Does your small business engage in qualified research activities? If so, you may be eligible for a research tax credit that you can use to offset your federal payroll tax bill.
This relatively new privilege allows the research credit to benefit small businesses that may not generate enough taxable income to use the credit to offset their federal income tax bills, such as those that are still in the unprofitable start-up phase where they owe little or no federal income tax.
I for one am glad that 2016 finally ended. Coming out of a contentious election with a boat load of vitriol thrown around, I don’t know about you, but I was swinging between the need for relief for it all to be over and the fear of who would take over the presidency and if it would go into capable hands. I am so glad tax season started so I can get to the business of preparing returns!
If your corporation has had a profitable year and your corporate year end is July or later in the calendar year, you may wish to declare a management bonus to defer some of the taxes to the next year, or to reduce income to a level of corporate tax you are comfortable with. The small business tax rate limit, for example.
Worker classification—whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor—is a longstanding and sometimes difficult issue. There are a few different classification schemes applicable to different types of laws (labor, tax, etc.). Employers tend to favor contractor status when possible to avoid payroll taxes, application of most labor laws (such as overtime), and state laws governing how someone is paid, sick pay, reporting, and more.
College and high school students are frequently utilized by businesses and non-profit organizations as interns. These arrangements can be beneficial to the organization as the organization may get the services and insights from the intern, even though the organization receives no immediate tangible benefit. The intern may benefit by obtaining valuable on-the-job training, an entree into a permanent job, college credit, and maybe a few dollars in earnings. Internships vary greatly. They may be paid or unpaid; for college credit or not for credit; highly structured as in a college program, or an independent arrangement with less structure. Read More
When you hire your first employee, you create an entire new task of complying with employment and labor laws and issuing a payroll. Payroll taxes create more administrative burden for small businesses than any other tax, according to the 2015 Small Business Taxation Survey from the National Business Association.
Plus, compliance with payroll laws is a challenge for many businesses. The IRS levied more than $6.9 million in penalties related to employment taxes for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014, according to the 2014 Internal Revenue Service Data Book.
The Stress of Payroll
Your payroll responsibilities include making tax payments to appropriate government Read More
The IRS has long held that severance payments from an employer to an employee are wages. As such, they are subject to income, as well as payroll taxes that include social security and Medicare. In a 2014 case (U.S. vs. Quality Stores) a Michigan court ruled otherwise – that social security and Medicare taxes are not due and payable on severance payments. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, surprisingly, upheld the lower court ruling.
This ruling put the IRS in a bind. If the ruling were to stand and be applied nationwide, hundreds of millions of dollars could be at stake. Indeed, in a matter of months, over 3,000 claims for payroll tax refunds were filed with the IRS. All of these claims were disallowed if not coming from the Sixth Circuit. The IRS then appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Read More
The IRS does pursue all taxes equally. The IRS is especially vigorous in going after payroll taxes withheld from wages that somehow don’t get paid to the government. The IRS calls it trust fund money that belongs to the government.
That makes any failure to pay—or even late payment—much worse.
In fact, that’s so regardless of how the employer or its principals use the money and regardless of how good a reason they have for not handing the money over to the IRS. When a tax shortfall occurs in this setting, the IRS will usually make personal assessments against all responsible persons who have an ownership interest in the company or signature authority over the company accounts. Read More