Weekly Tax Brief
- Published: 17 January 2020 17 January 2020
The recently enacted SECURE Act includes a new requirement for employers that sponsor tax-favored defined contribution retirement plans that are subject to ERISA. Specifically, the law will require that benefit statements sent to plan participants include a lifetime income disclosure at least once during any 12-month period. It will need to illustrate the monthly payments that an employee would receive if the total account balance were used to provide lifetime income streams, including a single life annuity and a qualified joint and survivor annuity for the participant and his or her surviving spouse. The requirement won’t go into effect until 12 months after the DOL issues a final rule.
- Published: 14 January 2020 14 January 2020
The IRS is opening the 2019 individual income tax return filing season on Jan. 27. Even if you usually don’t file until closer to the April 15 deadline (or you file an extension), consider being an early-bird filer this year. It can potentially protect you from tax identity theft. In these scams, a thief uses another person’s personal information to file a fraudulent return early in the filing season and claim a bogus refund. Then, when the legitimate taxpayer files, the IRS rejects the return because one with the same information has already been filed for the year. If you file first, any would-be fraudulent returns will be rejected by the IRS, rather than yours.
- Published: 10 January 2020 10 January 2020
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) was recently signed into law as part of a larger spending bill. There are several provisions of interest to small businesses that have a retirement plan for employees or are thinking of adding one. For example, unrelated employers will be able to join together to create a retirement plan. Beginning in 2021, new rules will make it easier to create and maintain a multiple employer plan. In addition, there’s an increased tax credit for small employer retirement plan startup costs. And there’s a new small employer automatic plan enrollment credit. These are only some of the provisions in the law. Contact us to learn more.
- Published: 06 January 2020 06 January 2020
Technology has made it easier to work from home. However, just because you have a home office doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it on your tax return. In order to be deductible, you must be self-employed and the space must be used regularly and exclusively for business purposes. If you qualify, there are two options for a deduction. You can deduct a portion of your mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utilities and certain other expenses, as well as the depreciation allocable to the office space. This requires calculating and substantiating actual expenses. Alternatively, you can take a “safe harbor” deduction. Other rules and limits apply. Contact us for details.
- Published: 03 January 2020 03 January 2020
While you were celebrating the holidays, you may have missed a law that passed with a grab bag of provisions providing tax relief to businesses and employers. It makes many changes to the tax code, including an extension (generally through 2020) of provisions that were set to expire or already expired. For example, the law extended the employer tax credit for paid family and medical leave through 2020, as well as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring individuals who are members of targeted groups. It also repealed the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. These are only a few provisions of the new law. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Published: 31 December 2019 31 December 2019
As part of a year-end budget bill, Congress just passed a package of tax provisions that will provide savings for some taxpayers. It contains a variety of tax breaks. For example, the age limit for IRA contributions is being raised from age 70½ to 72. The age to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) is also going up from 70½ to 72. Most of the tax “extenders” have been reinstated through 2020. In addition, there is a package of retirement-related provisions, including new rules that allow some part-time employees to participate in 401(k) plans. These are only some of the provisions in the new law. Contact us with any questions.
- Published: 23 December 2019 23 December 2019
In a 2018 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the power of states to collect sales tax from remote sellers. Today, nearly every state with a sales tax has enacted a similar law. So if your company does business across state lines, it’s a good idea to reexamine your sales tax obligations. If you make online, telephone or mail-order sales in states where you lack a physical presence, it’s critical to find out whether those states have economic nexus laws and determine whether your activities are enough to trigger them. If you have nexus with a state, you must register and collect state and applicable local taxes on your taxable sales there. If you need assistance, contact us.
- Published: 20 December 2019 20 December 2019
Don’t let the holiday rush keep you from taking some important steps to reduce your 2019 tax liability. You still have time to execute a few strategies. For example, are you thinking about purchasing new or used heavy vehicles, heavy equipment, machinery or office equipment in the new year? Buy them and place them in service by December 31, and you can deduct 100% of the cost as bonus depreciation. Or you can put recurring expenses normally paid early in the year on your credit card before Jan. 1. That way, you can claim the deduction for 2019 even though you don’t pay the bill until 2020. Finally, before year-end, contribute to a SEP or 401(k) if you haven’t reached the contribution limit.
- Published: 16 December 2019 16 December 2019
The number of people engaged in the “gig” or sharing economy has grown in recent years. And there are tax consequences for the people who perform these jobs, such as providing car rides, renting spare rooms, delivering food and walking dogs. Generally, if you receive income from these gigs, it’s taxable. That’s true even if the income comes from a side job and if you don’t receive a 1099-MISC or 1099-K form reporting the money you made. You may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments because your income isn’t subject to withholding. Some or all of your business expenses may be deductible on your tax return, subject to the normal tax limitations and rules. Contact us to learn more.
- Published: 13 December 2019 13 December 2019
Here are a few key tax-related deadlines for businesses during Q1 of 2020. JAN. 31: File 2019 Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to employees. Also provide copies of 2019 Forms 1099-MISC to recipients and, if reporting nonemployee compensation in Box 7, file, too. FEB. 28: File 2019 Forms 1099-MISC if not required earlier and paper filing. MAR. 16: If a calendar-year partnership or S corp., file or extend your 2019 tax return. Contact us to learn more about filing requirements and ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines.