Posted on Sep 19, 2022





High-income taxpayers face two special taxes — a 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) and a 0.9% additional Medicare tax on wage and self-employment income. Here’s an overview of the taxes and what they may mean for you.

3.8% NIIT

This tax applies, in addition to income tax, on your net investment income. The NIIT only affects taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeding $250,000 for joint filers, $200,000 for single taxpayers and heads of household, and $125,000 for married individuals filing separately.

If your AGI is above the threshold that applies ($250,000, $200,000 or $125,000), the NIIT applies to the lesser of 1) your net investment income for the tax year or 2) the excess of your AGI for the tax year over your threshold amount.

The “net investment income” that’s subject to the NIIT consists of interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents and net gains from property sales. Wage income and income from an active trade or business isn’t included. However, passive business income is subject to the NIIT.

Income that’s exempt from income tax, such as tax-exempt bond interest, is likewise exempt from the NIIT. Thus, switching some taxable investments to tax-exempt bonds can reduce your exposure. Of course, this should be done after taking your income needs and investment considerations into account.

How does the NIIT apply to home sales? If you sell your principal residence, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain ($500,000 for joint filers) when figuring your income tax. This excluded gain isn’t subject to the NIIT.

However, gain that exceeds the exclusion limit is subject to the tax. Gain from the sale of a vacation home or other second residence, which doesn’t qualify for the exclusion, is also subject to the NIIT.

Distributions from qualified retirement plans, such as pension plans and IRAs, aren’t subject to the NIIT. However, those distributions may push your AGI over the threshold that would cause other types of income to be subject to the tax.

Additional 0.9% Medicare tax

Some high-wage earners pay an extra 0.9% Medicare tax on part of their wage income, in addition to the 1.45% Medicare tax that all wage earners pay. The 0.9% tax applies to wages in excess of $250,000 for joint filers, $125,000 for a married individuals filing separately and $200,000 for all others. It applies only to employees, not to employers.

Once an employee’s wages reach $200,000 for the year, the employer must begin withholding the additional 0.9% tax. However, this withholding may prove insufficient if the employee has additional wage income from another job or if the employee’s spouse also has wage income. To avoid that result, an employee may request extra income tax withholding by filing a new Form W-4 with the employer.

An extra 0.9% Medicare tax also applies to self-employment income for the tax year in excess of the same amounts for wage earners. This is in addition to the regular 2.9% Medicare tax on all self-employment income. The $250,000, $125,000, and $200,000 thresholds are reduced by the taxpayer’s wage income.

Reduce the impact

As you can see, these two taxes may have a significant effect on your tax bill. Contact us to discuss these taxes and how their impact could be reduced.

© 2022


High-income taxpayers face two special taxes — a 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) and a 0.9% additional Medicare tax on wage and self-employment income. Here’s an overview of the taxes and what they may mean for you.

3.8% NIIT

This tax applies, in addition to income tax, on your net investment income. The NIIT only affects taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeding $250,000 for joint filers, $200,000 for single taxpayers and heads of household, and $125,000 for married individuals filing separately.

If your AGI is above the threshold that applies ($250,000, $200,000 or $125,000), the NIIT applies to the lesser of 1) your net investment income for the tax year or 2) the excess of your AGI for the tax year over your threshold amount.

The “net investment income” that’s subject to the NIIT consists of interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents and net gains from property sales. Wage income and income from an active trade or business isn’t included. However, passive business income is subject to the NIIT.

Income that’s exempt from income tax, such as tax-exempt bond interest, is likewise exempt from the NIIT. Thus, switching some taxable investments to tax-exempt bonds can reduce your exposure. Of course, this should be done after taking your income needs and investment considerations into account.

How does the NIIT apply to home sales? If you sell your principal residence, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain ($500,000 for joint filers) when figuring your income tax. This excluded gain isn’t subject to the NIIT.

However, gain that exceeds the exclusion limit is subject to the tax. Gain from the sale of a vacation home or other second residence, which doesn’t qualify for the exclusion, is also subject to the NIIT.

Distributions from qualified retirement plans, such as pension plans and IRAs, aren’t subject to the NIIT. However, those distributions may push your AGI over the threshold that would cause other types of income to be subject to the tax.

Additional 0.9% Medicare tax

Some high-wage earners pay an extra 0.9% Medicare tax on part of their wage income, in addition to the 1.45% Medicare tax that all wage earners pay. The 0.9% tax applies to wages in excess of $250,000 for joint filers, $125,000 for a married individuals filing separately and $200,000 for all others. It applies only to employees, not to employers.

Once an employee’s wages reach $200,000 for the year, the employer must begin withholding the additional 0.9% tax. However, this withholding may prove insufficient if the employee has additional wage income from another job or if the employee’s spouse also has wage income. To avoid that result, an employee may request extra income tax withholding by filing a new Form W-4 with the employer.

An extra 0.9% Medicare tax also applies to self-employment income for the tax year in excess of the same amounts for wage earners. This is in addition to the regular 2.9% Medicare tax on all self-employment income. The $250,000, $125,000, and $200,000 thresholds are reduced by the taxpayer’s wage income.

Reduce the impact

As you can see, these two taxes may have a significant effect on your tax bill. Contact us to discuss these taxes and how their impact could be reduced.

© 2022

Posted on Sep 15, 2022





Does your business need real estate to conduct operations? Or does it otherwise hold property and put the title in the name of the business? You may want to rethink this approach. Any short-term benefits may be outweighed by the tax, liability and estate planning advantages of separating real estate ownership from the business.

