standard deduction and smaller itemized deductions may mean that, even if itemizing has typically benefited you, you might now be better off taking the standard deduction. Contact us for details.
- Published: 11 March 2019 11 March 2019
The flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been great news for these entities and their owners. But some fundamental tax truths for C corporations largely remain the same. For example, although the 21% rate will lower the impact, double taxation is still an important issue to consider, especially if a C corporation owns assets that are likely to appreciate significantly. And C corporation status still generally isn’t advisable for ventures that will incur ongoing tax losses. Have questions? Contact us.
- Published: 01 March 2019 01 March 2019
When you file your 2018 income tax return, you’ll likely find that some big tax law changes affect you, besides the much-discussed tax rate cuts and reduced itemize deductions. For 2018 through 2025, the TCJA: 1) eliminates personal exemptions, 2) increases the standard deduction and 3) expands the child credit. The degree to which these changes will affect you depends on whether you have dependents and, if so, how many. It also depends on whether you typically itemize deductions. We can help ensure you claim all of the breaks available to you on your 2018 return.
Depreciation-related breaks on business real estate: What you need to know when you file your 2018 return
- Published: 22 February 2019 22 February 2019
Enhanced depreciation-related tax breaks for certain business real estate investments, such as qualified improvement property, may offer substantial savings when you file your 2018 tax return. Learn more.
- Published: 18 February 2019 18 February 2019
The IRS opened the 2018 income tax return filing season on Jan. 28. Consider filing as soon as you can, even if you typically don’t file this early. It can help protect you from tax identity theft, in which a thief files a return using your Social Security number to claim a bogus refund. If you file first, it will be returns filed by any would-be thieves that are rejected by the IRS, not yours. Other benefits: You’ll get your refund sooner or, if you owe tax, you’ll know how much you owe sooner so you can be ready to pay it by April 15. Contact us with questions.
- Published: 08 February 2019 08 February 2019
A higher IRS mileage rate means larger tax deductions for business miles in 2019. The optional standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an auto for business has increased by 3.5 cents, to 58 cents per mile. The mileage rate comes into play when businesses don’t want to keep track of actual vehicle-related expenses. But you still must record certain information, such as the mileage, date and destination for each trip. The mileage rate can also be used for reimbursing employees. Many rules and limits apply. Contact us for details.
- Published: 28 January 2019 28 January 2019
Most TCJA provisions went into effect in 2018 and apply through 2025 or are permanent, but two major changes affect individuals beginning in 2019: 1) While the TCJA reduced the medical expense deduction threshold from 10% of adjusted gross income to 7.5%, the reduction applies only to 2017 and 2018. So for 2019, the threshold returns to 10%. 2) For divorce agreements executed (or, in some cases, modified) after Dec. 31, 2018, alimony payments won’t be deductible by the payer but will be excluded from the recipient’s taxable income. Contact us for details.
- Published: 25 January 2019 25 January 2019
If you own a business, an exit strategy should be part of your tax planning so that taxes don’t trip you up when you retire or leave the business for some other reason. An exit strategy is a plan for passing on responsibility for running the company, transferring ownership and extracting your money from the business. Common exit options include a buy-sell agreement, succession within the family, a management buyout, an ESOP and a sale to an outsider. Each involves a variety of tax and nontax considerations. Contact us to discuss your exit strategy.
- Published: 21 January 2019 21 January 2019
Now that 2019 has begun, there isn’t too much you can do to reduce your 2018 income taxes. But it’s smart to begin preparing for filing your 2018 return. Because the TCJA, signed into law at the end of 2017, likely will have a major impact on your 2018 taxes, it’s a good time to review the most significant provisions affecting individual taxpayers. For example, it generally reduces tax rates. And it nearly doubles the standard deduction and expands the child tax credit. But it also reduces or eliminates many breaks. Contact us to review the changes affecting you.