2018 – 11/05 – Buy business assets before year end to reduce your 2018 tax liability
Investing in business assets is a traditional and powerful year-end tax planning strategy, and it might make even more sense in 2018. Sec. 179 expensing and bonus depreciation both allow an immediate deduction for the cost of eligible asset purchases, rather than depreciating them over a number of years. The TCJA increases potential deductions under these breaks and expands the assets that are eligible. To qualify, you must place assets in service by the end of the year. So there’s still time to make purchases and reduce your 2018 taxes. Contact us to learn more.
2018 – 10/30 – Donate appreciated stock for twice the tax benefits
Did you know that you may be able to enjoy two tax benefits if you donate long-term appreciated stock instead of cash? First, if you itemize, you can claim a charitable deduction equal to the stock’s fair market value. Second, you can avoid the capital gains tax you’d pay if you sold the stock. But the charitable deduction will provide a tax benefit only if your total itemized deductions exceed your standard deduction, and the TCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction. Also, additional rules and limits apply. Contact us to learn more.
2018 – 11/02 – LIFO lessons learned
The last-in, first-out (LIFO) method allocates the most recent inventory costs to cost of sales. Assuming increasing inventory values, LIFO may reduce taxable income and, therefore, be preferred for tax purposes. But LIFO also poses financial reporting challenges. For example, you might not want to report lower earnings to stakeholders, measure changes in inventory costs, and incur taxes on “phantom income” from declining inventory or the “LIFO recapture amount” from an S corporation conversion. Contact us to discuss whether LIFO is right for your business.
2018 – 10/29 – Research credit available to some businesses for the first time
The TCJA didn’t change the research credit, but it has an impact on the credit. Previously, corporations subject to alternative minimum tax (AMT) couldn’t offset the research credit against AMT liability, which erased the credit’s current benefits. By eliminating corporate AMT, the TCJA removed this obstacle. Pass-through businesses can still claim the credit against AMT if their average gross receipts are $50 million or less. And qualifying start-ups without taxable income can still claim the credit against up to $250,000 in payroll taxes. Contact us for details.
2018 – 10/23 – Could “bunching” medical expenses into 2018 save you tax?
Some of your medical expenses may be tax deductible, but only if you itemize deductions and have enough expenses to exceed the applicable floor for deductibility. With proper planning, you may be able to time controllable medical expenses to your tax advantage. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could make bunching such expenses into 2018 beneficial for some taxpayers. At the same time, certain taxpayers who’ve benefited from the deduction in previous years might no longer benefit because of the TCJA’s increase to the standard deduction. Contact us to learn more.
2018 – 10/26 – How auditors assess risk when preparing financial statements
Each year, your auditor will conduct a fresh risk assessment. Audit risk is a function of three components: 1) control risk, 2) inherent risk, and 3) detection risk. The first two risks stem from a company’s industry and actions. The last one can be managed by the audit team through substantive audit procedures. Before the start of fieldwork, let’s discuss changes to your risk factors. We’ll adjust our audit programs accordingly to ensure that your financial statements are prepared with the highest level of quality and efficiency.
2018 – 10/15 – Now’s the time to review your business expenses
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good idea to review your business’s expenses for deductibility. At the same time, consider whether you’d benefit from accelerating certain expenses into this year. There’s no master list of deductible business expenses in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Some deductions are expressly authorized or excluded, but most are governed by the general rule of IRC Sec. 162, which permits businesses to deduct their “ordinary and necessary” expenses. Also, the TCJA reduces or eliminates many deductions. Contact us to learn more.
2018 – 10/16 – Consider all the tax consequences before making gifts to loved ones
Many people choose to pass assets to the next generation during life, whether to reduce the size of their taxable estate, to help out family members or simply to see their loved ones enjoy the gifts. If you’re considering lifetime gifts, be aware that which assets you give can affect the tax consequences. For example, to minimize your heir’s income tax, gift property that hasn’t appreciated significantly while you’ve owned it. The heir can sell the property at a minimal income tax cost. Contact us to discuss the tax consequences of any gifts you’d like to make.
2018 – 10/08 – Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees
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.
2018 – 10/02 – Charitable IRA rollovers may be especially beneficial in 2018
If you’re age 70 1/2 or older, you can make direct contributions (up to $100,000 annually) from your IRA to a qualified charity without owing any income tax on the distributions. This break may be especially beneficial now because of TCJA changes that affect who can benefit from the itemized deduction for charitable donations. While you might be able to achieve a similar result from taking the RMD, contributing that amount to charity and taking an itemized deduction for the donation, fewer taxpayers benefit from itemizing under the TCJA. Contact us for details.