Protective Refund Claims for ACA-Related Income Taxes

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court recently announced they would hear a case that challenges whether the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is constitutional. It is possible that if the mandate is ruled to be unconstitutional, incomes taxes established under the ACA may effectively be repealed and any ACA-related income taxes paid in prior years may be refundable if a timely claim for a refund is filed. The Supreme Court will hear the case this fall and they are expected to render a decision by early 2021.

Income taxes established under ACA went into effect in 2013. These include the Net Investment Individual Income Tax (NIIT), which has a rate of 3.8% for certain net investment income of individuals, trusts and estates. Taxpayers must have both net investment income and modified adjusted gross income over the following thresholds for the NIIT to apply.

Filing StatusThreshold Amount
Married filing jointly$250,000
Married filing separately$125,000
Single$200,000
Head of household$200,000
Qualifying widower with dependent$250,000

In addition, the ACA tax includes a .9% Additional Medicare Tax, which applies to individuals’ […]

By |July 31st, 2020|investment, irs, refunds, tax planning, taxable income|0 Comments

Even If No Money Changes Hands, Bartering Is A Taxable Transaction

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses are strapped for cash. They may find it beneficial to barter for goods and services instead of paying cash for them. If your business gets involved in bartering, remember that the fair market value of goods that you receive in bartering is taxable income. And if you exchange services with another business, the transaction results in taxable income for both parties.

For example, if a computer consultant agrees to exchange services with an advertising agency, both parties are taxed on the fair market value of the services received. This is the amount they would normally charge for the same services. If the parties agree to the value of the services in advance, that will be considered the fair market value unless there is contrary evidence.

In addition, if services are exchanged for property, income is realized. For example, if a construction firm does work for a retail business in exchange for unsold inventory, it will have income equal to the […]

By |July 20th, 2020|business, credit, irs, tax planning, taxable income|0 Comments

Conduct A “Paycheck Checkup” To Make Sure Your Withholding Is Adequate

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Did you recently file your federal tax return and were surprised to find you owed money? You might want to change your withholding so that this doesn’t happen next year. You might even want to do that if you got a big refund. Receiving a tax refund essentially means you’re giving the government an interest-free loan.

Withholding changes

In 2018, the IRS updated the withholding tables that indicate how much employers should hold back from their employees’ paychecks. In general, the amount withheld was reduced. This was done to reflect changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — including an increase in the standard deduction, suspension of personal exemptions and changes in tax rates.

The tables may have provided the correct amount of tax withholding for some individuals, but they might have caused other taxpayers to not have enough money withheld to pay their ultimate tax liabilities.

Review and possibly adjust

The IRS is advising taxpayers to review their tax situations for this year and adjust withholding, if appropriate.

The tax agency has a withholding calculator to assist you in conducting a paycheck checkup. The calculator reflects tax law changes in areas such as available itemized […]

By |July 15th, 2020|child, deduction, deductions, individuals, irs, tax planning|0 Comments

After You File Your Tax Return: 3 Issues To Consider

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The tax filing deadline for 2019 tax returns has been extended until July 15 this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After your 2019 tax return has been successfully filed with the IRS, there may still be some issues to bear in mind. Here are three considerations.

1. Some tax records can now be thrown away

You should keep tax records related to your return for as long as the IRS can audit your return or assess additional taxes. In general, the statute of limitations is three years after you file your return. So you can generally get rid of most records related to tax returns for 2016 and earlier years. (If you filed an extension for your 2016 return, hold on to your records until at least three years from when you filed the extended return.)

However, the statute of limitations extends to six years for taxpayers who understate their gross income by more than 25%.

By |July 7th, 2020|irs, tax, tax deadlines|0 Comments

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

Good Records Are The Key To Tax Deductions And Trouble-Free IRS Audits

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If you operate a small business, or you’re starting a new one, you probably know you need to keep records of your income and expenses. In particular, you should carefully record your expenses in order to claim the full amount of the tax deductions to which you’re entitled. And you want to make sure you can defend the amounts reported on your tax returns if you’re ever audited by the IRS or state tax agencies.

Certain types of expenses, such as automobile, travel, meals and office-at-home expenses, require special attention because they’re subject to special recordkeeping requirements or limitations on deductibility.

