When United States Tax Court Judge Paris issued the opinion in the case of Ryan Fleischer in 2016 , it caused quite a stir in the tax blogosphere. And from what I have been able to gather off the record it remains of interest. The Fleischer decision makes it very difficult, if not impossible for some financial professionals to use S corporations to mitigate self-employment tax. Rather than attack on reasonable salary, the IRS took an assignment of income approach, which succeeded throwing planners for financial professionals like Fleischer into a bit of an uproar…
We've all heard the messages to pay yourself first, save a percentage of your income, build your nest egg, and some of us heeded the messages. Whether you’ve saved a lot or a little, we have many ways to reduce taxes in retirement, and by doing so, we maximize the power of our retirement savings.
Accumulating retirement funds is step one. And there are tax-advantaged ways to save for retirement: employer plans (401(k), 403(b), 457), individual retirement accounts (IRAs), self-employed retirement plans (Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE, Solo 401(k)), and non-retirement accounts. While you’re saving, you may have accumulated multiple “buckets” of assets, some in taxable accounts, some tax-deferred, some nontaxable.
Looking ahead toward retirement withdrawals/distributions (the funds you’ll need for essential and discretionary living expenses) adds tremendous value, and tax planning is a big part of the picture. Read on for more specifics and stay tuned for Part 2 with additional tips and examples.READ MORE
Do Your Clients Know Their Own Business Entity?
Have you been working with a partnership client or Schedule C client for a couple of years, only to find out: “Oh, by the way, we incorporated two years ago?” Or the taxpayer brings you a notice for non-filing penalties on the partnership or S corporation you didn’t know existed? When you are working with existing business clients for several years, you are not concerned about their prevailing business structure. After all, if you have been filing the wrong entity’s tax return, you would have been alerted by now. Right? As it turns out, not always. When you find out about the error, your gut reaction is that it’s your fault. Is your errors and omissions insurance (or malpractice insurance) up to date? Take a deep breath; it’s not your fault. Probably. Let's keep reading and find out.Read More
How to Withdraw Cash from Your C Corporation Tax-free
Question: I understand the concept of paying just 21 percent tax through a C corporation. This makes sense if my tax rate is higher than, say 25 percent or 35 percent. But isn’t this money taxable to me as a dividend as soon as I withdraw it from the corporation? I don’t understand; won’t that actually cost me more tax? Answer: You have identified the exact reason C corporations can be what we call “high maintenance.” You’re right. Done in the wrong way, using a C corporation can actually cost more in tax than using a pass-through entity and paying tax at your individual rate, even if that rate is, say, 35 percent. By the time you pay qualified dividends tax on any withdrawals, you can wind up paying 45 percent or even 50 percent, depending on your individual tax rate. The key is to use smart planning. Rather than simply withdrawing the funds from your C corporation as a taxable dividend, use one six ways to withdraw tax-free instead. Doing this will help you lock in the low 21 percent flat rate and permanently save you from your high individual tax brackets. Keep reading to learn more.Read More
Joint Filing – An Election Not a Marital Vow
The flurry of tax provisions, meant to alleviate the economic dislocation of the Covid plague, have made many tax practitioners sensitive to the possibility of Married Filing Separately yielding a lower tax for a couple. Back in the day, it was rare enough that many felt they could safely ignore it. Lindsay Starrett of Baker Starrett in Grinnell, Iowa, gave me an example of saving taxpayers $3,500. I am not going to try to parse the details of that or other examples. I will just refer you to Reilly’s Sixth Law of Tax Planning: Don’t do the math in your head. Have good software and code income items as taxpayer, spouse, or joint. You may need to run multiple computations moving the dependent’s around. Also be aware, the IRS may not be as cooperative as it should be in allocating estimated tax payments. One of my old friends wrote me: "In 2020, we did MFS returns for the $10,200 unemployment exclusion and learned the IRS is unable to …" Click here to continue reading.Read More
Upgrade Your Client Experience with a New Mindset
Sponsored by Liscio You care deeply about your clients. It’s why you got into this business: to have a direct impact on your clients’ success. With this in mind, understanding where your firm falls on the spectrum of great vs. poor client experience is fundamental to your success. At its core, drop-dead easy, secure digital communication and document exchange are everything in your clients’ minds, even if they don’t say it. Beyond just taking great care of your clients, if you want to get paid premium fees, you have to deliver a premium experience. Keep reading to learn how to deliver premium level service.Read More