Tax implications

Businesses that are formed as C corporations treat real estate assets as they do equipment, inventory and other business assets. Any expenses related to owning the assets appear as ordinary expenses on their income statements and are generally tax deductible in the year they’re incurred.

However, when the business sells the real estate, the profits are taxed twice — at the corporate level and at the owner’s individual level when a distribution is made. Double taxation is avoidable, though. If ownership of the real estate were transferred to a pass-through entity instead, the profit upon sale would be taxed only at the individual level.

Protecting assets

Separating your business ownership from its real estate also provides an effective way to protect it from creditors and other claimants. For example, if your business is sued and found liable, a plaintiff may go after all of its assets, including real estate held in its name. But plaintiffs can’t touch property owned by another entity.

The strategy also can pay off if your business is forced to file for bankruptcy. Creditors generally can’t recover real estate owned separately unless it’s been pledged as collateral for credit taken out by the business.

Estate planning options

Separating real estate from a business may give you some estate planning options, too. For example, if the company is a family business but some members of the next generation aren’t interested in actively participating, separating property gives you an extra asset to distribute. You could bequest the business to one heir and the real estate to another family member who doesn’t work in the business.

Handling the transaction

The business simply transfers ownership of the real estate and the transferee leases it back to the company. Who should own the real estate? One option: The business owner could purchase the real estate from the business and hold title in his or her name. One concern is that it’s not only the property that’ll transfer to the owner, but also any liabilities related to it.

Moreover, any liability related to the property itself could inadvertently put the business at risk. If, for example, a client suffers an injury on the property and a lawsuit ensues, the property owner’s other assets (including the interest in the business) could be in jeopardy.

An alternative is to transfer the property to a separate legal entity formed to hold the title, typically a limited liability company (LLC) or limited liability partnership (LLP). With a pass-through structure, any expenses related to the real estate will flow through to your individual tax return and offset the rental income.

An LLC is more commonly used to transfer real estate. It’s simple to set up and requires only one member. LLPs require at least two partners and aren’t permitted in every state. Some states restrict them to certain types of businesses and impose other restrictions.

Proceed cautiously

Separating the ownership of a business’s real estate isn’t always advisable. If it’s worthwhile, the right approach will depend on your individual circumstances. Contact us to help determine the best approach to minimize your transfer costs and capital gains taxes while maximizing other potential benefits.

© 2022


Does your business need real estate to conduct operations? Or does it otherwise hold property and put the title in the name of the business? You may want to rethink this approach. Any short-term benefits may be outweighed by the tax, liability and estate planning advantages of separating real estate ownership from the business.


Tax implications

Businesses that are formed as C corporations treat real estate assets as they do equipment, inventory and other business assets. Any expenses related to owning the assets appear as ordinary expenses on their income statements and are generally tax deductible in the year they’re incurred.

However, when the business sells the real estate, the profits are taxed twice — at the corporate level and at the owner’s individual level when a distribution is made. Double taxation is avoidable, though. If ownership of the real estate were transferred to a pass-through entity instead, the profit upon sale would be taxed only at the individual level.


Protecting assets

Separating your business ownership from its real estate also provides an effective way to protect it from creditors and other claimants. For example, if your business is sued and found liable, a plaintiff may go after all of its assets, including real estate held in its name. But plaintiffs can’t touch property owned by another entity.

The strategy also can pay off if your business is forced to file for bankruptcy. Creditors generally can’t recover real estate owned separately unless it’s been pledged as collateral for credit taken out by the business.


Estate planning options

Separating real estate from a business may give you some estate planning options, too. For example, if the company is a family business but some members of the next generation aren’t interested in actively participating, separating property gives you an extra asset to distribute. You could bequest the business to one heir and the real estate to another family member who doesn’t work in the business.


Handling the transaction

The business simply transfers ownership of the real estate and the transferee leases it back to the company. Who should own the real estate? One option: The business owner could purchase the real estate from the business and hold title in his or her name. One concern is that it’s not only the property that’ll transfer to the owner, but also any liabilities related to it.

Moreover, any liability related to the property itself could inadvertently put the business at risk. If, for example, a client suffers an injury on the property and a lawsuit ensues, the property owner’s other assets (including the interest in the business) could be in jeopardy.

An alternative is to transfer the property to a separate legal entity formed to hold the title, typically a limited liability company (LLC) or limited liability partnership (LLP). With a pass-through structure, any expenses related to the real estate will flow through to your individual tax return and offset the rental income.

An LLC is more commonly used to transfer real estate. It’s simple to set up and requires only one member. LLPs require at least two partners and aren’t permitted in every state. Some states restrict them to certain types of businesses and impose other restrictions.


Proceed cautiously

Separating the ownership of a business’s real estate isn’t always advisable. If it’s worthwhile, the right approach will depend on your individual circumstances. Contact us to help determine the best approach to minimize your transfer costs and capital gains taxes while maximizing other potential benefits.


© 2022

Posted on Sep 12, 2022





Now that Labor Day has passed, it’s a good time to think about making moves that may help lower your small business taxes for this year and next. The standard year-end approach of deferring income and accelerating deductions to minimize taxes will likely produce the best results for most businesses, as will bunching deductible expenses into this year or next to maximize their tax value.

If you expect to be in a higher tax bracket next year, opposite strategies may produce better results. For example, you could pull income into 2022 to be taxed at lower rates, and defer deductible expenses until 2023, when they can be claimed to offset higher-taxed income.

