Tax filing deadline is coming up: What to do if you need more time

“Tax day” is just around the corner. This year, the deadline for filing 2020 individual tax returns is Monday, May 17, 2021. The IRS postponed the usual April 15 due date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you still aren’t ready to file your return, you should request a tax-filing extension. Anyone can request one and in some special situations, people can receive more time without even asking. Taxpayers can… Read More »Tax filing deadline is coming up: What to do if you need more time

Claiming the business energy credit for using alternative energy

Are you wondering whether alternative energy technologies can help you manage energy costs in your business? If so, there’s a valuable federal income tax benefit (the business energy credit) that applies to the acquisition of many types of alternative energy property. The credit is intended primarily for business users of alternative energy (other energy tax breaks apply if you use alternative energy in your home or produce energy for sale).… Read More »Claiming the business energy credit for using alternative energy

Why it’s important to meet the tax return filing and payment deadlines

The May 17 deadline for filing your 2020 individual tax return is coming up soon. It’s important to file and pay your tax return on time to avoid penalties imposed by the IRS. Here are the basic rules. Failure to pay Separate penalties apply for failing to pay and failing to file. The failure-to-pay penalty is 1/2% for each month (or partial month) the payment is late. For example, if… Read More »Why it’s important to meet the tax return filing and payment deadlines

Is your wellness program built on a solid foundation?

In a society increasingly conscious of well-being, with the costs of health care benefits remaining high, many businesses have established or are considering employee wellness programs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has defined these programs as “a health promotion activity or organization-wide policy designed to support healthy behaviors and improve health outcomes while at work.” Yet there’s a wide variety of ways to design and operate a… Read More »Is your wellness program built on a solid foundation?

Know the ins and outs of “reasonable compensation” for a corporate business owner

Owners of incorporated businesses know that there’s a tax advantage to taking money out of a C corporation as compensation rather than as dividends. The reason: A corporation can deduct the salaries and bonuses that it pays executives, but not dividend payments. Thus, if funds are paid as dividends, they’re taxed twice, once to the corporation and once to the recipient. Money paid out as compensation is only taxed once… Read More »Know the ins and outs of “reasonable compensation” for a corporate business owner

Simple retirement savings options for your small business

Are you thinking about setting up a retirement plan for yourself and your employees, but you’re worried about the financial commitment and administrative burdens involved in providing a traditional pension plan? Two options to consider are a “simplified employee pension” (SEP) or a “savings incentive match plan for employees” (SIMPLE). SEPs are intended as an alternative to “qualified” retirement plans, particularly for small businesses. The relative ease of administration and… Read More »Simple retirement savings options for your small business

Unemployed last year? Buying health insurance this year? You may benefit from favorable new changes

In recent months, there have been a number of tax changes that may affect your individual tax bill. Many of these changes were enacted to help mitigate the financial damage caused by COVID-19. Here are two changes that may result in tax savings for you on your 2020 or 2021 tax returns. The 2020 return is due on May 17, 2021 (because the IRS extended many due dates from the… Read More »Unemployed last year? Buying health insurance this year? You may benefit from favorable new changes

Tax advantages of hiring your child at your small business

As a business owner, you should be aware that you can save family income and payroll taxes by putting your child on the payroll. Here are some considerations.  Shifting business earnings You can turn some of your high-taxed income into tax-free or low-taxed income by shifting some business earnings to a child as wages for services performed. In order for your business to deduct the wages as a business expense,… Read More »Tax advantages of hiring your child at your small business

Home sales: How to determine your “basis”

The housing market in many parts of the country is strong this spring. If you’re buying or selling a home, you should know how to determine your “basis.” How it works You can claim an itemized deduction on your tax return for real estate taxes and home mortgage interest. Most other home ownership costs can’t be deducted currently. However, these costs may increase your home’s “basis” (your cost for tax… Read More »Home sales: How to determine your “basis”

Changes to premium tax credit could increase penalty risk for some businesses

The premium tax credit (PTC) is a refundable credit that helps individuals and families pay for insurance obtained from a Health Insurance Marketplace (commonly known as an “Exchange”). A provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the credit. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law in March 2021, made several significant enhancements to the PTC. Although these changes expand access to the credit for individuals and families,… Read More »Changes to premium tax credit could increase penalty risk for some businesses

Need a new business vehicle? Consider a heavy SUV

Are you considering buying or replacing a vehicle that you’ll use in your business? If you choose a heavy sport utility vehicle (SUV), you may be able to benefit from lucrative tax rules for those vehicles. Bonus depreciation  Under current law, 100% first-year bonus depreciation is available for qualified new and used property that’s acquired and placed in service in a calendar year. New and pre-owned heavy SUVs, pickups and… Read More »Need a new business vehicle? Consider a heavy SUV

Who qualifies for “head of household” tax filing status?

When you file your tax return, you must check one of the following filing statuses: Single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widow(er). Who qualifies to file a return as a head of household, which is more favorable than single? To qualify, you must maintain a household, which for more than half the year, is the principal home of a “qualifying child” or other relative… Read More »Who qualifies for “head of household” tax filing status?