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Deductions: Estates and Trusts

2020 – 09/22 Final guidance is available for decedent’s estates and non-grantor trusts on the treatment of certain deductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act prohibits individuals, estates and non-grantor trusts from claiming miscellaneous itemized deductions for tax years after 2017 and before 2026. The final regulations clarify deductions that don’t fall under that heading,…

Business website costs: How to handle them for tax purposes

2020 – 09/21 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…

Who is a Dependent?

2020 – 09/17 How does the tax code define “dependent” for tax purposes? The IRS has finalized the definition based on changes brought by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for tax years 2018 through 2025. The definition of dependent includes a qualifying relative who meets two tests. The “income test” is met if…

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

2020 – 09/17 Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. “The right to be informed” is included in the IRS’s “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.” The tax agency explains that this means you have the right: to have a clear explanation of the laws and IRS…

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

2020 – 09/09 Do you earn income that isn’t subject to tax withholding? Small business owners, self-employed people, taxpayers who are part of the gig economy and certain others may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments if they will owe at least $1,000 on their 2020 tax returns. The IRS provides a withholding…

Prioritize customer service now more than ever

2020 – 09/09 You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t value its customers, but tough times put many things into perspective. As companies have adjusted to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout, prioritizing customer service has become more important than ever. Without a strong base of loyal buyers, and…

Employers have questions and concerns about deferring employees’ Social Security taxes

2020 – 09/08 The IRS has provided guidance to employers regarding the recent presidential action to allow employers to defer the withholding, deposit and payment of certain payroll tax obligations. The three-page guidance in Notice 2020-65 was issued to implement President Trump’s executive memorandum signed on August 8. Private employers still have questions and concerns about…

Telecommuting: Do you Owe State Taxes?

2020 – 09/08 Are you an employer with employees working at home due to COVID-19? In response to the pandemic, some states have issued specific guidance on whether telecommuting employees temporarily working in a state due to COVID-19 create “nexus” for an employer who doesn’t operate in that state. Contact us for more information about…

IRS Guidance: Payroll Tax Deferral

2020 – 09/08 There are concerns NOT covered by the recent IRS guidance on the optional payroll tax deferral. The IRS issued Notice 2020-65 regarding the postponement of withholding and remittance of the employee’s share of Social Security taxes as permitted in an Aug. 8 executive action from President Trump. Only employees under a certain…

IRA Contributions Maximum Age

2020 – 09/04 The IRS has issued guidance on certain provisions of the SECURE Act, including the repeal of the maximum age for traditional IRA contributions. The law eliminated the restriction that a taxpayer couldn’t contribute to a traditional IRA starting in the year he or she reached age 70½, even if the person continued…

ESOPs offer businesses a variety of potential benefits

2020 – 09/02 Wouldn’t it be great if your employees worked as if they owned the company? An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) could make this a reality. Under an ESOP, employee participants take part ownership of the business through a retirement savings arrangement. Meanwhile, the business and its existing owner(s) can benefit from some…

2020 Form 1040

2020 – 08/28 The IRS has issued a draft of the 2020 Form 1040 that allows taxpayers to claim the new charitable contribution deduction. Under the CARES Act, taxpayers who don’t itemize their deductions can take a $300 “above-the-line” deduction for 2020 charitable contributions. There’s also a new line on the form to claim a…

Payroll Tax Deferral

2020 – 08/31 The IRS has released guidance on deferring employee Social Security tax withholding under President Trump’s executive action. The guidance in Notice 2020-65 is brief and many employers still have questions and challenges about how, and whether, to implement deferral by the start date. The optional deferral applies to wages paid from Sept….

Review Withholding Annually

2020 – 08/31 The IRS reminds taxpayers to review their withholding annually. For a step-by-step method of determining the right amount to withhold, they can use the Tax Withholding Estimator, an online IRS tool. Employees who need to adjust their withholding should submit a new Form W-4 (Employee Withholding Certificate) to their employers soon. The…

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