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CARES Act made changes to excess business losses

Robert Zelitsky

August 24, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act made changes to excess business losses. This includes some changes that are retroactive and there may be opportunities for some businesses to file amended tax returns.

If you hold an interest in a business, or may do so in the future, here is more information about the changes.

Deferral of the excess business loss...

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The possible tax consequences of PPP loans

Robert Zelitsky

August 10, 2020

If your business was fortunate enough to get a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan taken out in connection with the COVID-19 crisis, you should be aware of the potential tax implications.

PPP basics

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was enacted on March 27, 2020, is designed to provide financial assistance to...

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The tax implications of employer-provided life insurance

Robert Zelitsky

August 4, 2020

Does your employer provide you with group term life insurance? If so, and if the coverage is higher than $50,000, this employee benefit may create undesirable income tax consequences for you.

“Phantom income”

The first $50,000 of group term life insurance coverage that your employer provides is excluded from taxable income and doesn’t add anything to your...

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Are scholarships tax-free or taxable?

Robert Zelitsky

July 28, 2020

COVID-19 is changing the landscape for many schools this fall. But many children and young adults are going back, even if it’s just for online learning, and some parents will be facing tuition bills. If your child has been awarded a scholarship, that’s cause for celebration! But be aware that there may be tax implications.

Scholarships (and fellowships) are generally...

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Why do partners sometimes report more income on tax returns than they receive in cash?

Robert Zelitsky

July 27, 2020

If you’re a partner in a business, you may have come across a situation that gave you pause. In a given year, you may be taxed on more partnership income than was distributed to you from the partnership in which you’re a partner.

Why is this? The answer lies in the way partnerships and partners are taxed. Unlike regular corporations, partnerships aren’t subject to...

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Take advantage of a “stepped-up basis” when you inherit property

Robert Zelitsky

July 21, 2020

If you’re planning your estate, or you’ve recently inherited assets, you may be unsure of the “cost” (or “basis”) for tax purposes.

Fair market value rules

Under the fair market value basis rules (also known as the “step-up and step-down” rules), an heir receives a basis in inherited property equal to its date-of-death value. So,...

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The New 1099 NEC

Robert Zelitsky

July 13, 2020

There’s a new IRS form for business taxpayers that pay or receive nonemployee compensation.

Beginning with tax year 2020, payers must complete Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, to report any payment of $600 or more to a payee.

Why the new form?

Prior to 2020, Form 1099-MISC was filed to report payments totaling at least $600 in a calendar year for services...

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Haven’t filed your 2019 business tax return yet? There may be ways to chip away at your bill

ROBERT ZELITSKY

June 29, 2020

The extended federal income tax deadline is coming up fast. As you know, the IRS postponed until July 15 the payment and filing deadlines that otherwise would have fallen on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15.

Retroactive COVID-19 business relief

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which passed earlier in 2020, includes some retroactive tax...

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What qualifies as a “coronavirus-related distribution” from a retirement plan?

ROBERT ZELITSKY

June 23, 2020

As you may have heard, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows “qualified” people to take certain “coronavirus-related distributions” from their retirement plans without paying tax.

So how do you qualify? In other words, what’s a coronavirus-related distribution?

Early distribution basics

In general, if you...

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If you’re selling your home, don’t forget about taxes

ROBERT ZELITSKY

June 16, 2020

Traditionally, spring and summer are popular times for selling a home. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a slowdown in sales. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that existing home sales in April decreased year-over-year, 17.2% from a year ago. One bit of good news is that home prices are up. The median existing-home price in April was $286,800, up 7.4% from...

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Did you get an Economic Impact Payment that was less than you expected?

ROBERT ZELITSKY

May 20, 2020

Nearly everyone has heard about the Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) that the federal government is sending to help mitigate the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The IRS reports that in the first four weeks of the program, 130 million individuals received payments worth more than $200 billion.

However, some people are still waiting for a payment. And others received an...

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Fortunate enough to get a PPP loan? Forgiven expenses aren’t deductible

Robert Zelitsky

May 18, 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:

The payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a loan made under the PPP, and
The income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from gross income under the...