Here are some other ideas that may help you save tax dollars if you act before year-end.

QBI deduction

Taxpayers other than corporations may be entitled to a deduction of up to 20% of their qualified business income (QBI). For 2022, if taxable income exceeds $340,100 for married couples filing jointly (half that amount for others), the deduction may be limited based on: whether the taxpayer is engaged in a service-type business (such as law, health or consulting), the amount of W-2 wages paid by the business, and/or the unadjusted basis of qualified property (such as machinery and equipment) held by the business. The limitations are phased in.

Taxpayers may be able to salvage some or all of the QBI deduction by deferring income or accelerating deductions to keep income under the dollar thresholds (or be subject to a smaller deduction phaseout). You also may be able increase the deduction by increasing W-2 wages before year-end. The rules are complex, so consult us before acting.

Cash vs. accrual accounting

More small businesses are able to use the cash (rather than the accrual) method of accounting for federal tax purposes than were allowed to do so in previous years. To qualify as a small business under current law, a taxpayer must (among other requirements) satisfy a gross receipts test. For 2022, it’s satisfied if, during a three-year testing period, average annual gross receipts don’t exceed $27 million. Not that long ago, it was only $5 million. Cash method taxpayers may find it easier to defer income by holding off billings until next year, paying bills early or making certain prepayments.

Section 179 deduction

Consider making expenditures that qualify for the Section 179 expensing option. For 2022, the expensing limit is $1.08 million, and the investment ceiling limit is $2.7 million. Expensing is generally available for most depreciable property (other than buildings) including equipment, off-the-shelf computer software, interior improvements to a building, HVAC and security systems.

The high dollar ceilings mean that many small- and medium-sized businesses will be able to currently deduct most or all of their outlays for machinery and equipment. What’s more, the deduction isn’t prorated for the time an asset is in service during the year. Just place eligible property in service by the last days of 2022 and you can claim a full deduction for the year.

Bonus depreciation

Businesses also can generally claim a 100% bonus first year depreciation deduction for qualified improvement property and machinery and equipment bought new or used, if purchased and placed in service this year. Again, the full write-off is available even if qualifying assets are in service for only a few days in 2022.

Consult with us for more ideas

These are just some year-end strategies that may help you save taxes. Contact us to tailor a plan that works for you.

© 2022


Now that Labor Day has passed, it’s a good time to think about making moves that may help lower your small business taxes for this year and next. The standard year-end approach of deferring income and accelerating deductions to minimize taxes will likely produce the best results for most businesses, as will bunching deductible expenses into this year or next to maximize their tax value.

If you expect to be in a higher tax bracket next year, opposite strategies may produce better results. For example, you could pull income into 2022 to be taxed at lower rates, and defer deductible expenses until 2023, when they can be claimed to offset higher-taxed income.

Here are some other ideas that may help you save tax dollars if you act before year-end.

QBI deduction

Taxpayers other than corporations may be entitled to a deduction of up to 20% of their qualified business income (QBI). For 2022, if taxable income exceeds $340,100 for married couples filing jointly (half that amount for others), the deduction may be limited based on: whether the taxpayer is engaged in a service-type business (such as law, health or consulting), the amount of W-2 wages paid by the business, and/or the unadjusted basis of qualified property (such as machinery and equipment) held by the business. The limitations are phased in.

Taxpayers may be able to salvage some or all of the QBI deduction by deferring income or accelerating deductions to keep income under the dollar thresholds (or be subject to a smaller deduction phaseout). You also may be able increase the deduction by increasing W-2 wages before year-end. The rules are complex, so consult us before acting.

Cash vs. accrual accounting

More small businesses are able to use the cash (rather than the accrual) method of accounting for federal tax purposes than were allowed to do so in previous years. To qualify as a small business under current law, a taxpayer must (among other requirements) satisfy a gross receipts test. For 2022, it’s satisfied if, during a three-year testing period, average annual gross receipts don’t exceed $27 million. Not that long ago, it was only $5 million. Cash method taxpayers may find it easier to defer income by holding off billings until next year, paying bills early or making certain prepayments.

Section 179 deduction

Consider making expenditures that qualify for the Section 179 expensing option. For 2022, the expensing limit is $1.08 million, and the investment ceiling limit is $2.7 million. Expensing is generally available for most depreciable property (other than buildings) including equipment, off-the-shelf computer software, interior improvements to a building, HVAC and security systems.

The high dollar ceilings mean that many small- and medium-sized businesses will be able to currently deduct most or all of their outlays for machinery and equipment. What’s more, the deduction isn’t prorated for the time an asset is in service during the year. Just place eligible property in service by the last days of 2022 and you can claim a full deduction for the year.

Bonus depreciation

Businesses also can generally claim a 100% bonus first year depreciation deduction for qualified improvement property and machinery and equipment bought new or used, if purchased and placed in service this year. Again, the full write-off is available even if qualifying assets are in service for only a few days in 2022.

Consult with us for more ideas

These are just some year-end strategies that may help you save taxes. Contact us to tailor a plan that works for you.

© 2022

Posted on Sep 6, 2022





You may have heard that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law recently. While experts have varying opinions about whether it will reduce inflation in the near future, it contains, extends and modifies many climate and energy-related tax credits that may be of interest to individuals.

Nonbusiness energy property

Before the IRA was enacted, you were allowed a personal tax credit for certain nonbusiness energy property expenses. The credit applied only to property placed in service before January 1, 2022. The credit is now extended for energy-efficient property placed in service before January 1, 2033.

