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Cannon & Company, LLP Blog

Health Savings Accounts for your Small Business

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 19 2020

Small business owners are well aware of the increasing cost of employee health care benefits. As a result, your business may be interested in providing some of these benefits through an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account (HSA). Or perhaps you already have an HSA. It’s a good time to review how these accounts work since the IRS recently announced the relevant inflation-adjusted amounts for 2021.

The basics of HSAs

For eligible individuals, HSAs offer a tax-advantaged way to set aside funds (or have their employers do so) to meet future medical needs. Here are the key tax benefits:

  • Contributions that participants make to an HSA are deductible, within limits.
  • Contributions that employers make aren’t taxed to participants.
  • Earnings on the funds within an HSA aren’t taxed, so the money can accumulate year after year tax free.
  • HSA distributions to cover qualified medical expenses aren’t taxed.
  • Employers don’t have to pay payroll taxes on HSA contributions made by employees through payroll deductions.

Key 2020 and 2021 amounts

To be eligible for an HSA, an individual must be covered by a “high deductible health plan.” For 2020, a “high deductible health plan” is one with an annual deductible of at least $1,400 for self-only coverage, or at least $2,800 for family coverage. For 2021, these amounts are staying the same.

For self-only coverage, the 2020 limit on deductible contributions is $3,550. For family coverage, the 2020 limit on deductible contributions is $7,100. For 2021, these amounts are increasing to $3,600 and $7,200, respectively. Additionally, for 2020, annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits cannot exceed $6,900 for self-only coverage or $13,800 for family coverage. For 2021, these amounts are increasing to $7,000 and $14,000.

An individual (and the individual’s covered spouse, as well) who has reached age 55 before the close of the tax year (and is an eligible HSA contributor) may make additional “catch-up” contributions for 2020 and 2021 of up to $1,000.

Contributing on an employee’s behalf

If an employer contributes to the HSA of an eligible individual, the employer’s contribution is treated as employer-provided coverage for medical expenses under an accident or health plan and is excludable from an employee’s gross income up to the deduction limitation. There’s no “use-it-or-lose-it” provision, so funds can be built up for years. An employer that decides to make contributions on its employees’ behalf must generally make comparable contributions to the HSAs of all comparable participating employees for that calendar year. If the employer doesn’t make comparable contributions, the employer is subject to a 35% tax on the aggregate amount contributed by the employer to HSAs for that period.

Paying for eligible expenses

HSA distributions can be made to pay for qualified medical expenses. This generally means those expenses that would qualify for the medical expense itemized deduction. They include expenses such as doctors’ visits, prescriptions, chiropractic care and premiums for long-term care insurance.

If funds are withdrawn from the HSA for any other reason, the withdrawal is taxable. Additionally, an extra 20% tax will apply to the withdrawal, unless it’s made after reaching age 65, or in the event of death or disability.

As you can see, HSAs offer a flexible option for providing health care coverage, but the rules are somewhat complex. Contact us with questions or if you’d like to discuss offering this benefit to your employees.

© 2020

So you want to withdraw cash from your closely held corporation at a low tax cost?

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 12 2020

Owners of closely held corporations are often interested in easily withdrawing money from their businesses at the lowest possible tax cost. The simplest way is to distribute cash as a dividend. However, a dividend distribution isn’t tax-efficient, since it’s taxable to you to the extent of your corporation’s “earnings and profits.” And it’s not deductible by the corporation.

Other strategies

Fortunately, there are several alternative methods that may allow you to withdraw cash from a corporation while avoiding dividend treatment. Here are five strategies to consider:

  • Capital repayments. To the extent that you’ve capitalized the corporation with debt, including amounts that you’ve advanced to the business, the corporation can repay the debt without the repayment being treated as a dividend. Additionally, interest paid on the debt can be deducted by the corporation. This assumes that the debt has been properly documented with terms that characterize debt and that the corporation doesn’t have an excessively high debt-to-equity ratio. If not, the “debt” repayment may be taxed as a dividend. If you make future cash contributions to the corporation, consider structuring them as debt to facilitate later withdrawals on a tax-advantaged basis.
  • Compensation. Reasonable compensation that you, or family members, receive for services rendered to the corporation is deductible by the business. However, it’s also taxable to the recipient(s). This same rule applies to any compensation (in the form of rent) that you receive from the corporation for the use of property. In both cases, the compensation amount must be reasonable in terms of the services rendered or the value of the property provided. If it’s considered excessive, the excess will be a nondeductible corporate distribution.
  • Loans. You can withdraw cash tax free from the corporation by borrowing money from it. However, to prevent having the loan characterized as a corporate distribution, it should be properly documented in a loan agreement or note. It should also be made on terms that are comparable to those in which an unrelated third party would lend money to you, including a provision for interest and principal. Also, consider what the corporation’s receipt of interest income will mean.
  • Fringe benefits. You may want to obtain the equivalent of a cash withdrawal in fringe benefits, which aren’t taxable to you and are deductible by the corporation. Examples include life insurance, certain medical benefits, disability insurance and dependent care. Most of these benefits are tax-free only if provided on a nondiscriminatory basis to other corporation employees. You can also establish a salary reduction plan that allows you (and other employees) to take a portion of your compensation as nontaxable benefits, rather than as taxable compensation.
  • Property sales. You can withdraw cash from the corporation by selling property to it. However, certain sales should be avoided. For example, you shouldn’t sell property to a more than 50%-owned corporation at a loss, since the loss will be disallowed. And you shouldn’t sell depreciable property to a more than 50%-owned corporation at a gain, since the gain will be treated as ordinary income, rather than capital gain. A sale should be on terms that are comparable to those in which an unrelated third party would purchase the property. You may need to obtain an independent appraisal to establish the property’s value.

Minimize taxes

If you’re interested in discussing any of these ideas, contact us. We can help you get the most out of your corporation at the lowest tax cost.

© 2020

Tax Responsibilities if your Business is Closing Amid the Pandemic

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 05 2020

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to shut down. If this is your situation, we’re here to assist you in any way we can, including taking care of the various tax obligations that must be met.

Of course, a business must file a final income tax return and some other related forms for the year it closes. The type of return to be filed depends on the type of business you have. Here’s a rundown of the basic requirements.

Sole Proprietorships. You’ll need to file the usual Schedule C, “Profit or Loss from Business,” with your individual return for the year you close the business. You may also need to report self-employment tax. 

Partnerships. A partnership must file Form 1065, “U.S. Return of Partnership Income,” for the year it closes. You also must report capital gains and losses on Schedule D. Indicate that this is the final return and do the same on Schedules K-1, “Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, Etc.”

All Corporations. Form 966, “Corporate Dissolution or Liquidation,” must be filed if you adopt a resolution or plan to dissolve a corporation or liquidate any of its stock.

C Corporations. File Form 1120, “U.S. Corporate Income Tax Return,” for the year you close. Report capital gains and losses on Schedule D. Indicate this is the final return.

S Corporations. File Form 1120-S, “U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation” for the year of closing. Report capital gains and losses on Schedule D. The “final return” box must be checked on Schedule K-1.

All Businesses. Other forms may need to be filed to report sales of business property and asset acquisitions if you sell your business.

Employees and contract workers

If you have employees, you must pay them final wages and compensation owed, make final federal tax deposits and report employment taxes. Failure to withhold or deposit employee income, Social Security and Medicare taxes can result in full personal liability for what’s known as the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.

If you’ve paid any contractors at least $600 during the calendar year in which you close your business, you must report those payments on Form 1099-NEC, “Nonemployee Compensation.”

Other tax issues

If your business has a retirement plan for employees, you’ll want to terminate the plan and distribute benefits to participants. There are detailed notice, funding, timing and filing requirements that must be met by a terminating plan. There are also complex requirements related to flexible spending accounts, Health Savings Accounts, and other programs for your employees.

We can assist you with many other complicated tax issues related to closing your business, including Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans, the COVID-19 employee retention tax credit, employment tax deferral, debt cancellation, use of net operating losses, freeing up any remaining passive activity losses, depreciation recapture, and possible bankruptcy issues.

We can advise you on the length of time you need to keep business records. You also must cancel your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and close your IRS business account.

