Know The Florida Facts Before You File Your Tax
There has been a longstanding Florida sales tax exemption for food, however that exemption was limited to specific categories and types of food and did not extend to all food sales. In a restaurant setting, all food purchases would be exempt from Florida sales and use tax because of the intent to resell the food to its customers. In healthcare facilities, as well as other types of facilities that provide food services to the individuals occupying them, the line of demarcation between who is the ultimate consumer of the food can be more complex. Agile Consulting Group’s sales tax consultants have received a ruling from the Florida Department of Revenue that entitles facilities that furnish meals to individuals housed within them to make non-taxable purchases of all food under an expanded interpretation of the Florida sales tax exemption for food.
Florida’s tax rates are mostly consistent across the board, but there are a couple of exceptions that are useful for one to keep in mind while filing taxes. Florida has a state-level tax rate of 6%, but when it comes to commercial rentals, the tax rate is .5% less. This makes the state-level tax rate on commercial rentals 5.5%. Florida sales tax compliance also imposes a 4% tax on amusement machines and a 6.95% tax on electricity.
Florida Sales Tax
There are four different types of filing frequencies for tax returns in Florida: monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. Make sure to mark your calendar for the 19th of each month because that is the last day you can file your tax returns in Florida. If the 19th falls on a weekend or on a business holiday, then the deadline is changed to the first applicable business day before the 19th. This is different than how most states deal with their return due dates. Usually, states will push the due date back to after the weekend or holiday. Keep that in mind, so you do not end up missing the due date because you thought you had a little bit of extra time. Please note that all payments must be made before 5pm EST of the due date to be considered on time.
When most people think of foreign accounts, they think of ex-pat living overseas and utilizing banks for the accumulation of their payments. However, many taxpayers may also be subject to the federal Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or FBAR reporting without realizing it. The United States Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) 114 form is filed alongside taxpayers’ federal tax return and reports information for those that have a financial interest or signature authority over a foreign financial account.
Financial interest is defined as: directly owning an account; directly owning or indirectly owning more than fifty percent of a corporation’s voting power and/or shares when that corporation owns an account; directly owning or indirectly owning more than fifty percent of a partnership’s profits or capital when that partnership owns an account, or directly owning or indirectly owning more than fifty percent of the voting power, total value or the equity interest or assets, or interest in profits of any entity that owns an account.
As technologies advance and real estate costs increase, more and more companies are moving towards allowing workers to telecommute. With the advantages of having remote employees, comes the question of how these employees interact with the company resources. While many companies choose to provide workers with computers and cellular phones, technology allowances have also become a method by which companies request that the employee provide his or her own technology. Additionally, many workers prefer to utilize their own devices for work, even if the company does not provide reimbursement. Many companies have welcomed this drive in their employees as it lowers their own costs, as well as provides an increase in productivity. With any remote system accessing company data, security and legal compliance become risk factors that must be analyzed.
Bitcoin… Most likely you have heard of it. Maybe you have an idea about what it is. But what if a member of your church asks you, as Pastor or Treasurer, if they can contribute bitcoin to the church. How do you reply? Can it even be done? Most smaller churches are not set up to receive donations of stocks or other securities, much less something as new as bitcoin. Obviously, one does not want to turn away a legitimate contribution with no strings attached, but what is the process? To get the big question out of the way, yes, your church can accept bitcoin contributions, but it is not as simple as a member dropping a check in the offering plate or making an online contribution with a credit card. The church must be prepared to receive such contributions.
But let’s take a step back and look at what bitcoin is. Bitcoin is the most well-known virtual currency now in existence. It is sometimes referred to as cryptocurrency. It not the province of any government, but is a virtual currency used in commerce. Since it is essentially a “private” currency the value of bitcoin changes much as the value of stocks or other securities change value. In fact, the IRS does not recognize bitcoin as cash for purposes of charitable contributions. Therefore, it must be treated as a noncash gift similar to the handling of contributions of other securities. Consequently, the church should not assign a value to the contribution but simply issue a letter acknowledging the contribution.
Every year the IRS issues its “Dirty Dozen” report to highlight the biggest scams that the public needs to avoid.
The IRS has released the following press release:
This year’s “Dirty Dozen” list highlights a wide variety of schemes that taxpayers may encounter throughout the year, many of which peak during tax-filing season. The schemes can run the gamut from simple refund inflation scams to technical tax shelter deals. A common theme throughout these: Scams put taxpayers at risk. Read More
If you’ve formed certain habits related to how you handle meals, entertainment, transportation, and parking as it relates to your business and taxes, the time to change those habits has come.
As this report notes, tax reform law commonly referred to as H.R. 1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has changed the deductibility of certain meals, entertainment and transportation expenses. Before 2018, a taxpayer could deduct 50 percent of business meals and entertainment and 100 percent of meals provided through an in-house cafeteria or meals provided for the convenience of the employer (i.e., also known as a de minimis fringe benefit). Read More
Owing the IRS is a very severe problem for you. Although it may take several years for the IRS to catch up with you, they are very unrelenting and merciless when it comes to getting back every single penny owed. When it is time to collect, they will make your life a living hell and cause you devastation in all aspects of your life.
IRS Audit Representation
Our clients rarely talk with the IRS. We take control on your behalf so you need not leave your job to handle any paperwork or official procedures of the IRS. Read More
The key to a legal and successful reduction in your tax liability is planning. We don’t just comply with tax procedures but we also recommend proactive tax saving measures to maximize your income after tax deductions.
We take it upon ourselves to master the current tax laws, new tax rules and the complicated tax codes by frequently attending tax seminars. Read More
After a lengthy process, Congress and the President did what they had to do in late December 2017 to put into law one of the most significant pieces of legislation in decades: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The Act put into place a number of provisions that will affect Not for Profit Organizations. Note the following areas of tax impact that the provisions of the TCJA brought in relation to Not For Profit Organizations, as noted in Yeo Yeo:
- Changes the computation of unrelated business taxable income (UBIT) if an organization has more than one unrelated trade or business. It’s possible that more nonprofits will have to pay UBIT. As Nolo explains:
There is plenty of misunderstanding about the definition of cryptocurrency. Wikipedia’s well-researched entry on the topic defines “cryptocurrency” as follows (with their links included):
[Cryptocurrency is] a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies are a type of digital currencies, alternative currencies and virtual currencies. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking systems. Read More
The boom in U.S. real estate caused by foreign investors is about to get bigger as a result of greatly reduced U.S. income taxes for nonresident aliens and foreign corporations.
Because of the new 2017 Tax Act, foreign investors could receive a 40% reduction in the U.S. income tax of their gains and income from their real estate investments. For those foreign investors who already were invested in U.S. real estate, their after-tax returns could now be 40% more valuable without their raising a finger. Read More