In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Those that are tax-free are especially attractive to employees. Examples include many types of insurance (health, disability, long-term care, life) and assistance plans (dependent care, adoption and educational), subject to certain limits. The tax treatment of some benefits, such as moving expense reimbursements and transportation benefits, has changed under the TCJA. Contact us to learn more.
Section 529 plans are a popular education-funding tool because of tax and other benefits. Two types are available: 1) prepaid tuition plans, and 2) savings plans. A prepaid tuition plan guarantees tuition regardless of its cost when the child attends the school. A savings plan can fund expenses beyond college tuition on a tax-free basis. The TCJA expands the definition of qualified expenses to generally include elementary and secondary school tuition. However, tax-free distributions used for such tuition are limited to $10,000 per year. Contact us with questions.
Have you recently started a new business or are you contemplating starting one? Keep in mind that not all start-up expenses can be deducted on your federal tax return right away. Some expenses probably must be amortized over time. You might be able to make an election to deduct up to $5,000 currently, but the deduction is reduced by the amount by which your total start-up costs exceed $50,000. You can also deduct $5,000 of the organizational costs of creating a corporation or partnership. Contact us. We can help you maximize deductions for a start-up business.
The rules for writing off personal casualty losses on a tax return have changed for 2018 to 2025. Specifically, taxpayers generally can’t deduct losses unless the casualty event qualifies as a federally declared disaster. (The rules for business or income-producing property are different.) Another factor that now makes it harder to claim a casualty loss is that you must itemize deductions to claim one. For 2018 to 2025, fewer people will itemize, because the standard deduction amounts have been significantly increased. We can help you navigate the complex rules.
Financial statements present a company’s financial position as of a specific date. But some events happen after the cutoff date that have financial implications for the prior period or the future. Subsequent events that provide further evidence of conditions that existed on the financial statement date must be recorded. Other unforeseeable events may be disclosed in the footnotes to keep the financial statements from being misleading. Contact us to help determine the appropriate accounting treatment for these types of events.
You still have time to make your 2018 traditional and Roth IRA contributions. The deadline for most taxpayers is April 15, 2019. If you qualify, deductible contributions to traditional IRAs can lower your 2018 tax bill. Even nondeductible contributions can be beneficial because of tax-deferred growth. The 2018 contribution limit is $5,500 (plus $1,000 for those age 50 or older on Dec. 31, 2018). However, your deduction or contribution may be reduced or eliminated based on your income. Contact us to learn more about retirement saving in your situation.
If your company is merging with or acquiring another business, it’s important to understand how the transaction will be taxed. For tax purposes, a transaction can basically be structured in two ways: stock (or ownership interest) or assets. For tax and nontax reasons, buyers usually prefer to purchase assets, while sellers generally prefer stock sales. Buying or selling a business may be the most important deal you’ll ever make, so seek professional tax advice as you negotiate. After a deal is done, it may be too late to get the best tax results. Contact us.
If you participate in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), you must generally begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) no later than April 1 of the year after which you turn age 70½. The penalty for withdrawing less than the RMD is 50% of the portion that should have been withdrawn but wasn’t. However, there’s an exception that may apply to certain people if they’re still working for the entire year in which they turn 70½. The RMD rules are complex. Contact us to customize a plan based on your individual retirement and estate planning goals.