If your business is unable to pay all the taxes it owes, we can explain the available payment options to you. Contact us to discuss these issues and get answers to any questions.

© 2020

Buying and selling Mutual fund shares: Avoid these tax pitfalls

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 29 2020


If you invest in mutual funds, be aware of some potential pitfalls involved in buying and selling shares.

Surprise sales

You may already have made taxable “sales” of part of your mutual fund investment without knowing it.

One way this can happen is if your mutual fund allows you to write checks against your fund investment. Every time you write a check against your mutual fund account, you’ve made a partial sale of your interest in the fund. Thus, except for funds such as money market funds, for which share value remains constant, you may have taxable gain (or a deductible loss) when you write a check. And each such sale is a separate transaction that must be reported on your tax return.

Here’s another way you may unexpectedly make a taxable sale. If your mutual fund sponsor allows you to make changes in the way your money is invested — for instance, lets you switch from one fund to another fund — making that switch is treated as a taxable sale of your shares in the first fund.

Recordkeeping

Carefully save all the statements that the fund sends you — not only official tax statements, such as Forms 1099-DIV, but the confirmations the fund sends you when you buy or sell shares or when dividends are reinvested in new shares. Unless you keep these records, it may be difficult to prove how much you paid for the shares, and thus, you won’t be able to establish the amount of gain that’s subject to tax (or the amount of loss you can deduct) when you sell.

You also need to keep these records to prove how long you’ve held your shares if you want to take advantage of favorable long-term capital gain tax rates. (If you get a year-end statement that lists all your transactions for the year, you can just keep that and discard quarterly or other interim statements. But save anything that specifically says it contains tax information.)

Recordkeeping is simplified by rules that require funds to report the customer’s basis in shares sold and whether any gain or loss is short-term or long-term. This is mandatory for mutual fund shares acquired after 2011, and some funds will provide this to shareholders for shares they acquired earlier, if the fund has the information.

Timing purchases and sales

If you’re planning to invest in a mutual fund, there are some important tax consequences to take into account in timing the investment. For instance, an investment shortly before payment of a dividend is something you should generally try to avoid. Your receipt of the dividend (even if reinvested in additional shares) will be treated as income and increase your tax liability. If you’re planning a sale of any of your mutual fund shares near year-end, you should weigh the tax and the non-tax consequences in the current year versus a sale in the next year.

Identify shares you sell

If you sell fewer than all of the shares that you hold in the same mutual fund, there are complicated rules for identifying which shares you’ve sold. The proper application of these rules can reduce the amount of your taxable gain or qualify the gain for favorable long-term capital gain treatment.

Contact us if you’d like to find out more about tax planning for buying and selling mutual fund shares.

© 2020

What Tax Records Can You Throw Away?

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 13 2020

What tax records can you throw away?

October 15 is the deadline for individual taxpayers who extended their 2019 tax returns. (The original April 15 filing deadline was extended this year to July 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) If you’re finally done filing last year’s return, you might wonder: Which tax records can you toss once you’re done? Now is a good time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard.

The general rules

At minimum, you should keep tax records for as long as the IRS has the ability to audit your tax return or assess additional taxes, which generally is three years after you file your return. This means you potentially can get rid of most records related to tax returns for 2016 and earlier years.

However, the statute of limitations extends to six years for taxpayers who understate their adjusted gross income (AGI) by more than 25%. What constitutes an understatement may go beyond simply not reporting items of income. So a general rule of thumb is to save tax records for six years from filing, just to be safe.

Keep some records longer

You need to hang on to some tax-related records beyond the statute of limitations. For example:

*Keep the tax returns themselves indefinitely, so you can prove to the IRS that you actually filed a legitimate return. (There’s no statute of limitations for an audit if you didn’t file a return or if you filed a fraudulent one.)

*Retain W-2 forms until you begin receiving Social Security benefits. Questions might arise regarding your work record or earnings for a particular year, and your W-2 helps provide the documentation needed.

*Keep records related to real estate or investments for as long as you own the assets, plus at least three years after you sell them and report the sales on your tax return (or six years if you want extra protection).

*Keep records associated with retirement accounts until you’ve depleted the accounts and reported the last withdrawal on your tax return, plus three (or six) years.