It’s interesting to note that there’s not one way to keep business records. In its publication “Starting a Business and Keeping Records,” the IRS states: “Except in a few cases, the law does not require any specific kind of records. You can choose any recordkeeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income and expenses.”

That being […]

By |June 16th, 2020|audit, business, irs|0 Comments

Business Meal Deductions: The Current Rules Amid Proposed Changes

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Restaurants and entertainment venues have been hard hit by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. One of the tax breaks that President Trump has proposed to help them is an increase in the amount that can be deducted for business meals and entertainment.

It’s unclear whether Congress would go along with enhanced business meal and entertainment deductions. But in the meantime, let’s review the current rules.

Before the pandemic hit, many businesses spent money “wining and dining” current or potential customers, vendors and employees. The rules for deducting these expenses changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but you can still claim some valuable write-offs. And keep in mind that deductions are available for business meal takeout and delivery.

One of the biggest changes is that you can no longer deduct most business-related entertainment expenses. Beginning in 2018, the TCJA disallows deductions for entertainment expenses, including those for sports events, theater productions, golf outings and fishing trips.

50% meal deductions

Currently, you can deduct 50% of the cost of food and beverages for meals conducted with business associates. However, you need to follow three basic rules in order to prove that your expenses are business […]

By |June 1st, 2020|business, deduction, deductions, irs|0 Comments

IRS Releases 2021 Amounts For Health Savings Accounts

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The IRS recently released the 2021 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

HSA basics

An HSA is a trust created or organized exclusively for the purpose of paying the “qualified medical expenses” of an “account beneficiary.” An HSA can only be established for the benefit of an “eligible individual” who is covered under a “high deductible health plan.” In addition, a participant can’t be enrolled in Medicare or have other health coverage (exceptions include dental, vision, long-term care, accident and specific disease insurance).

In general, a high deductible health plan (HDHP) is a plan that has an annual deductible that isn’t less than $1,000 for self-only coverage and $2,000 for family coverage. In addition, the sum of the annual deductible and other annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid under the plan for covered benefits (but not for premiums) cannot exceed $5,000 for self-only coverage, and $10,000 for family coverage.

Within specified dollar limits, an above-the-line tax deduction is allowed for an individual’s contribution to an HSA. This annual contribution limitation and the annual deductible and out-of-pocket expenses under the tax code are adjusted annually for inflation.

Inflation adjustments for 2021 contributions

In Revenue Procedure 2020-32, […]

By |May 27th, 2020|hsa, irs, New Tax Laws|0 Comments

Do You Have Tax Questions Related To COVID-19? Here Are Some Answers

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected many Americans’ finances. Here are some answers to questions you may have right now.

My employer closed the office and I’m working from home. Can I deduct any of the related expenses?

Unfortunately, no. If you’re an employee who telecommutes, there are strict rules that govern whether you can deduct home office expenses. For 2018–2025 employee home office expenses aren’t deductible. (Starting in 2026, an employee may deduct home office expenses, within limits, if the office is for the convenience of his or her employer and certain requirements are met.)

Be aware that these are the rules for employees. Business owners who work from home may qualify for home office deductions.

My son was laid off from his job and is receiving unemployment benefits. Are they taxable?

Yes. Unemployment compensation is taxable for federal tax purposes. This includes your son’s […]

California Tax Updates for April 22

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Post 1:

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has posted frequently asked questions (FAQs), related to tax relief due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The list addresses topics such as: information returns, extensions to file; the postponement periods of March 12 through July 15, 2020; statutes of limitations, and more. Even more recent additions to FAQ topics are: nonresidential nonwage withholding and real estate withholding. Check the latest FAQ here: https://bit.ly/3e2q9cA or contact us with questions.

Post 2:

An extension of time has been issued for California taxpayers to accomplish certain tasks, from the CA Franchise Tax Board (FTB), due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). They include claiming a refund, filing a protest of a notice of proposed assessment (NPA) with the FTB, and filing an appeal or petition for a rehearing with the Office of Tax Appeals. The extension also gives the FTB extra […]

By |April 22nd, 2020|california, ftb, irs, New Tax Laws|0 Comments