Archive for Partnership

United States Partnership Tax: Partner’s Capital Accounts, Part I

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Remember from a tax perspective, partners agree to share the economic benefits and burdens of ownership. This means that not only will they share profits, but they will also share losses and – in a worst case scenario — perhaps contribute additional capital in support of the business. For tax purposes, we need to create and maintain some record of this activity.

Enter the partner’s capital account. This is the most important element of partnership taxation; it is an ongoing record documenting the partner’s economic participation in the partnership. The actual workings of this account are one of the most complex in US taxation and therefore beyond the scope of a few blog posts. However, some initial observations can be made. Read more

Debt and Proving Basis in Flowthrough Entities

TaxConnections Picture - Tax written on computer keyboardS Corporations

Taxpayers with ownership interests in flow-through entities cannot deduct entity losses if they do not have basis in those entities. Consequently, a taxpayer’s basis is often scrutinized by the IRS, particularly when basis is claimed based upon debts incurred by a flow-through entity.

In mid-2012, the IRS issued Prop. Regs. Sec. 1.1366-2 (REG-134042-07) to establish a standard for when shareholders can increase basis in S corporations based upon loans to the S corporation. Under this standard, a shareholder may increase basis by “bona fide indebtedness” of the S corporation that runs directly to the shareholder. Partners, in contrast, are subject to the more complex partnership basis rules of Secs. 752 and 465. As basis laws change and develop over time, the IRS will continue to scrutinize reported losses.

Shareholders Basis

The proposed regulations do not establish factors or criteria to determine when S corporation indebtedness is bona fide. Instead, whether indebtedness is bona fide is determined under general tax principles. The preamble to the proposed regulations cites four cases that establish whether a debt is bona fide: Knetsch, 364 U.S. 361 (1960); Geftman, 154 F.3d 61 (3d Cir. 1998); Estate of Mixon, 464 F.2d 394 (5th Cir. 1972); and Litton Business Systems, Inc., 61 T.C. 367 (1973). Geftman, for instance, established three factors to determine whether a loan is bona fide: (1) contemporaneous intent to repay; (2) Read more

California Enterprise Zone Tax Credits End 12/31

TaxConnections Picture - Hand Holding Golden DollarEvery business can benefit from hiring based tax credits. Here is something that you may not know …

Did you know that you have an opportunity to get an additional refund? Studies show that up to 60% of businesses did not take advantage of the Federal 2010 payroll tax credit called the HIRE Act. Employees that were hired between February 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011 and were unemployed for 60 days prior to hire can qualify for a refund of 6.2% of the employee wage for 2010. The deadline for this refund is January 10th, 2014 in order to receive the refund check. (HIRE Act Example: General contractor hired 32 qualified employees in 2010. They receive a refund for over $94,000.00.)

You are probably aware of Enterprise Zone HR Tax Credits for clients within California. However, recent legislation changed the existing statutes making it more difficult for businesses to take advantage of this program. The changes include changing the “look back” ability to limit businesses to review only 12 months from the employee’s date of hire. Some of the categories for eligibility are being amended as well to create additional hurdles for you. California Enterprise Zone ends December 31, 2013.

Businesses should also keep in mind the WOTC (Work Opportunity Tax Credit) program. Recent legislation expanded the qualifiers for this program to make it much more accessible. This program is very time sensitive. EDD requires new employee paperwork be submitted to them in less than 28 days from each employee’s respective date of hire. Businesses can receive up to $9,600 per qualified employee.

These are just a few instances of hiring based tax credits.

In accordance with Circular 230 Disclosure

Self Employed And Worried About Retirement Plans? Read On…

Manasa Nadig, EA

Manasa Nadig, EA

You did it! You quit your job and started that small business that had always been your dream! Exciting times, thrilling ups & downs, you are your own boss–but wait, you do miss the paychecks that arrived regularly every other week. You also miss the medical benefits that the company paid for & that retirement plan you contributed to. What’s more, you also miss that extra oomph on your paycheck-the employer contribution to the company 401(k).