Other reasons to retain records

Keep in mind that these are the federal tax record retention guidelines. Your state and local tax record requirements may differ. In addition, lenders, co-op boards and other private parties may require you to produce copies of your tax returns as a condition to lending money, approving a purchase or otherwise doing business with you

. Contact us if you have questions or concerns about recordkeeping. © 2020

Business Website Costs

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 21 2020
The business use of websites is widespread. But surprisingly, the IRS hasn’t yet issued formal guidance on when Internet website costs can be deducted. Fortunately, established rules that generally apply to the deductibility of business costs, and IRS guidance that applies to software costs, provide business taxpayers launching a website with some guidance as to the proper treatment of the costs. Hardware or software?
 
Let’s start with the hardware you may need to operate a website. The costs involved fall under the standard rules for depreciable equipment. Specifically, once these assets are up and running, you can deduct 100% of the cost in the first year they’re placed in service (before 2023). This favorable treatment is allowed under the 100% first-year bonus depreciation break. In later years, you can probably deduct 100% of these costs in the year the assets are placed in service under the Section 179 first-year depreciation deduction privilege.
 
However, Sec. 179 deductions are subject to several limitations. For tax years beginning in 2020, the maximum Sec. 179 deduction is $1.04 million, subject to a phaseout rule. Under the rule, the deduction is phased out if more than a specified amount of qualified property is placed in service during the year. The threshold amount for 2020 is $2.59 million. There’s also a taxable income limit. Under it, your Sec. 179 deduction can’t exceed your business taxable income. In other words, Sec. 179 deductions can’t create or increase an overall tax loss. However, any Sec. 179 deduction amount that you can’t immediately deduct is carried forward and can be deducted in later years (to the extent permitted by the applicable limits). Similar rules apply to purchased off-the-shelf software. However, software license fees are treated differently from purchased software costs for tax purposes. Payments for leased or licensed software used for your website are currently deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses. Was the software developed internally? An alternative position is that your software development costs represent currently deductible research and development costs under the tax code. To qualify for this treatment, the costs must be paid or incurred by December 31, 2022.
 
A more conservative approach would be to capitalize the costs of internally developed software. Then you would depreciate them over 36 months. If your website is primarily for advertising, you can also currently deduct internal website software development costs as ordinary and necessary business expenses. Are you paying a third party? Some companies hire third parties to set up and run their websites. In general, payments to third parties are currently deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses. What about before business begins? Start-up expenses can include website development costs. Up to $5,000 of otherwise deductible expenses that are incurred before your business commences can generally be deducted in the year business commences. However, if your start-up expenses exceed $50,000, the $5,000 current deduction limit starts to be chipped away. Above this amount, you must capitalize some, or all, of your start-up expenses and amortize them over 60 months, starting with the month that business commences. Need Help? We can determine the appropriate treatment of website costs for federal income tax purposes. Contact us if you have questions or want more information. © 2020
 

IRS issues guidance on the executive action referring payroll taxes

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 10 2020


On August 28, the IRS issued guidance that provides some explanation of how employers can defer withholding and remitting an employee’s share of Social Security tax when wages are below a certain amount. The guidance in Notice 2020-65 was issued to implement President Trump’s executive action signed in early August.

The guidance is brief, and private employers still have questions about whether, and how, to implement the deferral. The President’s action only defers Social Security taxes; it doesn’t forgive them, meaning employees will have to pay the taxes later unless Congress passes a law to eliminate the liability.

Tax deferral background

On August 8, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum that permits the deferral of the employee portion of Social Security taxes for certain employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The memorandum directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to defer withholding, deposit and payment of an eligible employee’s share of Social Security taxes (or the employee’s share of Railroad Retirement taxes) on wages or compensation paid from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. It applies to employees whose wages or compensation, payable during any biweekly pay period, generally are less than $4,000, or the equivalent amount with respect to other pay periods. Amounts can be deferred without penalties, interest or additions to the tax.

Note: Under the CARES Act, employers can already defer paying their portion of Social Security taxes through December 31, 2020. All 2020 deferred amounts are due in two equal installments — one at the end of 2021 and the other at the end of 2022.

