The first tax-filing season under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was a time of uncertainty for many businesses as they struggled with the implications of the law’s sweeping changes for their bottom lines. With the next filing season on the horizon, you can incorporate the lessons learned into your year-end tax planning. Several areas in particular are ripe with opportunities to reduce your 2019 federal tax liability.Read More
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released the finalized rule on overtime exemptions for white-collar workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The rule updates the standard salary levels for the first time since 2004. While it is expected to expand the pool of nonexempt workers by more than 1 million, it’s also more favorable to employers than a rule proposed by the Obama administration in 2016. That rule would have expanded the pool by more than 4 million but was blocked by a federal district court judge.
The new rule is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020. Affected employers need to take prompt action to reduce the impact to their bottom lines.Read More
Earlier this year, the IRS published a proposed safe harbor giving owners of certain rental real estate interests the opportunity to take advantage of the qualified business income (QBI) deduction. The QBI write-off was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for pass-through entities. The IRS has now released final guidance (Revenue Procedure 2019-38) on the safe harbor that clearly lays out the requirements that taxpayers must satisfy to benefit.Read More
House Bills 62 and 166 were signed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on August 23, 2019. These bills will enact several important changes to the Ohio income tax law for the 2019 tax year. These changes will apply to income tax returns due on April 15, 2020.
The upcoming tax changes are explained below:
• Ohio is combining the bottom three tax brackets. The tax rate for the new configuration is 0%. This means taxpayers with Ohio Taxable Nonbusiness income of $21,750 or less will pay $0 in Ohio income tax.
• All Ohio income tax rates have been reduced by 4%. The top tax rate is now 4.797%.
• There will be no adjustment for Ohio’s personal and dependent exemption amounts for 2019. The 2019 adjustments will be the same as tax year 2018.Read More
On August 14, 2019, the IRS announced it would waive estimated tax penalties for eligible 2018 taxpayers. This will effect around 400,000 tax filers who have already filed their 2018 federal tax return according to the IRS.
If you have already filed your 2018 federal tax return and are eligible for the waiver, there is no need to contact the IRS or apply for the waiver. The waiver will automatically be applied to your tax account by the IRS.Read More
Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies
Taxpayers who own cryptocurrency should pay close attention to the IRS’s recent announcement. In July, the department announced they will soon crack down on taxpayers who fail to report their virtual currency transactions. Past activity will not be ignored. In this announcement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig encourages taxpayers to meet their past tax obligations by amending prior returns and paying back taxes.
Last month, the IRS sent over 10,000 educational letters that explain what transactions are taxable, when taxpayers should report their transactions, and how taxpayers can remedy past reporting oversights. The IRS has a history of helping taxpayers understand the ins and outs of the tax law, so these educational letters come as no surprise. In 2014, the department released a taxpayer notice explaining how virtual currency should be reported and how it will be taxed. Last year, they unveiled a Virtual Currency Compliance campaign that deployed training resources to the public and collected taxpayer feedback. And most recently, they announced that official guidance on the taxability of cryptocurrency transactions is forthcoming. Although the IRS’s chief concern is enforcement, taxpayer education is high on their priority list.Read More
The U.S. Senate has passed, and President Trump is expected to sign into law, a broad package of reforms aimed at the IRS. Among other things, the Taxpayer First Act contains several new protections for taxpayers, along with provisions intended to improve the IRS’s customer service.
Stronger safeguards against identity theft
Several of the bill’s provisions address tax-related identity theft. For example, the bill generally requires the IRS to notify a taxpayer as soon as practicable when it suspects or confirms an unauthorized use of the individual’s identity. The IRS also must:
• Provide the taxpayer instructions on how to file a report with law enforcement on the unauthorized use,• Identify any steps the individual should take to permit law enforcement to access his or her personal information during the investigation,
• Provide information regarding the actions the taxpayer can take to protect him- or herself from harm, and
• Offer identity protection measures, such as the use of an “identity protection personal identification number” (IP PIN).
Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies
A lesser-known provision of tax reform opens the door for small business owners to potentially tap into a new source of capital.
Enacted in late 2017, the Tax Cuts and Job Act has received plenty of attention for the numerous and significant ways it alters corporate and individual tax liability. Some of its provisions, however, are still not fully leveraged or recognized as the business community continues to adapt to the enormous, complex tax law.
One such provision is a change in the rules governing ownership in S corporations, a common organizational structure for many small businesses. The TCJA loosened some of the restrictions that have typically been associated with S corporation ownership, especially with respect to non-U.S. ownership.Read More
The IRS has updated the inflation-adjusted “luxury automobile” limits on certain deductions taxpayers can take for passenger automobiles — including light trucks and vans — used in their businesses. Revenue Procedure 2019-26 includes different limits for purchased automobiles that are and aren’t eligible for bonus first-year depreciation, as well as for leased automobiles.
The role of the TCJA
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) amended Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 168(k) to extend and modify bonus depreciation for qualified property purchased after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023, including business vehicles. Businesses can expense 100% of the cost of such property (both new and used, subject to certain conditions) in the year the property is placed in service.Read More
Topics: Tax Planning & Strategies
The IRS recently announced the inflation-adjusted maximum value of an employer-provided vehicle under the vehicle cents-per-mile rule and the fleet-average value rule. Employers can use the rules to value an employee’s personal use of such a vehicle for income and employment tax purposes.Read More