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There’s still time to make a deductible IRA contribution for 2019

Robert Zelitsky

May 12, 2020

Do you want to save more for retirement on a tax-favored basis? If so, and if you qualify, you can make a deductible traditional IRA contribution for the 2019 tax year between now and the extended tax filing deadline and claim the write-off on your 2019 return. Or you can contribute to a Roth IRA and avoid paying taxes on future withdrawals.

You can potentially make a contribution of...

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The CARES Act liberalizes Net Operating Losses

ROBERT ZELITSKY

May 4, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act eliminates some of the tax-revenue-generating provisions included in a previous tax law. Here’s a look at how the rules for claiming certain tax losses have been modified to provide businesses with relief from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

NOL deductions

Basically, you may be able to benefit by...

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IRA account value down? It might be a good time for a Roth conversion

ROBERT ZELITSKY

April 28, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused the value of some retirement accounts to decrease because of the stock market downturn. But if you have a traditional IRA, this downturn may provide a valuable opportunity: It may allow you to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA at a lower tax cost.

The key differences

Here’s what makes a traditional IRA different...

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Cares Act changes retirement plan and charitable contribution rules

April 7, 2020

As we all try to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be wondering about some of the recent tax changes that were part of a tax law passed on March 27.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act contains a variety of relief, notably the “economic impact payments” that will be made to...

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Emergency Small Business Loans - Care Act

US Chamber of Commerce

March 30, 2020

please refer to the link below for information available to small business and loan opportunities:

 

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Coronavirus and the CARES Act

March 30, 2020

March 29, 2020
Dear Client,

The Coronavirus has infected our life in many ways. Family and friends are sick, quarantined or under a stay-in-place order. The stock market has crashed. The kids are out of school. Restaurants and shopping malls are closed. More than three million unemployment claims were filed in one week. Enough of the...

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Individuals get coronavirus (COVID-19) tax and other relief

Robert Zelitsky

March 24, 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,...

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The 2019 gift tax return deadline is coming up

Robert Zelitsky

March 10, 2020

If you made large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year, it’s important to determine whether you’re required to file a 2019 gift tax return. And in some cases, even if it’s not required to file one, it may be beneficial to do so anyway.

Who must file?

Generally, you must file a gift tax return...

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Determine a reasonable salary for a corporate business owner

Robert Zelitsky

March 9, 2020

If you’re the owner of an incorporated business, you probably know that there’s a tax advantage to taking money out of a C corporation as compensation rather than as dividends. The reason is simple. A corporation can deduct the salaries and bonuses that it pays executives, but not its dividend payments. Therefore, if funds are withdrawn as dividends, they’re taxed twice,...

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Home is where the tax breaks might be

Robert Zelitsky

If you own a home, the interest you pay on your home mortgage may provide a tax break. However, many people believe that any interest paid on their home mortgage loans and home equity loans is deductible. Unfortunately, that’s not true.

First, keep in mind that you must itemize deductions in order to take advantage of the mortgage interest...

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Tax credits may help with the high cost of raising children

Robert Zelitsky

If you’re a parent, or if you’re planning on having children, you know that it’s expensive to pay for their food, clothes, activities and education. Fortunately, there’s a tax credit available for taxpayers with children under the age of 17, as well as a dependent credit for older children.

Recent tax law...

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How business owners may be able to reduce tax by using an S corporation

Robert Zelitsky

February 18, 2020

Do you conduct your business as a sole proprietorship or as a wholly owned limited liability company (LLC)? If so, you’re subject to both income tax and self-employment tax. There may be a way to cut your tax bill by using an S corporation.

Self-employment tax basics

The self-employment tax is imposed on 92.35%...

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Do you want to go into business for yourself?

Robert Zelitsky

Many people who launch small businesses start out as sole proprietors. Here are nine tax rules and considerations involved in operating as that entity.

1. You may qualify for the pass-through deduction. To the extent your business generates qualified business income, you are eligible to claim the 20% pass-through deduction, subject to limitations. The...

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There still might be time to cut your tax bill with IRAs

Robert Zelitsky

If you’re getting ready to file your 2019 tax return, and your tax bill is higher than you’d like, there may still be an opportunity to lower it. If you qualify, you can make a deductible contribution to a traditional IRA right up until the Wednesday, April 15, 2020, filing date and benefit from the resulting tax savings on your 2019 return.

