New or revised deductions for businesses

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  • Qualified business income deduction. Many taxpayers may be eligible for a new deduction for qualified business income (QBI) from a qualified trade or business operated directly or through a pass-through entity.The deduction has two components.1) Eligible taxpayers may be entitled to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income (QBI) from a domestic business operated as a sole proprietorship or through a partnership, S corporation, trust or estate. For taxpayers with taxable income that exceeds $315,000 for a married couple filing a joint return, or $157,500 for all other taxpayers, the deduction is subject to limitations such as the type of trade or business, the taxpayer’s taxable income, the amount of W-2 wages paid by the qualified trade or business and the unadjusted basis immediately after acquisition (UBIA) of qualified property held by the trade or business. Income earned through a C corporation or by providing services as an employee is not eligible for the deduction.

    2) Eligible taxpayers may be entitled to deduct 20 percent of their combined qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership (PTP) income. This component of the section 199A deduction is not limited by W-2 wages or the UBIA of qualified property.

    The sum of these two amounts is referred to as the combined qualified business income amount. Generally, this deduction is the lesser of the combined qualified business income amount and an amount equal to 20 percent of the taxable income minus the taxpayer’s net capital gain.

    The deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. Most eligible taxpayers can claim it for the first time when they file their 2018 federal income tax return in 2019. The deduction is available regardless of whether an individual itemizes their deductions on Schedule A or takes the standard deduction.

    For more information, see the FAQs on the Deduction for Qualified Business Income.

  • Meal and entertainment expenses. The new law generally eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation. However, under the new law, taxpayers can continue to deduct 50 percent of the cost of business meals if the taxpayer – or an employee of the taxpayer – is present and the food or beverages are not considered lavish or extravagant. The meals may be provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant or similar business contact. Food and beverages that are purchased or consumed during entertainment events will not be considered entertainment if purchased separately from the entertainment, or if the cost is stated separately from the entertainment on one or more bills, invoices or receipts.
  • Fines and penalties paid to a government. Taxpayers can’t deduct certain fines and penalties for violation of the law. See Notice 2018-23 for more details.
  • Payments made in sexual harassment or sexual abuse cases. Taxpayers can’t deduct certain payments made in sexual harassment or sexual abuse cases.
  • Payments under state or local tax credit programs. Business taxpayers who make business-related payments to charities or government entities for which the taxpayers receive state or local tax credits can generally deduct the payments as business expenses.
  • The business expense deduction is available to any business taxpayer, regardless of whether it’s doing business as a sole proprietor, partnership or corporation, as long as the payment qualifies as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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