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Tag Archive for business

Business Or Hobby, What Is The Difference?

Danielle Harris, Tax Advisor, TaxConnections

Maybe you cater for your friends, maybe you make jewelry, maybe you sell your artwork, maybe you have a lemonade stand- regardless of what you do, do you know how the IRS views this? Here are some tips on how to tell if your activity is a business or a hobby and the tax implications of each.

1. The IRS has a checklist for determining if your activity is a business or hobby. The list is basically intent. Is this for fun or do you intend to make a profit? Do you want to depend on the income? What is the intent of your activity?

For the IRS list that discusses the difference between a business and a hobby click here.

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Tax Cuts And Jobs Act: Impact On Businesses

Thomas Rex, Tucson, Arizona, USA, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a $1.5 trillion tax cut package, was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The centerpiece of the legislation is a permanent reduction of the corporate income tax rate. The corporate rate change and some of the other major provisions that affect businesses and business income are summarized below. Provisions take effect in tax year 2018 unless otherwise stated.

Corporate Tax Rates

  • Instead of the previous graduated corporate tax structure with four rate brackets (15%, 25%, 34%, and 35%), the new legislation establishes a single flat corporate rate of 21%.
  • The Act reduces the dividends-received deduction (corporations are allowed a deduction for dividends received from other domestic corporations) from 70% to 50%. If the corporation owns 20% or more of the company paying the dividend, the percentage is now 65%, down from 80%.
  • The Act permanently repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT).

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Reduce Risk By Segregating Assets In A New Entity

Brett Thompson, Tax Advisor, Katy, TX, TaxConnections

The Problem: Often business owners want to segregate valuable assets from potential adverse liabilities generated in the operation of a business.

For example, a bakery will likely own: (1) equipment used in its operations; (2) the factory building and (3) a fleet of delivery trucks and vehicles. If all of these are owned by the same company, then liabilities arising from an accident involving the trucks could result in the loss of the factory building to satisfy a judgment. Read more

Avoiding Cash Flow Problems

Kazim Qasim, Tax Advisor, Orlando, FL, TaxConnections

Poor cash flow can affect much more than the financial performance of your business. The non-financial costs of poor cash flow can have just as negative an impact on your business as the financial costs. Here are a few ways, as noted in Beyond the Numbers, that poor cash flow can affect your business.

 

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The Tax Cuts Jobs Act Temporarily Expands Bonus Depreciation

Yelena Sandler, Tax Advisor, Rockyville, ML, TaxConnections

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enhances some tax breaks for businesses while reducing or eliminating others. One break it enhances — temporarily — is bonus depreciation. While most TCJA provisions go into effect for the 2018 tax year, you might be able to benefit from the bonus depreciation enhancements when you file your 2017 tax return. Pre-TCJA bonus depreciation Under pre-TCJA law, for qualified new assets that your business placed in service in 2017, you can claim a 50% first-year bonus depreciation deduction. Used assets don’t qualify. This tax break is available for the cost of new computer systems, purchased software, vehicles, machinery, equipment, office furniture, etc. Read more

2017 Federal Budget Bill #2 Receives Royal Assent

This bill implements certain measures announced in the 2017 federal budget. Bill C-63 also includes catch-up measures previously included in September 16, 2016 draft legislation, measures related to the principal residence exemption, and some specified cooperative income measures. Bill C-63 also contains some GST/HST measures related to pension plans and drop shipments, and other indirect tax measures that were previously released in draft legislation on September 8, 2017 (see TaxNewsFlash-Canada No. 2017-50). Read more

The Essentials Of An Effective Business Disaster Recovery Plan

John Adams, Tax Connections

If there’s any guarantee in life, it’s to expect the unexpected. Small businesses are the most impacted when it comes to disasters because they do not usually have a formal disaster recovery plan. As a result, 40 to 60 percent of small businesses close permanently after a disaster, according to Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Do what you can ahead of time to not be a part of that statistic. Now is a great time to review your business’ disaster recovery plan, or to make one if you don’t have one. By focusing on some of the most critical elements of a disaster plan, you can avoid being overwhelmed by the challenge. Read more

Timing Strategies Could Become More Powerful in 2017, Depending On What Happens With Tax Reform

William Rogers, Tax Advisor

Projecting your business income and expenses for this year and next can allow you to time when you recognize income and incur deductible expenses to your tax advantage. Typically, it’s better to defer tax. This may end up being especially true this year, if tax reform legislation is signed into law.

Here are two timing strategies that can help businesses defer taxes:

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How To Maximize Deductions For Business Real Estate

William Rogers, Tax Advisor

Currently, a valuable income tax deduction related to real estate is for depreciation; however, the depreciation period for such property is long and land itself isn’t depreciable.

Whether your real estate property is occupied by your business or is being used as a rental, here’s how you can maximize your deductions:

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Testimony: Businessman Abroad Affected By FATCA

John Richardson, Tax Advisor

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment to the Committee. Under normal circumstances I would introduce myself however, given present circumstances, I cannot as my status as a US Person, is being reviewed by the State Department at my request to validate my relinquishing acts in the early 1970’s.

I am a Canadian citizen, registered as a Canadian born abroad at birth, in the United States while my Canadian parents completed their post graduate education in the United States.

If you are unaware, with the exception of the United States, it is not a good thing to be considered a US Person (a newly coined status) for tax purposes, if you live outside the U.S. It is not a good thing to have any U.S. indicia at all. Who am I?

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IRS Mileage Rate 2016: How To Track Mileage

MileIQ, track mileage, tax professionals

The mileage rates 2016 for business drives is 54 cents per mile decreased from 57.5 cents in 2015. Let’s go over what the business mileage rate is and what it means to you.

How to Calculate Mileage for 2016 Mileage Rates

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Business Entity Selection And Tax Consequences Of Converting

John Dundon

For this post, Brandon Rains, founder of the Rains Laws Firm and an expert on business formation, espouses his observations about business structure changes and I address the income tax reporting requirements of those changes therein.

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