Do you...

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Answers to your questions about 2020 individual tax limits

Robert Zelitsky

Right now, you may be more concerned about your 2019 tax bill than you are about your 2020 tax situation. That’s understandable because your 2019 individual tax return is due to be filed in less than three months.

However, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with tax-related amounts that may have changed for 2020. For example, the amount of...

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Numerous tax limits affecting businesses have increased for 2020

Robert Zelitsky

An array of tax-related limits that affect businesses are annually indexed for inflation, and many have increased for 2020. Here are some that may be important to you and your business.

Social Security tax

The amount of employees’ earnings that are subject to Social Security tax is capped for 2020 at...

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Can you deduct charitable gifts on your tax return?

Robert Zelitsky

Many taxpayers make charitable gifts — because they’re generous and they want to save money on their federal tax bills. But with the tax law changes that went into effect a couple years ago and the many rules that apply to charitable deductions, you may no longer get a tax break for your generosity.

Are you going to...

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Cents-per-mile rate for business miles decreases slightly for 2020

Robert Zelitsky

This year, the optional standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business decreased by one-half cent, to 57.5 cents per mile. As a result, you might claim a lower deduction for vehicle-related expense for 2020 than you can for 2019.

Calculating your...

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New rules will soon require employers to annually disclose retirement income to employees

Robert Zelitsky

As you’ve probably heard, a new law was recently passed with a wide range of retirement plan changes for employers and individuals. One of the provisions of the SECURE Act involves a new requirement for employers that sponsor tax-favored defined contribution retirement plans that are subject to ERISA.

Specifically, the law will require that the benefit statements sent to plan...

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4 new law changes that may affect your retirement plan

Robert Zelitsky

If you save for retirement with an IRA or other plan, you’ll be interested to know that Congress recently passed a law that makes significant modifications to these accounts. The SECURE Act, which was signed into law on December 20, 2019, made these four changes.

Change #1: The maximum age for making traditional IRA contributions is repealed. Before...

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Wayfair revisited — It’s time to review your sales tax obligations

Robert Zelitsky

In its 2018 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld South Dakota’s “economic nexus” statute, expanding the power of states to collect sales tax from remote sellers. Today, nearly every state with a sales tax has enacted a similar law, so if your company does business across state lines, it’s a good idea...

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Your home office expenses may be tax deductible

Robert Zelitsky

Technology has made it easier to work from home so lots of people now commute each morning to an office down the hall. However, just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it.

Regularly and exclusively

In order to be deductible for 2019 and 2020, you must be self-employed and the...

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Congress gives a holiday gift in the form of favorable tax provisions

Robert Zelitsky

As part of a year-end budget bill, Congress just passed a package of tax provisions that will provide savings for some taxpayers. The White House has announced that President Trump will sign the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 into law. It also includes a retirement-related law titled the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE)...

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Which entity is most suitable for your new or existing business?

Robert Zelitsky

July 1, 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has changed the landscape for business taxpayers. That’s because the law introduced a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, profitable C corporations paid up to 35%. The TCJA also cut individual income tax rates, which apply to sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, S corporations, and LLCs...

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Thinking about moving to another state in retirement. Don't forget about taxes.

Robert Zelitsky

July 1, 2019

When you retire, you may consider moving to another state — say, for the weather or to be closer to your loved ones. Don’t forget to factor state and local taxes into the equation. Establishing residency for state tax purposes may be more complicated than it initially appears to be. Identify all applicable taxes It may seem like a no-brainer to simply move to a state with no...

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It's a good time to check your withholding and make changes

June 5, 2019

Due to the massive changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the 2019 filing season resulted in surprises. Some filers who have gotten a refund in past years wound up owing money. The IRS reports that the number of refunds paid this year is down from last year — and the average refund is lower. As of May 10, 2019, the IRS paid out 101,590,000 refunds averaging $2,868. This compares...

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An implementation Plan Is key

April 21, 2019

An implementation plan is key to making strategic goals a reality


In the broadest sense, strategic planning comprises two primary tasks: establishing goals and achieving them. Many business owners would probably say the first part, coming up with objectives, is relatively easy. It’s that second part — accomplishing those goals — that...