The new law also increases the credit for a tax year to an amount equal to 30% of:

  • The amount paid or incurred by you for qualified energy efficiency improvements installed during the year, and
  • The amount of the residential energy property expenditures paid or incurred during that year.

The credit is further increased for amounts spent for a home energy audit (up to $150).

In addition, the IRA repeals the lifetime credit limitation, and instead limits the credit to $1,200 per taxpayer, per year. There are also annual limits of $600 for credits with respect to residential energy property expenditures, windows, and skylights, and $250 for any exterior door ($500 total for all exterior doors). A $2,000 annual limit applies with respect to amounts paid or incurred for specified heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and biomass stoves/boilers.

The residential clean-energy credit

Prior to the IRA being enacted, you were allowed a personal tax credit, known as the Residential Energy Efficient Property (REEP) Credit, for solar electric, solar hot water, fuel cell, small wind energy, geothermal heat pump and biomass fuel property installed in homes before 2024.

The new law makes the credit available for property installed before 2035. It also makes the credit available for qualified battery storage technology expenses.

New Clean Vehicle Credit

Before the enactment of the law, you could claim a credit for each new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle placed in service during the tax year.

The law renames the credit the Clean Vehicle Credit and eliminates the limitation on the number of vehicles eligible for the credit. Also, final assembly of the vehicle must now take place in North America.

Beginning in 2023, there will be income limitations. No Clean Vehicle Credit is allowed if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for the year of purchase or the preceding year exceeds $300,000 for a married couple filing jointly, $225,000 for a head of household, or $150,000 for others. In addition, no credit is allowed if the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the vehicle is more than $55,000 ($80,000 for pickups, vans, or SUVs).

Finally, the way the credit is calculated is changing. The rules are complicated, but they place more emphasis on where the battery components (and critical minerals used in the battery) are sourced.

The IRS provides more information about the Clean Vehicle Credit here: https://bit.ly/3ATxEA9

Credit for used clean vehicles

A qualified buyer who acquires and places in service a previously owned clean vehicle after 2022 is allowed a tax credit equal to the lesser of $4,000 or 30% of the vehicle’s sale price. No credit is allowed if your MAGI for the year of purchase or the preceding year exceeds $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, $112,500 for a head of household, or $75,000 for others. In addition, the maximum price per vehicle is $25,000.

We can answer your questions

Contact us if you have questions about taking advantage of these new and revised tax credits.

© 2022


You may have heard that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law recently. While experts have varying opinions about whether it will reduce inflation in the near future, it contains, extends and modifies many climate and energy-related tax credits that may be of interest to individuals.

Nonbusiness energy property

Before the IRA was enacted, you were allowed a personal tax credit for certain nonbusiness energy property expenses. The credit applied only to property placed in service before January 1, 2022. The credit is now extended for energy-efficient property placed in service before January 1, 2033.

The new law also increases the credit for a tax year to an amount equal to 30% of:

  • The amount paid or incurred by you for qualified energy efficiency improvements installed during the year, and
  • The amount of the residential energy property expenditures paid or incurred during that year.

The credit is further increased for amounts spent for a home energy audit (up to $150).

In addition, the IRA repeals the lifetime credit limitation, and instead limits the credit to $1,200 per taxpayer, per year. There are also annual limits of $600 for credits with respect to residential energy property expenditures, windows, and skylights, and $250 for any exterior door ($500 total for all exterior doors). A $2,000 annual limit applies with respect to amounts paid or incurred for specified heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and biomass stoves/boilers.

The residential clean-energy credit

Prior to the IRA being enacted, you were allowed a personal tax credit, known as the Residential Energy Efficient Property (REEP) Credit, for solar electric, solar hot water, fuel cell, small wind energy, geothermal heat pump and biomass fuel property installed in homes before 2024.

The new law makes the credit available for property installed before 2035. It also makes the credit available for qualified battery storage technology expenses.

New Clean Vehicle Credit

Before the enactment of the law, you could claim a credit for each new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle placed in service during the tax year.

The law renames the credit the Clean Vehicle Credit and eliminates the limitation on the number of vehicles eligible for the credit. Also, final assembly of the vehicle must now take place in North America.

Beginning in 2023, there will be income limitations. No Clean Vehicle Credit is allowed if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for the year of purchase or the preceding year exceeds $300,000 for a married couple filing jointly, $225,000 for a head of household, or $150,000 for others. In addition, no credit is allowed if the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the vehicle is more than $55,000 ($80,000 for pickups, vans, or SUVs).

Finally, the way the credit is calculated is changing. The rules are complicated, but they place more emphasis on where the battery components (and critical minerals used in the battery) are sourced.

The IRS provides more information about the Clean Vehicle Credit here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/plug-in-electric-vehicle-credit-irc-30-and-irc-30d

Credit for used clean vehicles

A qualified buyer who acquires and places in service a previously owned clean vehicle after 2022 is allowed a tax credit equal to the lesser of $4,000 or 30% of the vehicle’s sale price. No credit is allowed if your MAGI for the year of purchase or the preceding year exceeds $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, $112,500 for a head of household, or $75,000 for others. In addition, the maximum price per vehicle is $25,000.

We can answer your questions

Contact us if you have questions about taking advantage of these new and revised tax credits.

© 2022

Attachment

Posted on Sep 2, 2022


The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law by President Biden on August 16, contains many provisions related to climate, energy and taxes. There has been a lot of media coverage about the law’s impact on large corporations. For example, the IRA contains a new 15% alternative minimum tax on large, profitable corporations. And the law adds a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks of more than $1 million by publicly traded U.S. corporations.

