credit

Research Credit Available to Some Businesses for the First Time

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) didn’t change the federal tax credit for “increasing research activities,” but several TCJA provisions have an indirect impact on the credit. As a result, the research credit may be available to some businesses for the first time.

AMT reform

Previously, corporations subject to alternative minimum tax (AMT) couldn’t offset the research credit against their AMT liability, which erased the benefits of the credit (although they could carry unused research credits forward for up to 20 years and use them in non-AMT years). By eliminating corporate AMT for tax years beginning after 2017, the TCJA removed this obstacle.

Now that the corporate AMT is gone, unused research credits from prior tax years can be offset against a corporation’s regular tax liability and may even generate a refund (subject to certain restrictions). So it’s a good idea for corporations to review their research activities in recent years and amend prior returns if necessary to ensure they claim all […]

By |November 9th, 2018|business, credit, New Tax Laws, research credit|0 Comments

Green Home: Save Taxes by Saving Energy

“Going green” at home — whether it’s your principal residence or a second home — can reduce your tax bill in addition to your energy bill, all while helping the environment, too. The catch is that, to reap all three benefits, you need to buy and install certain types of renewable energy equipment in the home.

Invest in green and save green

For 2018 and 2019, you may be eligible for a tax credit of 30% of expenditures (including costs for site preparation, assembly, installation, piping, and wiring) for installing the following types of renewable energy equipment:

  • Qualified solar electricity generating equipment and solar water heating equipment,
  • Qualified wind energy equipment,
  • Qualified geothermal heat pump equipment, and
  • Qualified fuel cell electricity generating equipment (limited to $500 for each half kilowatt of fuel cell capacity).

Because these items can be expensive, the credits can be substantial. To qualify, the equipment must be installed at your U.S. residence, including a vacation home — except for fuel cell equipment, which must be installed at your principal residence. You can’t claim credits for equipment installed at a property that’s used exclusively as a rental.

To qualify for the credit for solar water heating equipment, at least […]

By |July 9th, 2018|tax|0 Comments

Disaster Relief Provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

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On February 9, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, H.R. 1892, the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” (the Budget Act, P.L. 115-123). In addition to providing a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through March 23, this 2-year budget contains a host of tax law changes. The Act retroactively extends through 2017 over 30 so called “extender” provisions, provides a number of miscellaneous tax-related provisions, and includes tax relief to victims of the California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Relief from early withdrawal tax for California wildfire distribution. A distribution from a qualified retirement plan, a tax-sheltered annuity plan, an eligible deferred compensation plan of a State or local government employer, or an individual retirement arrangement (IRA) generally is included in income for the year distributed. In addition, unless an exception applies, a distribution received before age 59½ is subject to a 10% additional tax under Code Sec. 72(t) (the “early withdrawal tax”) on the amount includible in income.

In general, a distribution from an eligible retirement plan may be rolled over to another eligible retirement plan within 60 days, in which case the amount rolled over generally is not includible in income. The 60-day requirement can be waived by IRS in […]

By |February 16th, 2018|disaster, New Tax Laws, relief|0 Comments

Child Tax Credit Increased

Under pre-Act law, a taxpayer could claim a child tax credit of up to $1,000 per qualifying child under the age of 17. The aggregate amount of the credit that could be claimed phased out by $50 for each $1,000 of AGI over $75,000 for single filers, $110,000 for married filers, and $55,000 for married individuals filing separately. To the extent that the credit exceeded a taxpayer’s liability, a taxpayer was eligible for a refundable credit (i.e., the additional child tax credit) equal to 15% of earned income in excess of $3,000 (the “earned income threshold”). A taxpayer claiming the credit had to include a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for each qualifying child on their return. In most cases, the TIN is the child’s Social Security Number (SSN), although Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) were also accepted.

New law. For tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and before Jan. 1, 2026, the child tax credit is increased to $2,000, and other changes are made to phase-outs and refund-ability during this same period, as outlined below. (Code Sec. 24(h)(2), as added by Act Sec. 11022(a))

Phase-out. The income levels at which the credit phases out are increased to $400,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly ($200,000 […]

By |January 9th, 2018|New Tax Laws, tax credit|0 Comments

PATH Act Changes to the Research Credit

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The recently enacted “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015″ (i.e., the 2015 PATH Act) contains a provision making permanent the popular research credit. This credit encourages businesses to invest more in R&D by allowing a tax credit for spending on qualified research. The credit (1) is for 20% of current year qualified spending that exceeds a base amount related to gross receipts in certain earlier years and (2) can’t exceed 10% of the total spending in the current year on qualified research. Alternatively, taxpayers can irrevocably choose a simpler calculation.