New guidance

Issued on August 28, the three-page guidance postpones the withholding and remittance of the employee share of Social Security tax until the period beginning on January 1, 2021, and ending on April 30, 2021. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on May 1, 2021, for any unpaid taxes.

The guidance states that “if necessary,” the employer “may make arrangements to collect the total applicable taxes” from an employee. This appears to answer one question that employers have about what happens if an employee leaves a job later this year or before the deferred taxes are due. However, no additional details are given on how an employer should make arrangements to collect unpaid tax.

Pushback from business groups

Before the guidance was issued, several business and payroll groups stated that their members would not implement the deferral. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more than 30 trade associations sent a letter to members of Congress and the U.S. Department of the Treasury calling the deferral unworkable.

“If this were a suspension of the payroll tax so that employees were not forced to pay it back later, implementation would be less challenging,” the letter states. “But under a simple deferral, employees would be stuck with a large tax bill in 2021. Many of our members consider it unfair to employees to make a decision that would force a big tax bill on them next year… Therefore, many of our members will likely decline to implement deferral, choosing instead to continue to withhold and remit to the government the payroll taxes required by law.”

The National Payroll Reporting Consortium, a payroll services industry association, stated there are “substantial” computer programming changes that are needed to implement the deferral.

“Payroll systems are designed to apply a single Social Security tax rate for the full year, and to all employees equally,” the consortium explained. “Applying a different tax rate for part of the year, beginning in the middle of a quarter, and applying such a change to some employers but not others, and to some employees but not others, is quite complex. Not all employers and payroll systems will be able to make these complex changes by September 1.”

Going forward

There are still unanswered questions about the payroll tax deferral. If you need assistance or have questions about how to proceed at your business, contact us. We can help you decide whether to participate and how to go forward.

© 2020

What does the executive action deferring payroll taxes mean for employers and employees?

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 12 2020

 

C
On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive memorandum that defers an employee’s portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes from September 1 through December 31, 2020. At this point, the taxes are just deferred, meaning they’ll still have to be paid at a later date. However, the action directs U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “explore avenues, including legislation, to eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes.”
 
The exact impact on employers and employees isn’t yet known. There are many open questions, including President Trump’s legal ability to implement the deferral. Some experts believe there may be legal challenges to this executive action. Deferral details The payroll tax deferral will be available for “any employee the amount of whose wages or compensation, as applicable, payable during any bi-weekly pay period generally is less than $4,000.” The deferral will be calculated on a pretax basis or the equivalent amount with respect to other pay periods. Plus, the amounts will be deferred without any penalties, interest, additional amount or addition to the tax.
 
Stay tuned for additional guidance No doubt there is much to flesh out about this payroll tax deferral. Secretary Mnuchin has been instructed to provide additional guidance and employers can’t act on the deferral until that happens. It’s also possible Congress could take action. We’ll be monitoring developments and their implications, so turn to us for the latest information. © 2020

2021 HSA's

Posted by Admin Posted on May 28 2020

The IRS recently released the 2021 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). For calendar year 2021, the annual contribution limitation for an individual with self-only coverage under a HDHP is $3,600. For an individual with family coverage, the amount is $7,200. This is up from $3,550 and $7,100, respectively, for 2020. For calendar year 2021, an HDHP is a health plan with an annual deductible that isn’t less than $1,400 for self-only coverage or $2,800 for family coverage. In addition, annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) can’t exceed $7,000 for self-only coverage or $14,000 for family coverage.

Deduction of PPP Loan expenses not allowed

Posted by Admin Posted on May 26 2020

The IRS has issued guidance clarifying that certain deductions aren’t allowed if a business has received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Specifically, an expense isn’t deductible if both: 1) the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a loan made under the PPP, and 2) the income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from gross income under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. IRS Notice 2020-32 states that “this treatment prevents a double tax benefit.” However, two members of Congress say they’re opposed to the IRS stand on this issue. They say they’ll seek legislation to make certain expenses deductible. Stay tuned.

SBA extends the PPP repayment deadline for self-certification

Posted by Admin Posted on May 07 2020

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the repayment deadline for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) borrowers that wish to take advantage of the “good faith” self-certification of eligibility option. The deadline is now automatically extended from May 7, 2020, to May 14, 2020.