But there are also provisions that provide tax relief for small businesses. Here are two:

A payroll tax credit for research

Under current law, qualified small businesses can elect to claim a portion of their research credit as a payroll tax credit against their employer Social Security tax liability, rather than against their income tax liability. This became effective for tax years that begin after December 31, 2015.

Qualified small businesses that elect to claim the research credit as a payroll tax credit do so on IRS Form 8974, “Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities.” Currently, a qualified small business can claim up to $250,000 of its credit for increasing research activities as a payroll tax credit against the employer’s share of Social Security tax.

The IRA makes changes to the credit, beginning next year. It allows for qualified small businesses to apply an additional $250,000 in qualifying research expenses as a payroll tax credit against the employer share of Medicare. The credit can’t exceed the tax imposed for any calendar quarter, with unused amounts of the credit carried forward. This provision will take effect for tax years beginning after December 31, 2022.

A qualified small business must meet certain requirements, including having gross receipts under a certain amount.

Extension of the limit on excess business losses of noncorporate taxpayers

Another provision in the new law extends the limit on excess business losses for noncorporate taxpayers. Under prior law, there was a cap set on business loss deductions by noncorporate taxpayers. For 2018 through 2025, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limited deductions for net business losses from sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers). Losses in excess of those amounts (which are adjusted annually for inflation) may be carried forward to future tax years under the net operating loss rules.

Although another law (the CARES Act) suspended the limit for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 tax years, it’s now back in force and has been extended through 2028 by the IRA. Businesses with significant losses should consult with us to discuss the impact of this change on their tax planning strategies.

We can help

These are only two of the many provisions in the IRA. There may be other tax benefits to your small business if you’re buying electric vehicles or green energy products. Contact us if you have questions about the new law and your situation.

© 2022


Posted on Aug 31, 2022

While the recently announced student loan debt relief has captured numerous headlines, it’s estimated that another federal relief program announced on the same day will provide more than $1.2 billion in tax refunds or credits. Specifically, IRS Notice 2022-36 extends penalty relief to both individuals and businesses who missed the filing deadlines for certain 2019 and/or 2020 tax and information returns. The relief covers many of the most commonly filed forms.

Broad relief for late taxpayers

The intent behind the penalty relief is two-fold: 1) to help taxpayers negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) to allow the IRS to focus on processing backlogged tax returns and taxpayer correspondence. As recently as late May 2022, the IRS had a backlog of more than 21 million unprocessed paper returns. The goal is for the IRS to return to normal operations for the 2023 filing season.

To that end, the notice provides relief from the failure-to-file penalty. The penalty is typically assessed at a rate of 5% per month and up to 25% of the unpaid tax when a federal income tax return is filed late. To qualify for the relief, an income tax return must be filed on or before Sept. 30, 2022.

Banks, employers and other businesses that are required to file various information returns (for example, the Form 1099 series) also may qualify for relief. Eligible 2019 returns must have been filed by Aug. 3, 2020, and eligible 2020 returns must have been filed by Aug. 2, 2021.

Potentially eligible forms include:

  • Form 1040, “U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” and other forms in the Form 1040 series
  • Form 1041, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts,” and other forms in the Form 1041 series
  • Form 1065, “U.S. Return of Partnership Income”
  • Returns filed in the Form 1120 series including:
    • Form 1120, “U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return”
    • Form 1120-C, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations”
    • Form 1120-F, “U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation”
    • Form 1120-FSC, “U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Sales Corporation”
    • Form 1120-H, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Homeowners Associations”
    • Form 1120-L, “U.S. Life Insurance Company Income Tax Return”
    • Form 1120-ND, “Return for Nuclear Decommissioning Funds and Certain Related Persons”
    • Form 1120-PC, “U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Company Income Tax Return”
    • Form 1120-POL, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations”
    • Form 1120-REIT, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Investment Trusts”
    • Form 1120-RIC, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Regulated Investment Companies”
    • Form 1120-SF, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Settlement Funds (Under Section 468B)”
    • Form 1120-S, “U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation”
  • Form 1066, “U.S. Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) Income Tax Return”
  • Forms concerning exempt organizations
  • Certain international information returns

Notably, the relief doesn’t extend to failure-to-file penalties for Form 8938, “Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets,” or FinCEN Report 114, “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.”

Exceptions to the rule

Some other exceptions apply. Penalty relief isn’t available if:

  • A fraudulent return was filed,
  • The penalty was part of an accepted offer-in-compromise or a closing agreement with the IRS, or
  • The penalty was finally determined by a court.

In addition, the IRS isn’t providing relief for the failure-to- pay penalty or other penalties. Such ineligible penalties may, however, qualify for previously existing penalty relief procedures, including the reasonable cause defense or the IRS’s First Time Abatement Program.

No action required

The penalty relief is automatic. If you qualify, you need not apply for it or reach out to the IRS in any way. Penalties that have already been assessed will be abated. If you’ve already paid a covered penalty, the IRS says, you should receive a refund or credit by Sept. 30, 2022.

© 2022


Posted on Aug 15, 2022


The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. The IRA includes significant provisions related to climate change, health care, and, of course, taxes. The IRA also addresses the federal budget deficit. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the IRA is projected to reduce the deficit by around $90 billion over the next 10 years.

Although the IRA falls far short of Biden’s originally proposed $2 trillion Build Back Better Act, the $430 billion package nonetheless is a sprawling piece of legislation bound to affect most Americans over time. Here’s an overview of some of what the bill includes.