The credit had lapsed for expenditures in 2015, but the legislation is also effective for those expenditures.

And importantly, the new law also makes two major changes to the credit, both favorable to small businesses. First, it provides that beginning in 2016 eligible small businesses ($50 million or less in gross receipts) may claim the credit against alternative minimum tax (AMT) liability. Also, beginning in 2016, the new law also provides that the credit can be used by certain even smaller businesses against the employer’s portion of the Social Security portion of the employer’s payroll tax (i.e., FICA) liability.

By |December 31st, 2015|research credit|0 Comments

Back-to-School Education Tax Credits

If you, your spouse or a dependent are heading off to college in the fall, some of your costs may save you money at tax time. You may be able to claim a tax credit on your federal tax return. Here are some key IRS tips that you should know about e tax credits:

• American Opportunity Tax Credit.  The AOTC is worth up to $2,500 per year for an eligible student. You may claim this credit only for the first four years of higher education. Forty percent of the AOTC is refundable. That means if you are eligible, you can get up to $1,000 of the credit as a refund, even if you do not owe any taxes.

• Lifetime Learning Credit.  The LLC is worth up to $2,000 on your tax return. There is no limit on the number of years that you can claim the LLC for an eligible student.

• One credit per student.  You can claim only one type of education credit per student on your tax return each year. If more than one student qualifies for a credit in the same year, you can claim a different credit for each student. […]

By |August 5th, 2015|education credit|0 Comments

Small Business Tax Credit for 401k Startup Costs

There is a $500 tax credit for companies who start up a 401k plan. The credit can be taken for three years, and can be started the year BEFORE the 401k plan begins.

Startup costs have always been a major hurdle to small businesses who what to start a 401k plan, but a provision of The Economic Growth and Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) now helps scale this barrier to employee saving opportunities. EGTRRA implemented a credit for employers to offset the startup cost and the cost of educating employees about the new plan.

For costs paid or incurred in tax years beginning after December 31, 2001, for retirement plans that first become effective after that date, you may be able to claim a tax credit for part of the ordinary and necessary costs of starting a SEP, SIMPLE, or qualified plan (including a 401k). The credit equals 50% of the cost to set up and administer the plan and educate employees about the plan, up to a maximum of $500 per year for each of the first three years of the plan. For plans that become effective after 2002, you can choose to start […]

By |May 7th, 2015|401k|0 Comments

Manufacturing and Research & Development Equipment Exemption

Beginning on July 1, 2014, manufacturers and certain research and developers may qualify for a partial exemption of sales and use tax on certain manufacturing and research and development equipment purchases and leases. To be eligible for this partial exemption, you must meet all three of these conditions:

  • Be engaged in certain types of business, also known as a “qualified person.”
  • Purchase “qualified property.”
  • Use that qualified property for the uses allowed by this law.

Qualifications

The list of criteria to qualify for the manufacturing exemption can be quite complex. We suggest you take the time to determine if your business and purchases or leases qualify.

Qualified person

A “qualified person” means a person who is primarily engaged (50 percent or more of the time) in those lines of business described in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes 311100 to 339999, inclusive, 541711, or 541712 published by the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB), 2012 edition. (See Understanding Your NAICS code on Industry Topics tab)

These industries generally include those primarily engaged in the business of all forms of manufacturing, research and development in biotechnology, and research and development in the physical, engineering, […]

By |March 3rd, 2015|manufacturing and research|0 Comments

Changes to Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Small employers should be aware of changes to the small business health care tax credit, a provision in the Affordable Care Act that gives a tax credit to eligible small employers who provide health care to their employees.

Beginning in 2014, there are changes to the tax credit that may affect your small business or tax-exempt organization:

  • Credit percentage increased from 35 percent to 50 percent of employer-paid premiums; for tax-exempt employers, the percentage increased from 25 percent to 35 percent.
  • Small employers may claim the credit for only two consecutive taxable years beginning in tax year 2014 and beyond.
  • For 2014, the credit is phased out beginning when average wages equal $25,400 and is fully phased out when average wages exceed $50,800. The average wage phase out is adjusted annually for inflation.
  • Generally, small employers are required to purchase a Qualified Health Plan from a Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace to be eligible to claim the credit.  Transition relief from this requirement is available to certain small employers.

Small employers may still be eligible to claim the tax credit for tax years 2010 through 2013.   Employers who were eligible to […]

By |February 26th, 2015|affordable care act|0 Comments