Posts Tagged "small business"

Update on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)

Posted on Apr 25, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed by Congress in a hurry late last year, and the IRS and tax preparers have been working to digest some of the more thorny issues created by the tax overhaul. Here are the latest answers to some of the most common questions: Is home equity interest still deductible? The short answer is: Not unless you’ve used the money to buy, build or substantially improve your home. Before the TCJA, homeowners were able to take out a home equity loan and spend it on things other than their residence, such as to pay off credit card debt or to finance large consumer purchases. Under the old tax code, they could deduct interest on up to $100,000 of such home equity debt. The TCJA effectively writes the concept of home equity indebtedness out of the tax code. Now you can only deduct interest on “acquisition indebtedness,” meaning a loan secured by a qualified residence that is used to buy, build or substantially improve it. If you have taken out a home equity loan before 2018 and used it for any other purpose, interest on it is no longer deductible. I’m a small business owner. How do I use the new 20 percent qualified business expense deduction? Short answer: It’s complicated and you should get help. Certain small businesses structured as sole proprietors, S corporations and partnerships can deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income. But that percentage can be reduced after your taxable income reaches $157,500 (or $315,000 as a married couple filing jointly). The amount of the reduction depends partly on the amount of wages paid and property acquired by your business during the year. Another complicating factor is that certain service industries including health, law, consulting, athletics, financial services and accounting are treated slightly differently. The IRS is expected to issue more clarification on how these rules are applied, such as when your business is a mix of one of those service industries and some other kind of business What are the new rules about dependents and caregiving? There are a few things that have changed regarding dependents and caregiving: Deductions. Standard deductions are nearly doubled to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married joint filers. The code still says dependents can claim a standard deduction limited to the greater of $1,050 or $350 plus unearned income. Kiddie Tax. Unearned income of children under age 19 (or 24 for full-time students) above a threshold of $2,100 is now taxed at a special rate for estates and trusts, rather than the parents’ top tax rate. Family credit. If you have dependents who aren’t children under age 17 (and thus eligible for the Child Tax Credit), you can now claim $500 for each qualified dependent member of your household for whom you provide more than half of their financial support. Medical expenses. You can now deduct medical expenses higher than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. You can claim this for medical expenses you pay for a relative even if they aren’t a dependent (i.e., they live outside your household) as long as you provide more than half of their financial support. Stay tuned for more guidance from the IRS on the new tax laws, and reach out if you’d like to set up a tax planning consultation for your 2018 tax year. 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...

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Factor new limits on deductions into your tax planning

Posted on Sep 17, 2013

As you begin your year-end tax planning review, keep in mind the return of the limitation on itemized deductions and personal exemptions for higher-income taxpayers. When you’re married filing jointly and your adjusted gross income is more than $300,000, the amount you can claim for these two items is reduced. The threshold is $250,000 if you file as a single. 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 the McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates specializes 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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“Basis” is important to an S corporation

Posted on Aug 27, 2013

Losses can be hard to take – so if you think your S corporation will show a loss for 2013, now’s the time to plan to make sure you’ll get the full tax benefit. The Problem. The amount of the business loss you can deduct on your individual income tax return is limited to your basis in your S corporation stock and certain corporate debt. This is true even though the loss reported to you on Schedule K-1 is greater than your basis. Here’s how it works. Typically, stock basis in an S corporation begins with the capital contribution you make to get the company started. (When you receive stock as a gift, an inheritance, or in place of compensation, your initial basis is calculated differently.) At the end of each taxable year, your stock basis is adjusted to reflect the business’s operating results. Taxable income increases your basis, while losses reduce it. Basis is also increased by capital you put into your company and reduced by amounts you withdraw, such as distributions. After your stock basis reaches zero, you may be able to deduct additional losses, up to the extent of your debt basis. That’s the basis you have in loans you make to your company. Once your stock and debt basis are both reduced to zero, losses incurred are suspended, which means you get no current tax benefit. However, you can generally take suspended losses in future years, when you again have basis. The Solution. You can increase your basis – and your ability to take losses – by adding capital or making loans to your business. Please call to discuss how basis affects your individual income tax return. We can guide you through the rules to optimize available...

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Avoid growing pains in your business

Posted on Jul 30, 2013

One way to kill your business is to grow it too fast. Many profitable small businesses have expanded at the wrong time and at the wrong level of increased costs. The result is that they never again make a profit. How does this happen? A given amount of building, equipment, employees, and the associated maintenance, insurance, and taxes will allow your business to operate at a certain maximum sales volume. If you want to grow, say double or triple your current sales, you will need more of all the above items. When you commit to that new larger building with more equipment and employees, you have increased your “breakeven point” (the level of sales you need at which you make your first dollar of profit). Take this example. Assume that you are a local carpet store. You occupy a 4,000 square foot building. You have a fairly fixed amount of inventory, equipment, and employees. Let’s say you are doing $1 million in sales, your gross profit is $300,000, and your fixed costs (building, etc.) are $250,000 with a net profit of $50,000. Since you have an established local customer base, you are convinced that a shop three times this size would make you even more money. Here is what to look out for. Let’s assume that your new 12,000 square foot building and associated higher expenses have raised your fixed costs to $650,000. If you double your sales to $2 million, your gross profit will be $600,000. That leaves you $50,000 in the hole for the year. You would need sales of $2.3 million to get back to the same net profit you had before you tripled your floor space. Before you go down a permanent road of no return, play a few games of “what if.” 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 the McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates specializes 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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Have you considered a SIMPLE plan for your business?

Posted on Sep 28, 2012

Many sole proprietors and small business owners agree on the following two issues: they pay too much in taxes and they have difficulty attracting and retaining good employees. One way to address both of these issues is to have your business sponsor a retirement savings plan. If you’re self-employed or own a small business and don’t currently have a retirement plan in place, consider setting up a SIMPLE plan. SIMPLEs (Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees) are available in two forms – SIMPLE IRAs and SIMPLE 401(k)s. SIMPLE plans are generally available only to small businesses that don’t maintain any other retirement plan. If your business has more than 100 employees, you won’t be eligible for a SIMPLE. Most businesses will find the IRA version preferable to the 401(k) form of SIMPLE. Here’s how SIMPLE IRAs work. Eligible employees (including yourself) can elect to have a portion of their earnings withheld each pay period, limited to $11,500 in annual deferrals ($14,000 for those aged 50 or older). The employees then direct how the deferrals will be invested within their own SIMPLE IRAs. Amounts withheld for the SIMPLE IRA reduce the employee’s taxable income and grow tax-deferred. The costs to set up and administer a SIMPLE IRA are minimal. However, as the employer, you’re required to make contributions into your employees’ SIMPLE IRAs on their behalf. You have the option of contributing either 2% of the wages of every eligible employee or making matching contributions up to 3% of the wages of those employees who participate in the plan. Generally, the deadline for businesses to establish a SIMPLE plan for 2012 is October 1, 2012. To find out more about SIMPLE plans, give us a...

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