Significant tax provisions

For starters, how is the federal government going to pay for all of it? Not surprisingly, new taxes are part of the equation (along with savings from, for example, lower drug prices). But the bill is designed to not raise taxes on small businesses or taxpayers earning less than $400,000 per year. Rather, wealthier targets are in the crosshairs.

The first target is U.S. corporations (other than S corporations) that have more than $1 billion in annual earnings over the previous three years. While the current corporate tax rate is 21%, it’s been well documented that many such companies pay little to no federal income tax, due in part to deductions and credits. The IRA imposes a corporate alternative minimum tax of 15% of financial statement income (also known as book income, as opposed to tax income) reduced by, among other things, depreciation and net operating losses. The new minimum tax is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2022.

As a result of last-minute negotiations, private equity firms and hedge funds are exempt from the minimum tax. They could have been covered by a provision that generally includes subsidiaries when determining annual earnings. The tradeoff is that the IRA now will extend the excess business loss limitation for certain businesses for two years.

Although the initial bill language also closed the so-called “carried interest” loophole that permits these interests to be taxed as long-term capital gains rather than ordinary income, the loophole ultimately survived. Democrats agreed to remove the provision closing it to secure the vote of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) — but they added another tax to make up for the lost revenue. The IRA will now impose a 1% excise tax on the fair market value when corporations buy back their stock.

In a statement, Sinema said she would work with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on separate legislation to enact carried interest tax reform. To do so outside of the budget reconciliation process, however, would require 60 votes in the Senate in addition to a majority of the House. With midterm elections in the fall, and control of both houses of Congress hanging in the balance, imminent action on that front seems unlikely.

The IRA also provides about $80 billion over 10 years to fund the IRS and improve its “tax enforcement activities” and technology. Notably, the IRS budget has been dramatically slashed in recent years, dropping by 20% in 2020, compared to 2010. The CBO estimates that the infusion of funds will allow the IRS to collect $203 billion over the next decade from corporations and wealthy individuals.

Climate and energy provisions

The IRA dedicates about $370 billion to combating climate change and boosting domestic energy production. It aims to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.

The legislation includes new, extended and increased tax credits intended to incentivize both businesses and individuals to boost their use of renewable energy. For example, the bill provides tax credits to private companies and public utilities to produce renewable energy or manufacture parts used in renewable projects, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Clean energy producers that pay a prevailing wage also may qualify for tax credits.

Clean vehicle credit

The current tax credit for qualified plug-in electric vehicles has been significantly revised in the IRA. Currently, a taxpayer can claim a credit for each new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle placed in service during the tax year. The maximum credit amount is $7,500. Certain vehicle requirements must be met.

The credit phases out beginning in the second calendar quarter after a manufacturer sells more than 200,000 plug-in electric drive motor vehicles for use in the U.S. after 2009. Under the IRA, the plug-in vehicle credit has been renamed the clean vehicle credit and the manufacturer limitation on the number of vehicles eligible for the credit has been eliminated after December 31, 2022.

The bill changes how the clean vehicle credit is calculated. Specifically, a vehicle must meet critical mineral and battery component requirements. There are also price and income limitations. The clean vehicle credit isn’t allowed for a vehicle with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price above $80,000 for vans, sport utility vehicles and pickups, and above $55,000 for other vehicles.

The clean vehicle credit isn’t allowed if a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for the current or preceding tax year exceeds $150,000 for single filers, $300,000 for married couples filing jointly and $225,000 for heads of household.

The IRA also contains a tax credit for a used plug-in electric drive vehicle purchased after 2022. The tax credit is $4,000 or 30% of the vehicle’s sale price, whichever is less. There are also price and income limitations.

Home energy improvements

Individual taxpayers can also receive tax breaks for home energy efficiency improvements, such as installing solar panels, energy-efficient water heaters, heat pumps and HVAC systems. And a “Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator” will use public and private funds to invest in clean energy technologies and infrastructure.

Health care provisions

The IRA allows Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs and prohibits future administrations from refusing to negotiate. It also caps Medicare enrollees’ annual out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000 and monthly insulin costs at $35 and provides them free vaccines. Additional provisions to rein in drug costs include a requirement that pharmaceutical companies that raise the prices on drugs purchased by Medicare faster than the rate of inflation rebate the difference back to the program.

The IRA also should reduce health care costs for Americans of all ages who obtain health insurance coverage from the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. It extends the expansion of subsidies — in the form of refundable premium tax credits — under the America Rescue Plan Act through 2025. These subsidies had been scheduled to expire at the end of 2022.

Much more to come

The IRA is a sweeping piece of legislation that affects many sectors of U.S. business, as well as most citizens. Additional information, guidance and regulations related to its numerous, far-reaching provisions are inevitable. We’ll keep you up to date on the developments that could affect your finances and federal tax liability.

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Posted on Aug 8, 2022

Sometimes, bigger isn’t better: Your small- or medium-sized business may be eligible for some tax breaks that aren’t available to larger businesses. Here are some examples.

1. QBI deduction

For 2018 through 2025, the qualified business income (QBI) deduction is available to eligible individuals, trusts and estates. But it’s not available to C corporations or their shareholders.

The QBI deduction can be up to 20% of:

  • QBI earned from a sole proprietorship or single-member limited liability company (LLC) that’s treated as a sole proprietorship for federal income tax purposes, plus
  • QBI passed through from a pass-through business entity, meaning a partnership, LLC classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes or S corporation.

