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Peter Shannon & Co
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If you own a vacation home and both rent it out and use it personally, classification as a rental property might save tax. Expenses attributable to a rental property aren’t subject to the TCJA’s tightened limits on itemized deductions for property tax and mortgage interest, and losses may be deductible. A rental property generally is one you use for 14 days or less, or under 10% of the days you rent it out, whichever is greater. Adjusting use between now and year end can ensure it’s classified as a rental property. Contact us for details. http://bit.ly/2DeCTyM
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Classifying a worker as an independent contractor frees a business from payroll tax liability and responsibility for withholding income taxes and the worker’s share of payroll taxes. But if the IRS reclassifies a worker as an employee, your business could be hit with back taxes, interest and penalties. When assessing worker status, the IRS typically looks at the level of behavioral and financial control the business has over the worker and the relationship of the parties. Fortunately, there are strategies for minimizing your exposure. Contact us to learn more. http://bit.ly/2xfP0VO
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When elementary and secondary school teachers are setting up their classrooms for the new school year, it’s common for them to pay for some classroom supplies out of pocket. A special tax break allows these educators to take an above-the-line deduction for up to $250 of these expenses. The deduction is especially important now due to the TCJA’s suspension of miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income floor, which before 2018 could be used for educator expenses. Contact us for details on the educator expense deduction. http://bit.ly/2Ni3qPt
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For small businesses, managing payroll can be one of the most arduous tasks. A crucial aspect is withholding and remitting to the federal government the appropriate income and employment taxes. If your business doesn’t, you, personally, as the business’s owner, could be considered a “responsible party” and face a 100% penalty. This is true even if your business is an entity that normally shields owners from personal liability, such as a corporation or limited liability company. Hiring a payroll service can help. Contact us to learn more. http://bit.ly/2LGOvcw
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Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can provide tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement. But conversions are subject to income tax. Before the TCJA, if you discovered a conversion would be too costly tax-wise, you could undo it using a “recharacterization” and avoid the tax hit. Effective with 2018 conversions, the TCJA prohibits recharacterizations. If, however, you converted to a Roth IRA in 2017, you have until Oct. 15, 2018, to undo it. We can help you assess whether to recharacterize a 2017 conversion or execute a 2018 conversion.
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) liberalized the eligibility rules for using the cash method of accounting, making this method (which is simpler than the accrual method) available to more businesses. Now the IRS has provided procedures for obtaining automatic consent to change accounting method under the TCJA. If you’re eligible for both methods, consider whether switching would be beneficial. The cash method is typically preferable, but in some cases the accrual method is advantageous. We can help you make this decision and execute the change if appropriate.
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Do you still need to worry about the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT)? A repeal had been proposed, but it wasn’t included in the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The act will, however, reduce the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the changes and see if there are any steps you can take during the last several months of the year to avoid the AMT or at least minimize any negative consequences. To learn about the TCJA’s impact on the AMT and assessing your AMT risk for 2018, contact us.
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Under the TCJA, employees can no longer claim the home office deduction. But if you run a business from your home or are otherwise self-employed, this deduction may still be available to you. You might qualify if part of your home is used exclusively and regularly for administrative or management activities and you don’t have another fixed location where you conduct these activities. You also might qualify if you physically meet with clients/customers there or you use a storage area in your home exclusively and regularly for business. Contact us for details.
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Once upon a time, some parents attempted to save tax by putting investments in the names of their young children. To discourage such strategies, Congress created the “kiddie” tax, which has gradually become more far-reaching. Now, under the TCJA, the big, bad kiddie tax is more dangerous than ever. For 2018, an affected child’s unearned income beyond $2,100 generally will be taxed according to the brackets for trusts and estates. As a result, in many cases, children’s unearned income will be taxed at higher rates than their parents’ income. Contact us for details.
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On the surface, the TCJA’s new, flat 21% income tax rate for C corporations may make choosing C corp structure for your business seem like a no-brainer. After all, 21% is much lower than the 37% top rate that applies to pass-through entities (such as partnerships and S corps). But C corps can still be subject to double taxation. And pass-through entity owners may be eligible for the TCJA’s new 20% qualified business income deduction. The best entity type for your business depends on its unique situation and your situation as an owner. Contact us to learn more.
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