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Steer Clear Of The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

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If you own or manage a business with employees, you may be at risk for a severe tax penalty. It’s called the “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty” because it applies to the Social Security and income taxes required to be withheld by a business from its employees’ wages.

Because the taxes are considered property of the government, the employer holds them in “trust” on the government’s behalf until they’re paid over. The penalty is also sometimes called the “100% penalty” because the person liable and responsible for the taxes will be penalized 100% of the taxes due. Accordingly, the amounts IRS seeks when the penalty is applied are usually substantial, and IRS is very aggressive in enforcing the penalty.

Far-reaching penalty

The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is among the more dangerous tax penalties because it applies to a broad range of actions and to a wide range of people involved in a business.

Here […]

By |July 7th, 2020|business, income tax, irs, social security, tax planning|0 Comments

California Tax Updates for July 2nd

The inscription Tax Day on the note like Notification of the need to file tax returns, tax form

Post 1:

Businesses that hold unclaimed property in California get extra time to file reports. Due to COVID-19, the CA State Controller (SCO) has postponed the due date for holders of such property, including unclaimed wages, to submit their Remit Reports and Remittances for properties reported on their 2019 Notice Reports. Regarding the June 1-15 period for holders to submit their reports and remittances for properties reported on 2019 Notice Reports is extended from June 1, 2020, to August 15, 2020. Holders or agents of holders who are able to submit their Remit Reports and remittances during the original reporting period are encouraged to do so. Contact your Linkenheimer CPA with questions.

Post 2:

As Tax Day approaches, the Franchise Tax Board offers tips to help Californians prepare to file by the July 15 deadline. Among other things, the tips include the following: COVID-19 relief […]

By |July 2nd, 2020|california, tax deadlines|0 Comments

Some People Are Required To Return Economic Impact Payments That Were Sent Erroneously

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The IRS and the U.S. Treasury had disbursed 160.4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) as of May 31, 2020, according to a new report. These are the payments being sent to eligible individuals in response to the economic threats caused by COVID-19. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that $269.3 billion of EIPs have already been sent through a combination of electronic transfers to bank accounts, paper checks and prepaid debit cards.

Eligible individuals receive $1,200 or $2,400 for a married couple filing a joint return. Individuals may also receive up to an additional $500 for each qualifying child. Those with adjusted gross income over a threshold receive a reduced amount.

Deceased individuals

However, the IRS says some payments were sent erroneously and should be returned. For example, the tax agency says an EIP made to someone who died before receipt of the payment should be returned. Instructions for returning the payment can be found here:

By |June 30th, 2020|individuals, New Tax Laws|0 Comments

Haven’t Filed Your 2019 Business Tax Return Yet? There May Be Ways To Chip Away At Your Bill

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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 relief for business taxpayers. The following four provisions may affect a still-unfiled tax return — or you may be able to take advantage of them on an amended return if you already filed.

Liberalized net operating losses (NOLs). The CARES Act allows a five-year carryback for a business NOL that arises in a tax year beginning in 2018 through 2020. Claiming 100% first-year bonus depreciation on an affected year’s return can potentially create or increase an NOL for that year. If so, the NOL can be carried back, and you can recover some […]

SBA Reopens EIDL Program To Small Businesses And Nonprofits

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Just last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program to eligible applicants still struggling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EIDL program offers long-term, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits. If your company hasn’t been able to procure financing through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — or even if it has — an EIDL may provide another avenue to relief.

Program overview

Applicants must be businesses with 500 or fewer employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors or certain other small entities. EIDL funds come directly from the SBA and provide working capital up to certain limits.

The loans have terms of up to 30 years and interest rates of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. The first payment is deferred for one year. Plus, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has temporarily waived requirements that applicants must have been in business for one year before the crisis and be unable to obtain credit elsewhere. A borrower of $200,000 or less doesn’t need to provide a personal guarantee.