Pass-through business entities report tax items to their owners, who then take them into account on their owner-level returns. The QBI deduction rules are complicated, and the deduction can be phased out at higher income levels.

2. Eligibility for cash-method accounting

Businesses that are eligible to use the cash method of accounting for tax purposes have the ability to fine-tune annual taxable income. This is accomplished by timing the year in which you recognize taxable income and claim deductions.

Under the cash method, you generally don’t have to recognize taxable income until you’re paid in cash. And you can generally write off deductible expenses when you pay them in cash or with a credit card.

Only “small” businesses are potentially eligible for the cash method. For this purpose under current law, a small business includes one that has no more than $25 million of average annual gross receipts, based on the preceding three tax years. This limit is adjusted annually for inflation. For tax years beginning in 2022, the limit is $27 million.

3. Section 179 deduction

The Sec. 179 first-year depreciation deduction potentially allows you to write off some (or all) of your qualified asset additions in the first year they’re placed in service. It’s available for both new and used property.

For qualified property placed in service in tax years 2018 and beyond, the deduction rules are much more favorable than under prior law. Enhancements include:

Higher deduction. The Sec. 179 deduction has been permanently increased to $1 million with annual inflation adjustments. For qualified assets placed in service in 2022, the maximum is $1.08 million.

Liberalized phase-out. The threshold above which the maximum Sec. 179 deduction begins to be phased out is $2.5 million with annual inflation adjustments. For qualified assets placed in service in 2022, the phase-out begins at $2.7 million.

The phase-out rule kicks in only if your additions of assets that are eligible for the deduction for the year exceed the threshold for that year. If they exceed the threshold, your maximum deduction is reduced dollar-for-dollar by the excess. Sec. 179 deductions are also subject to other limitations.

Bonus depreciation

While Sec. 179 deductions may be limited, those limitations don’t apply to first-year bonus depreciation deductions. For qualified assets placed in service in 2022, 100% first-year bonus depreciation is available. After this year, the first-year bonus depreciation percentages are scheduled to start going down to 80% for qualified assets placed in service in 2023. They will continue to be reduced until they reach 0% for 2028 and later years.

Contact us to determine if you’re taking advantage of all available tax breaks, including those that are available to small and large businesses alike.

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Posted on Aug 4, 2022

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act (CHIPS Act) was recently passed by Congress as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. President Biden is expected to sign it into law shortly. Among other things, the $52 billion package provides generous tax incentives to increase domestic production of semiconductors, also known as chips. While the incentives themselves are narrowly targeted, the expansion of semiconductor production should benefit a wide range of industries.

In particular, it could reduce the risks of future supply chain issues for the many goods and devices that rely on semiconductor chips, from cell phones and vehicles to children’s toys. The law also is intended to address national security concerns related to the reliance on foreign production of semiconductors.

The impetus

Although the United States developed and pioneered chip technology, many legislators have determined that the country has become too reliant on foreign producers. According to the government, American companies still account for almost half of all revenues in the global semiconductor industry, but the U.S. share of global chip production has fallen from 37% in 1990 to only 12% today. Seventy-five percent of semiconductor production occurs in East Asia. This situation poses a national and economic security threat, according to Congress.

Government subsidies are responsible for up to 70% of the cost difference in producing semiconductors overseas, giving foreign producers a 25% to 40% cost advantage over U.S. producers. The grants in the CHIPS Act, combined with a new tax credit, are intended to fully make up for this cost differential and thereby incentivize the “re-shoring” of semiconductor production.

The new tax credit

The CHIPS Act creates a temporary “advanced manufacturing investment credit” for investments in semiconductor manufacturing property, to be codified in Section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code. The Sec. 48D credit amounts to 25% of qualified investment related to an advanced manufacturing facility — that is, a facility with the primary purpose of manufacturing semiconductors or semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Qualified property is tangible property that:

  • Qualifies for depreciation or amortization,
  • Is constructed, reconstructed or erected by the taxpayer or acquired by the taxpayer if the original use of the property begins with the taxpayer, and
  • Is integral to the operation of the advanced manufacturing facility.

It also can include a building, a portion of a building (other than a portion used for functions unrelated to manufacturing, such as administrative services) and certain structural components of a building.

The credit is available for qualified property placed in service after December 31, 2022, if construction begins before January 1, 2027. If construction began before the CHIPS Act was enacted, though, only the portion of the basis attributable to construction begun after enactment is eligible.

Taxpayers generally are eligible for the credit if they aren’t designated as a “foreign entity of concern.” That term generally refers to certain entities that have been deemed foreign security threats under previous defense authorization legislation or those with conduct that has been ruled detrimental to U.S. national security or foreign policy.

The CHIPS Act additionally excludes taxpayers that have made an “applicable transaction” (for example, the early disposition of investment credit property under Sec. 50(a)). Applicable transactions also include any “material expansion” of the taxpayer’s semiconductor manufacturing capacity in China or other designated “foreign countries of concern.” The law provides for recapture of the credit if a taxpayer enters such a transaction within 10 years of claiming the credit.

Notably, eligible taxpayers can claim the credit as a payment against tax — what’s known as “direct pay.” In other words, taxpayers can receive a tax refund if they don’t have sufficient tax liability to use the credit. Without this option, eligible taxpayers could struggle to monetize their credits.

Additional provisions

The CHIPS Act also provides:

  • $39 billion in subsidies to build, expand or modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging or research, and development,
  • $200 million for workforce development and training, and
  • $1.5 billion to spur wireless supply chain innovation.

