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2019 – 02/04 – Fundamental tax truths for C corporations

The flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been great news for these entities and their owners. But some fundamental tax truths for C corporations largely remain the same. For example, although the 21% rate will lower the impact, double taxation is still an important issue to consider, especially if a C corporation owns assets that are likely to appreciate significantly. And C corporation status still generally isn’t advisable for ventures that will incur ongoing tax losses. Have questions? Contact us.

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2019 – 01/29 – Investment interest expense is still deductible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll benefit

Can the investment interest expense deduction save you tax on your 2018 return? It’s for interest on debt used to buy assets held for investment, and you must pass some hurdles to benefit. First, you must itemize, which may no longer benefit you because of the higher standard deduction. Second, interest incurred to produce tax-exempt income, such as from municipal bonds, isn’t deductible. Finally, the deduction is generally limited to your taxable interest income, nonqualified dividends and net short-term capital gains for the year. Contact us for more details.

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2019 – 02/01 – Private companies: Have you implemented the new revenue recognition standard?

Private companies that follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) must use an updated five-step method to recognize revenue beginning in 2019. Public companies that made the switch in 2018 report that the process was more difficult than expected. The standard required them to comb through contracts, make subjective judgment calls and offer paper trails to back up their estimates to auditors. If you haven’t started implementing this landmark standard, we can help prepare your revenue reporting systems, processes and policies.

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2019 – 01/28 – Depreciation-related breaks on business real estate: What you need to know when you file your 2018 return

Commercial buildings and improvements generally are depreciated over 39 years, which essentially means you can deduct a portion of the cost every year over the depreciation period. (Land isn’t depreciable.) But special tax breaks that allow deductions to be taken more quickly are available for certain real estate investments. Some were enhanced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and may provide a bigger benefit when you file your 2018 tax return. But there’s one break you might not be able to enjoy due to a drafting error in the TCJA. Contact us to learn more.

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2019 – 01/22 – There’s still time to get substantiation for 2018 donations

To claim an itemized deduction for a donation of more than $250, generally you need a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the charity. “Contemporaneous” means the earlier of 1) the date you file your income tax return, or 2) the extended due date of your return. If you made a donation in 2018 but haven’t received substantiation and you’d like to deduct it, consider requesting a written acknowledgment from the charity and waiting to file your 2018 return until you receive it. Additional rules apply to certain types of donations. Contact us to learn more.

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2019 – 01/15 – What will your marginal income tax rate be?

Under the TCJA, unmarried taxpayers could see their taxes go up due to their filing status. To further eliminate the marriage “penalty,” the TCJA changed some of the middle tax brackets, negatively affecting some unmarried filers. For example, single and head of household filers could be pushed into the 32% (33% in 2017) and 35% tax brackets much more quickly than pre-TCJA. It will be hard to tell exactly how specific taxpayers will be affected by TCJA changes until they file their 2018 tax returns. Contact us for help assessing your tax bracket for 2018 and 2019.

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2019 – 01/18 – M&A due diligence: Don’t accept financial statements at face value

Let the buyer beware: Do-it-yourself acquisitions can lead to costly mistakes! Before acquiring another business, you need to conduct comprehensive due diligence. This can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time negotiating a deal. In addition to evaluating historical and prospective financial statements, we can help you identify potential hidden liabilities and misrepresentations, as well as prepare independent forecasts and projections. This information is critical when determining the optimal offer price and deal terms.

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2019 – 01/22 – Many tax-related limits affecting businesses increase for 2019

A variety of tax-related limits affecting businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have increased for 2019. For example, the Section 179 expensing limit has gone up to $1.02 million from $1 million. Also up are the income-based phase-ins for certain limits on the new-last-year Sec. 199A qualified business income deduction for owners of pass-through entities. And most limits related to employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, are higher this year. Contact us for more information about the limits that will affect your business in 2019.

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2019 – 01/08 – 2 major tax law changes for individuals in 2019

Most TCJA provisions went into effect in 2018 and apply through 2025 or are permanent, but two major changes affect individuals beginning in 2019: 1) While the TCJA reduced the medical expense deduction threshold from 10% of adjusted gross income to 7.5%, the reduction applies only to 2017 and 2018. So for 2019, the threshold returns to 10%. 2) For divorce agreements executed (or, in some cases, modified) after Dec. 31, 2018, alimony payments won’t be deductible by the payer but will be excluded from the recipient’s taxable income. Contact us for details.

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