 
Companies that repay their loans by that date preempt the possibility of criminal liability if they’re subsequently found ineligible for PPP loans. The loans are intended to help small businesses with fewer than 500 employees weather the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but some large companies have applied for and received funds. 
 
Extended safe harbor 
In April 2020, the U.S. Treasury and the SBA issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on PPP loans. One question asks whether businesses owned by large companies with adequate sources of liquidity to support their ongoing operations qualify for PPP loans. 
 
The SBA explained that — in addition to reviewing applicable affiliation rules to determine eligibility — all borrowers must evaluate their economic need for a loan under the standards in effect at the time of the loan application. The standards are set by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the PPP, as well as subsequent regulations. 
Among other things, borrowers must certify that their PPP loan request is necessary. Specifically, they must certify that “current economic uncertainty” makes the loan necessary to support ongoing operations. The certification must be made in good faith, taking into account the borrower’s current business activity and ability to access other sources of liquidity in a way that’s not “significantly detrimental” to the business. The FAQs originally provided that any borrower that applied for a loan prior to April 24, 2020, and repays the funds in full by May 7, 2020, would be deemed by the SBA to have made the certification in good faith. As of May 5, 2020, though, the FAQs have been revised to reflect an extension of this safe harbor to May 14, 2020. The extension will be automatically implemented, with no need for borrowers to apply for it.
 
Potential criminal liability 
Companies that don’t take advantage of the safe harbor and are later found ineligible for the PPP could face criminal liability, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The loan application notes that making a false statement to obtain a guaranteed loan from the SBA is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine of up to $250,000. 
 
A borrower that falsely self-certified also could be subject to criminal or civil liability under the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA permits treble damages, or triple the amount of the government’s actual damages, as well as civil penalties, imprisonment up to five years and a fine up to $250,000 for criminal liability. A tangled web 
 
Be aware that, according to a recently revised IRS FAQ, companies must repay their PPP loans by May 7, 2020, to qualify for the employee retention credit. We can help you evaluate all of the potential strategies to make the most of the federal COVID-19 relief programs. © 2020

The IRS announces new COVID-19-related assistance for taxpayers

Posted by Admin Posted on Apr 13 2020

 

The IRS and the U.S. Department of Treasury have announced new relief for federal taxpayers affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The IRS had already extended certain deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes and estimated tax payments due April 15, 2020, without incurring late filing penalties, late payment penalties or interest. The additional relief, outlined in Notice 2020-23, applies to a wider variety of tax filers. The IRS also has announced new tools for taxpayers expecting Economic Impact Payments (also known as “recovery rebates”).
 
The extensions in a nutshell
 
The extensions apply to taxpayers, including Americans living and working abroad, with filing or payment deadlines on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Covered tax forms and payments include:
Individual income tax payments and returns,
Calendar-year or fiscal-year corporate income tax payments and returns,
Calendar-year or fiscal-year partnership return filings,
Estate and trust income tax payments and returns,
Gift and generation-skipping transfer tax payments and returns, and
Tax-exempt organizations’ payments and returns.
 
The due dates for these payments and returns are automatically postponed to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers don’t need to contact the IRS, file any extension forms, or send letters or other documents to take advantage of the extensions. The accrual of interest, penalties and additions to tax for failure to file or pay will be suspended from April 1, 2020, to July 15, 2020, resuming on July 16, 2020.
 
The IRS is also extending the earlier relief regarding quarterly estimated tax payments. As of now, the payments ordinarily due on both April 15 and June 15 aren’t due until July 15. This applies to individual and businesses that must make estimated tax payments.
 
Extensions for other time-sensitive actions
 
Notably, the IRS is giving taxpayers extra time to perform specified other time-sensitive actions originally due to be performed on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Those include filing petitions with the U.S. Tax Court or seeking review of a Tax Court decision, filing claims for tax credits or refunds, and filing a lawsuit based on a tax credit or refund claim. Taxpayers generally have three years to claim refunds, so the deadline for 2016 refunds otherwise would be April 15, 2020 (three years after the April 2017 filing date for 2016 tax returns).
 