It includes almost $170 billion for governmental research and development, as well.

Stay tuned

If your business might qualify for the new tax credit, keep an eye out for additional IRS guidance on just how it will work, including the direct pay provision. We can help you make the most of this and other tax credits.

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Posted on Aug 1, 2022

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly boosted the potential value of bonus depreciation for taxpayers — but only for a limited duration. The amount of first-year depreciation available as a so-called bonus will begin to drop from 100% after 2022, and businesses should plan accordingly.

Bonus depreciation in a nutshell

Bonus depreciation has been available in varying amounts for some time. Immediately prior to the passage of the TCJA, for example, taxpayers generally could claim a depreciation deduction for 50% of the purchase price of qualified property in the first year — as opposed to deducting smaller amounts over the useful life of the property under the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS).

The TCJA expanded the deduction to 100% in the year qualified property is placed in service through 2022, with the amount dropping each subsequent year by 20%, until bonus depreciation sunsets in 2027, unless Congress acts to extend it. Special rules apply to property with longer recovery periods.

Businesses can take advantage of the deduction by purchasing, among other things, property with a useful life of 20 years or less. That includes computer systems, software, certain vehicles, machinery, equipment and office furniture.

Both new and used property can qualify. Used property generally qualifies if it wasn’t:

  • Used by the taxpayer or a predecessor before acquiring it,
  • Acquired from a related party, and
  • Acquired as part of a tax-free transaction.

Qualified improvement property (generally, interior improvements to nonresidential property, excluding elevators, escalators, interior structural framework and building expansion) also qualify for bonus depreciation. A drafting error in the TCJA indicated otherwise, but the CARES Act, enacted in 2020, retroactively made such property eligible for bonus depreciation. Taxpayers that placed qualified improvement property in service in 2018, 2019 or 2020 may, generally, now claim any related deductions not claimed then — subject to certain restrictions.

Buildings themselves aren’t eligible for bonus depreciation, with their useful life of 27.5 (residential) or 39 (commercial) years — but cost segregation studies can help businesses identify components that might be. These studies identify parts of real property that are actually tangible personal property. Such property has shorter depreciation recovery periods and therefore qualifies for bonus depreciation in the year placed in service.

The placed-in-service requirement is particularly critical for those wishing to claim 100% bonus depreciation before the maximum deduction amount falls to 80% in 2023. With the continuing shipping delays and shortages in labor, materials and supplies, taxpayers should place their orders promptly to increase the odds of being able to deploy qualifying property in their businesses before year-end.

Note, too, that bonus depreciation is automatically applied by the IRS unless a taxpayer opts out. Elections apply to all qualified property in the same class of property that is placed in service in the same tax year (for example, all five-year MACRS property).

Bonus depreciation vs. Section 179 expensing

Taxpayers sometimes confuse bonus depreciation with Sec. 179 expensing. The two tax breaks are similar, but distinct.

Like bonus deprecation, Sec. 179 allows a taxpayer to deduct 100% of the purchase price of new and used eligible assets. Eligible assets include software, computer and office equipment, certain vehicles and machinery, as well as qualified improvement property.

But Sec. 179 is subject to some limits that don’t apply to bonus depreciation. For example, the maximum allowable deduction for 2022 is $1.08 million.

In addition, the deduction is intended to benefit small- and medium-sized businesses so it begins phasing out on a dollar-for-dollar basis when qualifying property purchases exceed $2.7 million. In other words, the deduction isn’t available if the cost of Sec. 179 property placed in service this year is $3.78 million or more.

The Sec. 179 deduction also is limited by the amount of a business’s taxable income; applying the deduction can’t create a loss for the business. Any cost not deductible in the first year can be carried over to the next year for an unlimited number of years. Such carried-over costs must be deducted according to age — for example, costs carried over from 2019 must be deducted before those carried over from 2020.

Alternatively, the business can claim the excess as bonus depreciation in the first year. For example, say you purchase machinery that costs $20,000 but, exclusive of that amount, have only $15,000 in income for the year it’s placed in service. Presuming you’re otherwise eligible, you can deduct $15,000 under Sec. 179 and the remaining $5,000 as bonus depreciation.

Also in contrast to bonus depreciation, the Sec. 179 deduction isn’t automatic. You must claim it on a property-by-property basis.

Some caveats

At first glance, bonus depreciation can seem like a no-brainer. However, it’s not necessarily advisable in every situation.

For example, taxpayers who claim the qualified business income (QBI) deduction for pass-through businesses could find that bonus depreciation backfires. The amount of your QBI deduction is limited by your taxable income, and bonus depreciation will reduce this income. Like bonus depreciation, the QBI deduction is scheduled to expire in 2026, so you might want to maximize it before then.

The QBI deduction isn’t the only tax break that depends on taxable income. Increasing your depreciation deduction also could affect the value of expiring net operating losses and charitable contribution and credit carryforwards.

And deduction acceleration strategies always should take into account tax bracket expectations going forward. The value of any deduction is higher when you’re subject to higher tax rates. Newer businesses that currently have relatively low incomes might prefer to spread out depreciation, for example. With bonus depreciation, though, you’ll also need to account for the coming declines in the maximum deduction amounts.

Buy now, decide later

If you plan on purchasing bonus depreciation qualifying property, it may be wise to do so and place it in service before year end to maximize your options. We can help you chart the most advantageous course of action based on your specific circumstances and the upcoming changes in tax law.

© 2022