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Start 2015 Tax Planning Now! Part 1



Tax Code Changes Create Challenges

What should small business owners focus on for 2015 tax planning?

An  important,  yet  often  overlooked,  issue  for small business owners is the choice of the form of entity under which they operate. For 2015, this will become critical as Congress contemplates major changes to  the  tax  code.  Currently, the maximum   corporate federal tax  rate  is  generally  less  than the maximum individual tax rate. This has led many business owners to consider converting their sole proprietorships and pass through entities (such as S corporations and LLCs) into C corporations, which are taxed at the lower corporate rate. Caution must be exercised before making this change, since C corporations have their own set of prickly tax thorns. Issues such as lack of a favorable capital gains tax rate on the sale of business assets, officers’ compensation and double taxation on dividend profits all need to be considered.

For those businesses that are operating as LLCs, owners need to be aware that any LLC member who performs services to the LLC will, under a new IRS ruling, now be subject to self-employment tax at a whopping 15.3%. (See IRS Chief Counsel Advice 201436049).

We think that the best thing business owners can do taxwise for now is to stay flexible and watch developments in Washington closely.

Next:  Part 2

Missed a Part?  See Part 3, Part 4 (Final)

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David Ellis is the managing partner of Ellis & Ellis, CPAs, Inc. located in Pasadena, California. He has over 25 years of experience in the practice of Divorce, Trust/Estate, and other family tax matters. He is an advisor in matters pertaining to Trust, Estate, and Corporate Taxation to the Los Angeles County Office of the Public Guardian. The firm also provides other general tax services and IRS representation. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California in Communication Arts and Sciences. He is a frequent writer and speaker on various tax subjects, and has provided continuing education services to other CPAs and tax professional in the area of Divorce, Trust, and Estate Taxation. An article that he recently co-authored entitled The Tax Consequences of Dividing Marital Property can be found in the December 2014 issue of Practical Tax Strategies, a national professional tax publication.

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