Unfortunately for some taxpayers, the notice also provides the IRS with additional time to perform certain time-sensitive acts. It allows a 30-day postponement if the last date for performance of an action is on or after April 6, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. This extension could affect taxpayers who are currently under IRS examination, whose cases are with the Independent Office Appeals or who file amended returns or submit payments for a tax for which the assessment period would expire in that time period.
 
Economic Impact Payment tools
 
On April 10, 2020, the day after announcing the deadline extensions, the IRS launched a new online tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for individuals who don’t normally file an income tax return. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides for payments of up to $1,200 for eligible individuals or $2,400 for married couples, plus $500 for each qualifying child. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive the payments automatically.
 
The non-filer tool is intended for people who didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who don’t receive Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits. It’s available at IRS.gov.
 
The IRS says it expects to launch another tool, called “Get My Payment,” by April 17. It will provide taxpayers with information on the status of their payments, including the date payments are scheduled to be deposited in their bank accounts or mailed to them. Eligible taxpayers also will be able to provide their bank account information to expedite payment, assuming the payment hasn’t already been scheduled for delivery.
 
Stay tuned
 
The IRS, Department of Treasury, Congress and the Trump administration continue to work on new forms of relief to help individuals and businesses cope with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Turn to us for all of the latest developments and available opportunities.
 
© 2020

CARES Act will provide billions of dollars of relief to individuals, businesses, state and local governments and the health care system

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 30 2020
• • • • • • • • 
 
After extensive negotiations between the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House, an agreement has been reached on a massive stimulus bill to address the financial and health care crisis resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 
As of this writing, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has been passed by the Senate and is expected to be passed by the House, although the mechanics are still to be determined because most House members are currently in their home districts. The President has indicated that he will sign the legislation.
 
The CARES Act includes a “Marshall Plan” for the health care system to help provide needed treatment during the pandemic and financial assistance to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as to private nonprofits providing critical and essential services. It also provides significant relief to individuals, businesses and other employers to help them weather the pandemic.
 
Key provisions for individuals, businesses and other employers
Here’s a quick look at some of the CARES Act provisions that may affect you — keep in mind that it’s possible that some provisions could change before the act is signed into law:
 
Individuals
Recovery rebates of up to $1,200 for singles, $1,200 for heads of households and $2,400 for married couples filing jointly — plus $500 per qualifying child — subject to income-based phaseouts starting at $75,000, $122,500 and $150,000, respectively
Expansion of unemployment benefits, including for self-employed and gig-economy workers
Waiver of the 10% penalty on COVID-19-related early distributions from IRAs, 401(k)s and certain other retirement plans
Waiver of required minimum distribution rules for IRAs, 401(k)s and certain other retirement plans
Expansion of charitable contribution tax deductions
Exclusion for certain employer payments of student loans
 
Businesses and other employers
 
Retention tax credit for eligible employers that continue to pay employee wages while their operations are fully or partially suspended as a result of certain COVID-19-related government orders
Deferral of the employer portion of payments of certain payroll taxes
Modification of net operating loss (NOL) and limitation on losses rules
Modification of the deduction limitation on business interest
Qualified improvement property technical correction, allowing qualifying interior improvements of buildings to be immediately expensed rather than depreciated over a period of years
Expansion of the ways the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help small businesses
 
More details to come
This is just a brief overview of the CARES Act. We will share additional details on the provisions that are likely most relevant to you or your business in the coming days. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions or concerns you have about taxes or your individual financial or business situation

Individuals Get Coronavirus (COVID) Tax and Other Relief

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 26 2020

    Taxpayers now have more time to file their tax returns and pay any tax owed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Treasury Department and IRS announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer making federal income tax payments, which are due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount they owe. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. They can also defer their initial quarterly estimated federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year (including any self-employment tax) from the normal April 15 deadline until July 15. No forms to file.

Taxpayers don’t need to file any additional forms to qualify for the automatic federal tax filing and payment relief to July 15. However, individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004. Contact us if you need assistance filing these forms. If you expect a refund Of course, not everybody will owe the IRS when they file their 2019 tax returns. If you’re due a refund, you should file as soon as possible. The IRS has stated that despite the COVID-19 outbreak, most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.