In this post on Employer Retirement Plans for Small Businesses, let’s closely examine the Individual 401(k). This is also known as the Solo 401(k). Unlike other retirement plans, a solo 401(k) is only for sole proprietors or S Corps who have no employees. A spouse can contribute if he or she earns income from the business.
It comes in both the Traditional & Roth version. Just like IRA’s, Traditional is money put away pretax & is taxable when withdrawn. The Roth 401(k) is funded with after-tax dollars & is tax free when withdrawn. One can also split the contributions between the two. Loans can also be taken against savings in 401(k)’s.

Why I like these plans?

•They are ideal to sock away large amounts of money in the good years.

•It helps you save both as an employer & an employee. Here’s how for 2013 – you can contribute a maximum of $33500 (Up from $33000 in 2012) as an employer AND $17500 (Up from $17000 in 2012) as an employee- not to exceed a maximum of $51000 (Up from $50000 in 2012) or 100% of the employee’s compensation, whichever is lesser. Read more

Independent Contractor Versus Employee?

contvsemp2Is it better to be an independent contractor or an employee? For a small business owner (SBO), the question mostly is, how to determine what business relationship exists between the person providing the services & the SBO; and if that relationship is that of an independent contractor or an employee.

So how is that determination made?

Common Law Rules fall into 3 categories. Behavioral: Does the company have the right to control what the worker does & how he does it?; Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer?; And the Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits?

•The general rule of thumb is that one is an independent contractor if the payer (of the fees) has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.

•Hence you are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done & how it will be done). You may have freedom of action but the employer has the legal right to the details of how the services will be performed.

An independent contractor is considered self-employed and employee is not. Read more

Are You Inadvertently Doing Business In California?

LLC Members And Partners – The Franchise Tax Board Says You Are Doing Business In California…  Are You?

Effective January 1, 2011, California defines “doing business” in the state under Cal. Rev. & Tax Cd. §23101 as any active business having any of the following attributes:

•  Organized or located in California;
•  California sales exceeding the lesser of $500,000 or 25% of total sales;
•  Property  located in California exceeding the lesser of $50,000 or 25% of total property; or
•  California wages exceeding the lesser of $50,000 or 25% of total wages paid.

Sales are attributable to California if property is delivered within the state or is shipped from the state and the purchaser is the United States government or if no other state taxes the sale.

For service sold on or after January 1, 2013, California lays claim if:

•  The purchaser of the service receives benefit of the services within California such as the repair of a computer for a user in that state;
•  Sales of securities, insurance, or other intangible assets to California residents;
•  Sales, leases, rental, or licensing of California real estate or other property.

 See Cal. Rev. & Tax Cd. §25136. Read more

DOJ Wins $1 Billion Tax Shelter Case Against Dow Chemical.

The Justice Department has won a tax shelter case involving Dow Chemical, in which the company was accused of creating approximately $1 billion in phony tax deductions in a scheme designed by Goldman Sachs and lawyers at King & Spalding.

A federal court in Baton Rouge, La., on Monday rejected two tax shelter transactions entered into by Dow Chemical that purported to create approximately $1 billion in phony tax deductions. In addition to rejecting the tax benefits from the shelter transactions, Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson also imposed penalties.

The schemes were allegedly created by Goldman Sachs and the law firm of King & Spalding, according to prosecutors, and involved creating a partnership that Dow operated out of its European headquarters in Switzerland. The case dates back to transactions Dow started in 1993 that involved patent transfers to company subsidiaries.

Chief Judge Jackson wrote in his 74-page opinionthat the government was correct to reject the artificial tax benefits created by these schemes that were designed to exploit perceived weaknesses in the tax code and not designed for legitimate business reasons.

The judge noted that:

tax law deals in economic realities, not legal abstractions.

Jackson also wrote that penalties were appropriate because any reasonable and prudent person should have known that the artificial tax benefits created by the scheme were “too good to be true.”

Need Solid Tax Advise That Will Hold Up in Court?

Connect with the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at:  Ronald Marini