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Felle & Associates, SC
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The federal income tax filing deadline for calendar-year partnerships, S corporations and LLCs treated as partnerships or S corporations for tax purposes is March 15, about a month earlier than the deadline for personal returns. If you haven’t filed your partnership or S corporation return yet, you may be thinking about an extension. An extension can be tax-smart if you’re missing critical documents or an unexpected life event is preventing you from devoting sufficient time to your return now. But there are additional considerations. Contact us to learn more.
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Owners of “pass-through” businesses may see some major (albeit temporary) relief under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in the form of a new deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). For tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026, owners of entities such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations and LLCs generally can deduct 20% of QBI, subject to restrictions that can apply at higher income levels. More rules and limits apply; careful planning will be necessary to gain maximum benefit. Contact us for details.
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The IRS has announced that it will begin accepting 2017 income tax returns on January 29. Filing as close to that date as possible can help protect you from tax identity theft, an all-too-common scam in which thieves file bogus returns using victims’ Social Security numbers. Tax identity theft can cause big headaches and delay legitimate refunds. But if you file first, it will be the return filed by a potential thief that’s rejected, not yours. If you’re getting a refund, you’ll also benefit from getting it sooner. Contact us for help filing early.
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly enhances bonus depreciation. You might even be able to benefit when you file your 2017 tax return. Generally, for qualified property placed in service between Sept. 28, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2022, the first-year bonus depreciation percentage increases to 100%. In addition, the 100% deduction is allowed for not just new but also used qualifying property. The new law also allows 100% bonus depreciation for qualified film, television and live theatrical productions. Contact us for more information.
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act generally reduces individual tax rates for 2018 through 2025. It maintains seven tax brackets but reduces the rates for all brackets except 10% and 35%, which remain the same. It also makes some adjustments to the income ranges each bracket covers. For example, the 2017 top rate of 39.6% kicks in at $418,401 of taxable income for single filers and $470,701 for joint filers, but the reduced 2018 top rate of 37% takes effect at $500,001 and $600,001, respectively. Contact us for help assessing what your tax rate likely will be for 2018.
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The “kiddie tax” has been modified under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Under current law, a child’s net unearned income is taxed at the parents’ tax rate if that rate is higher than the child’s. The remainder of the child’s taxable income is taxed at the child’s rate. Under the TCJA, for years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, the taxable income of a child attributable to earned income is taxed under the rates for single people, and taxable income of a child attributable to net unearned income is taxed according to the brackets applicable to trusts and estates.
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A business’s holiday party costs can reduce its taxes, but maybe not after 2017. For 2017, businesses are generally limited to deducting 50% of allowable meal and entertainment (M&E) expenses, but certain expenses, such as a holiday party for employees, can qualify for a 100% deduction. However, the M&E deduction for employee parties (and for many other M&E expenses) will likely be eliminated beginning in 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. To learn more about deducting M&E expenses, contact us.
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Buying a business vehicle by December 31 can reduce your 2017 tax bill. The vehicle may qualify for Sec. 179 expensing, allowing you to immediately deduct, rather than depreciate over several years, some or all of the cost. The normal Sec. 179 expensing limit of $510,000 generally applies to vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds. A $25,000 limit applies to SUVs weighing less than that but more than 6,000 pounds. Lower limits apply to lighter vehicles. But tax reform could affect whether buying in 2017 or 2018 makes more tax sense. Contact us to learn more.
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One way accrual-basis taxpayers can save tax is to properly record and recognize expenses incurred this year but that won’t be paid until 2018 so they can be deducted on the 2017 tax return. Common examples include commissions, salaries, wages, payroll taxes, advertising, interest, utilities, insurance and property tax. 2017 may be an especially good year to accelerate deductible expenses. Why? Income tax rates for many businesses could drop significantly in 2018, and deductions save more tax when rates are higher. Contact us for more year-end tax planning tips.
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