New law passes, another on the way On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which provides a wide variety of relief related to COVID-19. It includes free testing, waivers and modifications of Federal nutrition programs, employment-related protections and benefits, health programs and insurance coverage requirements, and related employer tax credits and tax exemptions. If you’re an employee, you may be eligible for paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. Here are the specifics, according to the IRS: An employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, to care for a child whose school is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable, and/or the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay. An employee who is unable to work due to a need to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, may in some instances receive up to an additional ten weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay.

As of this writing, Congress was working on passing another bill that would provide additional relief, including checks that would be sent to Americans under certain income thresholds. We will keep you updated about any developments. In the meantime, please contact us with any questions or concerns about your tax or financial situation. © 2020

CDC Foundation Has COVID-19 Guidelines for Nonprofits

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 20 2020

While global health and governmental agencies grapple with how best to fight the new coronavirus (COVID-19), nonprofit organizations worldwide are scrambling to figure out what steps they should take and how they can be helpful in this time of uncertainty. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking aggressive public health measures to help protect the health of Americans and assist international partners. Leaders at nonprofit organizations can also play a pivotal role at this critical time. COVID-19 is very dangerous, and we must take comprehensive and coordinated action to address it. Today, we must be diligent in our response as the outbreak continues to spread worldwide, including in the United States, and the economic consequences that follow.

What can nonprofit leaders do in this time of uncertainty and concern? I’d like to offer five steps or initiatives that leaders of all nonprofits and philanthropies can take or consider. Seek out the right information. The best source of up-to-date information on everything related to COVID-19 is the CDC website. It is a trusted source with information provided by CDC scientists. I know as I worked there and collaborate with them on an almost daily basis. Beyond CDC, look to your state and local public health departments. I was a state health commissioner for many years and coordinated a response to H1N1, and I know that state and local health departments offer accurate and timely infectious disease information. Dispel myths. We are living in an anxious time, and as leaders we must ensure not to create a panic. This is even more difficult in an era where anyone with a smart phone can share an opinion or create a storyline. Myths about the coronavirus, including all the remedies, protections, etc. will continue to proliferate. Social media, while it can be a powerful tool to provide timely updates and information, can also make the problem worse. As leaders, we can dispel many of the myths about the disease and use our platforms to get out the facts. Put into action good public health practices.

As employers, community partners and influencers, the nonprofit sector enjoys a tremendous amount of trust and respect. Ensure your employees, volunteers and ambassadors know what they can do to protect themselves, their communities and the people they serve. Putting into practice actions from staying home when sick to cleaning and disinfecting work areas and communal areas where services are provided can make a big difference. Make a financial grant. If your organization is in the position to do so, make a financial grant to strengthen public health and the response efforts. While increased funding is becoming available for public health agencies, governments cannot do it alone, particularly as the response moves from containment to mitigation. A collective response is needed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of COVID-19 — from communications campaigns to strengthening state and local health labs to providing equipment and supplies as well as supporting those in quarantine or those who are at high-risk from the dangers of COVID-19.

In any crisis situation, it takes an effort on the part of all sectors to mitigate the crisis and meet the needs of our communities and vulnerable populations. Collaborate with peer organizations. Nonprofit organizations and philanthropies have greater positive impact and can accomplish more collectively than individually. By aligning diverse interests and resources and leveraging the strengths of your organization with another, we can work together to fight this outbreak and support those affected. If your organization is in a position to partner with another nonprofit, please consider it. The nonprofit sector has been crucial in past emergency responses such as the Ebola and Zika outbreaks, and we can’t do it alone this time, either. From the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been confusion, concern and anxiety about the infectious disease with good reason. We should treat it as we would other past outbreaks — recognize that it has not respected borders or politics and requires a collective effort of government, individual and organizations. The resilience of our front line public health responders is amazing. The nonprofit community has the opportunity to support them and others affected by the COVID-19 outbreak by providing accurate information and working with the public health community to find innovative ways to offer support.

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 06 2019

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Welcome to Our Blog!

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 24 2013
This is the home of our new blog. Check back often for updates!

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