Edition 18 Archives - Think Outside the Tax Box

Edition 18

By Dominique Molina, CPA MST CTS

This is How to Increase Your Employee Retention Credit

Are you seeking clarity on whether employee owners can claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) tax credit for yourself? Or perhaps you want to know whether qualifying for the Recovery Startup Business bonus is really that easy. You’re in luck! On August 4, 2021, the IRS released Notice 2021-49 to answer our questions related to the definition of wages, majority owner wages treatment, timing of the deduction disallowance, and recovery startup businesses.

The ERC has been a phenomenal tax credit getting much needed cash to qualifying businesses using qualifying wages paid between June 30, 2021, and January 1, 2022. It hasn’t been uncommon to see small businesses recovering $50,000 to $200,000 in cash refunds just by claiming the credits for wages paid during 2020.

The recovery startup business element of the CARES Act incentivizes new businesses to hire employees by offering up to a possible $100,000 in refundable credits using wages paid in the third and fourth quarters of 2021. This means if you hire seven employees (who are unrelated to you) in your new business, which began after February 15, 2020, and their average earnings are $10,000 for the quarter or more, you can receive up to $100,000 in credits.

Naturally, we’ve received a lot of questions related to this lucrative credit and so has the Treasury Department. If you’re wondering how the IRS weighs in on how to maximize these tax credits, keep reading because we have six clear ways to qualify for even more money!


End of Summer Tax Savings: Summer Home Rentals and Summer Jobs for the Kids

Considering hiring your kids to work in your business or renting property you own to your business to save money on taxes? Both of these strategies can work (and work well), but often those promoting them (the mainstream media, social media, etc.) hold forth heavily on the benefits of the strategies without considering the nuances and fine print that can end up costing money rather than saving it if you end up on the bad side of an audit. Keep reading for how to maximize tax savings on summer homes and summer jobs without getting burned.

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Don’t Overpay on the Crypto 1099-K

As cryptocurrency grows in popularity, so do the complications of tax reporting. At present, there is no consistent 1099 reporting for crypto transactions. This is primarily because no 1099 form currently exists to adequately report cryptocurrency. The IRS has yet to issue third party reporting requirements to exchanges, so companies must determine on their own what information to report to the IRS and how they will report it. Some exchanges will attempt to report transactions on a traditional 1099-B, but the easily accessible transferability of crypto makes it nearly impossible for an exchange to correctly report basis information. Incorrect reporting can result in the IRS sending an unnecessary CP2000 notice, which can be both expensive and time-consuming for the taxpayer to resolve. Other exchanges issue a 1099-Misc for certain transactions, but again this doesn’t reflect the full picture. Some exchanges choose to issue a 1099-K to customers, showing only the gross proceeds of crypto transactions and also doesn’t show the full picture. Here’s what to do to avoid getting a dreaded notice from the IRS.

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Owner Employee Wages – Do They Qualify For ERC?

Question: I read the recent IRS Notice, but I’m not sure I understand whether or not an employee/owner’s wages qualify for the ERC. Help! Answer: On August 4, 2021, the IRS released Notice 2021-49 to answer exactly this question – albeit true-to-form in the confusing way only the IRS offers as an explanation. The notice addresses full-time equivalents, how to stack the ERC with tip credits, the timing of adding back wages for tax purposes, and whether a majority owner’s wages qualify for ERC. Is it possible the IRS is favoring orphans in this notice? It certainly appears that way. The original text of the CARES Act referenced the rules for Work Opportunity Credits. Specifically, the act indicates that relationships listed in Code Section 51 apply and, while not explicitly saying only payments made to the list of related parties were ineligible, most readers assumed wages to the owners were not disqualified. Here’s what the guidance now says.

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