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Archives for September 2018

2018 – 09/17

Does your business reimburse employees’ work-related travel expenses? If you do, you know that it can help attract and retain employees. If you don’t, you may want to start. Changes under the TCJA make such reimbursements even more attractive to employees: Employees are no longer allowed to deduct such expenses. Travel reimbursements also come with tax benefits, but only if you follow a method that passes muster with the IRS. To learn more, contact us. We can help you determine whether you should reimburse such expenses and which method is right for you.

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2018 – 09/25 – Tax planning for investments gets more complicated

For investors, fall is a good time to review year-to-date gains and losses. Doing so can help you determine whether to buy or sell investments before year end to save taxes. You also need to consider the TCJA. While it didn’t change long-term capital gains rates, it did change the tax brackets. For 2018 through 2025, these brackets are no longer linked to the ordinary-income tax brackets for individuals. So, for example, you could be subject to the top long-term capital gains rate even if you aren’t subject to the top ordinary-income rate. Questions? Contact us.

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2018 – 09/24 – Businesses aren’t immune to tax identity theft

Tax identity theft may seem like a problem only for individuals. But increasingly businesses are becoming victims. Business tax identity theft occurs when a criminal uses information from a business (such as the Employer Identification Number) to obtain tax benefits or enable individual tax identity theft schemes. Here are some prevention tips: 1) Educate employees on how to spot tax fraud schemes. 2) Use secure methods to send W-2 forms to employees. 3) Implement risk management strategies designed to flag suspicious communications. Contact us to learn more.

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2018 – 09/17

Does your business reimburse employees’ work-related travel expenses? If you do, you know that it can help attract and retain employees. If you don’t, you may want to start. Changes under the TCJA make such reimbursements even more attractive to employees: Employees are no longer allowed to deduct such expenses. Travel reimbursements also come with tax benefits, but only if you follow a method that passes muster with the IRS. To learn more, contact us. We can help you determine whether you should reimburse such expenses and which method is right for you.

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2018 – 09/04 – How to reduce the tax risk of using independent contractors

Classifying a worker as an independent contractor frees a business from payroll tax liability and responsibility for withholding income taxes and the worker’s share of payroll taxes. But if the IRS reclassifies a worker as an employee, your business could be hit with back taxes, interest and penalties. When assessing worker status, the IRS typically looks at the level of behavioral and financial control the business has over the worker and the relationship of the parties. Fortunately, there are strategies for minimizing your exposure. Contact us to learn more.

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2018 – 09/11 – You might save tax if your vacation home qualifies as a rental property

If you own a vacation home and both rent it out and use it personally, classification as a rental property might save tax. Expenses attributable to a rental property aren’t subject to the TCJA’s tightened limits on itemized deductions for property tax and mortgage interest, and losses may be deductible. A rental property generally is one you use for 14 days or less, or under 10% of the days you rent it out, whichever is greater. Adjusting use between now and year end can ensure it’s classified as a rental property. Contact us for details.

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2018 – 09/04 – Do you need to make an estimated tax payment by September 17?

To avoid interest and penalties, you must make sufficient income tax payments long before your April filing deadline through withholding, estimated tax payments or both. The third 2018 estimated tax payment deadline for individuals is Sept. 17. If you don’t have an employer withholding tax from your pay, you likely need to make estimated tax payments. But even with withholding, such payments can be necessary if you have more than a nominal amount of income from self-employment, investments, alimony, awards, prizes or other sources. Contact us to learn more.

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2018 – 09/10 – 2018 Q4 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

Here are a few key tax-related deadlines for businesses and other employers during Quarter 4 of 2018. OCT. 15: If a calendar-year C corp. that filed an extension, file a 2017 income tax return. OCT. 31: Report income tax withholding and FICA taxes for Q3 2018 (unless eligible for Nov. 13 deadline). DEC. 17: If a calendar-year C corp., pay fourth installment of 2018 estimated income taxes. Contact us for more about the filing requirements and to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines.

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2018 – 08/31 – Beware of unexpected tax liabilities under new accounting and tax rules!

Coming soon: An updated accounting rule will cause some companies with complex, long-term contracts to recognize revenue earlier than in the past. Plus, a narrow provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will tie revenue recognition for book purposes to income reported for tax purposes; it may also require advance payments to be taxed before they’re recognized on the financial statements. The net effect of these accounting rule and tax law changes could be substantially accelerated tax bills. Contact us to discuss how the changes will affect your company.

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2018 – 08/21 – Play your tax cards right with gambling wins and losses

If you gamble, play your tax cards right with your wins and losses. Changes under the TCJA could have an impact. You must report 100% of your winnings as taxable income, but you might pay a lower rate on them because of TCJA rate reductions. Gambling losses are still allowed as an itemized deduction (up to your winnings for the year), but, with the standard deduction nearly doubled under the TCJA, you might no longer benefit from itemizing. Finally, “professional” gamblers face tighter limits on deducting their gambling expenses. Contact us if you have questions.

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