Recipients must use EIDL proceeds for working capital […]

By |June 25th, 2020|New Tax Laws|0 Comments

California Tax Updates for June 25

August Calendar

Update 1:

Many California businesses are downsizing or have closed permanently due to COVID-19. The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has released a detailed set of steps needed to fully close a CA business entity, including links to resources from the CA Secretary of State and other state departments. The FTB highlights the need to close out tax accounts by filing delinquent returns and paying all balances due on taxes, filing a current annual or quarterly return as final, filing the appropriate closure forms with different state agencies, notifying employees and other stakeholders of the intent to close and dissolving all accounts associate with the business. For more: https://bit.ly/37e3cjI

Update 2:

Businesses that hold unclaimed property in California get extra time to file reports. Due to COVID-19, the CA State Controller (SCO) has postponed the due date for holders of such property, including unclaimed wages, to submit their Remit Reports and Remittances for properties reported on their […]

By |June 25th, 2020|business, ca, CA tax, ftb, New Tax Laws|0 Comments

What Qualifies As A “Coronavirus-Related Distribution” From A Retirement Plan?

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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 withdraw money from an IRA or eligible retirement plan before you reach age 59½, you must pay a 10% early withdrawal tax. This is in addition to any tax you may owe on the income from the withdrawal. There are several exceptions to the general rule. For example, you don’t owe the additional 10% tax if you become totally and permanently disabled or if you use the money to pay qualified higher education costs or medical expenses

New exception

Under the CARES Act, you can take up to $100,000 in coronavirus-related distributions made from an eligible retirement plan between January 1 and December 30, 2020. These coronavirus-related distributions aren’t subject to the 10% additional tax that otherwise generally applies to distributions made before you reach age 59½.

What’s more, a coronavirus-related distribution can be included in income in installments over a three-year period, and you have three years to […]

By |June 23rd, 2020|ira, New Tax Laws, retirement, roth ira|0 Comments

Launching A Business? How To Treat Start-Up Expenses On Your Tax Return

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While the COVID-19 crisis has devastated many existing businesses, the pandemic has also created opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch new businesses. For example, some businesses are being launched online to provide products and services to people staying at home.

Entrepreneurs often don’t know that many expenses incurred by start-ups can’t be currently deducted. You should be aware that the way you handle some of your initial expenses can make a large difference in your tax bill.

How expenses must be handled

If you’re starting or planning a new enterprise, keep these key points in mind:

  • Start-up costs include those incurred or paid while creating an active trade or business — or investigating the creation or acquisition of one.
  • Under the Internal Revenue Code, taxpayers can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of business start-up and $5,000 of organizational costs in the year the business begins. As you know, $5,000 doesn’t get you very far today! And the $5,000 deduction is reduced dollar-for-dollar by the amount by which your total start-up or organizational costs exceed $50,000. Any remaining costs must be amortized over 180 months on a straight-line basis.
  • No deductions or amortization deductions are allowed until the […]
By |June 22nd, 2020|business, expensing|0 Comments

Re-Evaluate Your Company’s Competitiveness In A Changed Economy

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Just about every business owner’s strategic plans for 2020 look far different now than they did heading into the year. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economy in profound ways, forcing many companies to recalibrate suddenly and severely.

As your business moves forward in this uncertain environment, it’s important to re-evaluate competitiveness. You may have lost an edge that previously existed, or you may have the opportunity to gain one. Here are some critical elements to consider.

Objectively assess leadership

More than likely, you and your management team have had to make some difficult decisions over the last few months. Even if you feel confident that you’ve done most everything right, objectively examine and discuss your successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, maybe you’ve had some contentious interactions with employees while adjusting to remote work environments or increased safety protocols. Ask your managers whether underlying tensions exist and, if so, how you […]

By |June 18th, 2020|business, strategy|0 Comments

California Tax Updates for June 18

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Post 1:

Have you wondered what the California Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate actually does? The CA Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration just released a report highlighting the accomplishments of the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate’s Office (TRAO). The annual report for 2018 through 2019 gives examples of the services it provides, and information about the tax appeals assistance programs. Also listed are the goals of the Advocate, including a primary goal of ensuring that taxpayers contacting the office with issues that haven’t been resolved through normal channels have their concerns promptly and fairly addressed. Here’s the TRAO report: https://bit.ly/37cwSxS

Post 2:

California sales and use tax deadlines are coming up soon. The CA Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) reminds sales and use taxpayers that June 24, 2020, is the filing due date for the May 1 through June 15, 2020 prepayment; and June 30, 2020, is the […]

By |June 18th, 2020|business, ca, CA tax, california, sales tax|0 Comments