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Three questions you may have after you file your tax return

April 21, 2019

Three questions you may have after you file your return


Once your 2018 tax return has been successfully filed with the IRS, you may still have some questions. Here are brief answers to three questions that we’re frequently asked at this time of year. Question #1: What tax records can I throw away now? At a minimum, keep tax records related to...

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Some of your deductions may be smaller (or nonexistent) when you file your 2018 tax return

February 23, 2019

Some of your deductions may be smaller (or nonexistent) when you file your 2018 tax return

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduces most income tax rates and expands some tax breaks, it limits or eliminates several itemized deductions that have been valuable to many individual taxpayers. Here are five deductions you may see shrink or disappear when you file your 2018 income...

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4 Business Functions you could outsource right now

Robert Zelitsky

February 15, 2019

4 business functions you could outsource right now
One thing in plentiful supply in today’s business world is help. Orbiting every industry are providers, consultancies and independent contractors offering a wide array of support services. Simply put, it’s never been easier to outsource certain business functions so you can better focus on fulfilling your...

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Real Estate Depreciation

Robert Zelitsky

February 11, 2019

Commercial buildings and improvements generally are depreciated over 39 years, which essentially means you can deduct a portion of the cost every year over the depreciation period. (Land isn’t depreciable.) But special tax breaks that allow deductions to be taken more quickly are available for certain real estate investments. Some of these were enhanced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act...

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Fundamental tax truths for C corporations

Robert Zelitsky

February 11, 2019

The flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has been great news for these entities and their owners. But some fundamental tax truths for C corporations largely remain the same: C corporations are subject to double taxation. Double taxation occurs when corporate income is taxed once at the corporate level and again at the shareholder level as...

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TAX REFORM EXPANDS AVAILABILITY OF CASH ACCOUNTING

Robert Zelitsky

November 22, 2018

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), many more businesses are now eligible to use the cash method of accounting for federal tax purposes. The cash method offers greater tax-planning flexibility, allowing some businesses...

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CATCH-UP RETIREMENT PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS CAN BE PARTICULARLY ADVANTAGEOUS POST-TCJA

Robert Zelitsky

November 22, 2018

Will you be age 50 or older on December 31? Are you still working? Are you already contributing to your 401(k) plan or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) up to the regular annual limit? Then you may want...

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BUY BUSINESS ASSETS BEFORE YEAR END TO REDUCE YOUR 2018 TAX LIABILITY

Robert Zelitsky

November 15, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has enhanced two depreciation-related breaks that are popular year-end tax planning tools for businesses. To take advantage of these breaks, you must purchase qualifying assets and place...

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IT’S NOT TOO LATE: YOU CAN STILL SET UP A RETIREMENT PLAN FOR 2018

Robert Zelitsky

November 15, 2018

If most of your money is tied up in your business, retirement can be a challenge. So if you haven’t already set up a tax-advantaged retirement plan, consider doing so this year. There’s still time to set one...

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COULD “BUNCHING” MEDICAL EXPENSES INTO 2018 SAVE YOU TAX?

Robert Zelitsky

October 31, 2018

Some of your medical expenses may be tax deductible, but only if you itemize deductions and have enough expenses to exceed the applicable floor for deductibility. With proper planning, you may be able to time controllable...

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SELLING YOUR BUSINESS? DEFER — AND POSSIBLY REDUCE — TAX WITH AN INSTALLMENT SALE

Robert Zelitsky

October 22, 2018

You’ve spent years building your company and now are ready to move on to something else, whether launching a new business, taking advantage of another career opportunity or retiring. Whatever your plans, you want to...

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529 PLANS OFFER TWO TAX-ADVANTAGED EDUCATION FUNDING OPTIONS

Robert Zelitsky

October 12, 2018

Section 529 plans are a popular education-funding tool because of tax and other benefits. Two types are available: 1) prepaid tuition plans, and 2) savings plans. And one of these plans got even better under the Tax Cuts...

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COULD A COST SEGREGATION STUDY HELP YOU ACCELERATE DEPRECIATION DEDUCTIONS?

Robert Zelitsky

October 10, 2018

Businesses that acquire, construct or substantially improve a building — or did so in previous years — should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions, thus...

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