Letters to the editor - Think Outside the Tax Box

Letters to the editor

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Your Questions Answered

Extra Taxes on S Corporation Distribution?

Question: My client plans to take about $15,000 in distributions in excess of his basis from his S corporation construction business. I know this generates tax for him. He’s in the 32 percent tax bracket and single. Does he also have to pay the 3.8 percent net investment income tax and the 0.9 percent additional Medicare tax on this amount? Is there a way for him to avoid taxes on this amount?

Answer: Without planning, yes, the taxpayer has to pay tax on this excess distribution amount. There is a completely legal way to either avoid or substantially reduce this tax, though. Read on to learn how.

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How to Claim the Emergency Relief Credit Fast

Question: How are you pricing Employee Retention Credit claims?

Answer: The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) has seemed more confusing than some of the other tax credits simply because it was mostly ignored by the tax community early in the pandemic. While small businesses happily pocketed PPP funds rather than claim the credit, the choice between the two benefits was clear.

As we now know, business owners can have both PPP loan forgiveness as well as access to the ERC tax credits. But many smaller firms and payroll processors felt overwhelmed by the demand, and with refunds taking months to process, some businesses are often looking for help on their own.

So many new players have entered the game selling access to these credits, up to $33,000 in cash per employee. Firms selling R&D studies and cost segregation are advertising – hard. Most are charging a percentage of the total credit amount.

You don’t want to miss out on this valuable service for your client to capture this free cash, yet many advisors are passing on this work due to the time, research, and education requirements for something that has such a short shelf life. Is it worth losing income to meet everyone’s needs?

Continue reading to check out the results of a short survey asking tax pros how they are charging for this type of work.

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What Is the Best Way Tax Advisors Can Charge for ERC Claims?

Question: How are you pricing Employee Retention Credit claims?

Answer: The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) has seemed more confusing than some of the other tax credits simply because it was mostly ignored by the tax community early in the pandemic. While small businesses happily pocketed PPP funds rather than claim the credit, the choice between the two benefits was clear.

As we now know, business owners can have both PPP loan forgiveness as well as access to the ERC tax credits. But many smaller firms and payroll processors felt overwhelmed by the demand, and with refunds taking months to process, some businesses are often looking for help on their own.

So many new players have entered the game selling access to these credits, up to $33,000 in cash per employee. Firms selling R&D studies and cost segregation are advertising – hard. Most are charging a percentage of the total credit amount.

You don’t want to miss out on this valuable service for your client to capture this free cash, yet many advisors are passing on this work due to the time, research, and education requirements for something that has such a short shelf life. Is it worth losing income to meet everyone’s needs?

Continue reading to check out the results of a short survey asking tax pros how they are charging for this type of work.

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Can I Double Dip? Qualifying for Both PPP Forgiveness and COVID-related Tax Credits

Question: Is it possible to qualify for both PPP forgiveness and COVID-related tax credits?

Answer: The short answer, of course, includes, “it depends.” We were fortunate that the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December 2020 made it so that businesses that received PPP loans may now be eligible for the Employee Retention tax credits retroactively.

The tax credits are great – a dollar for dollar reduction of tax, and for 2020 the value is up to $5,000 per employee!
It is a credit against the employer’s share of the Social Security tax, but it is refundable, so if the amount of the credit is more than the tax, you’ll get free cash from the IRS.

In addition, we’ve discussed previously in Think Outside the Tax Box about paid leave tax credits and even how to get them if you are a small business. These credits are also applicable even if you received PPP forgiveness provided you otherwise qualify.
Here’s where it gets complicated. You can stack the benefits, but you can’t double dip. While no one likes a double dipper at the snack bowl (especially during COVID) there are ways to get the benefit from forgiven PPP funds and tax credits allowing you to have your chips and “dip” them too.

Keep reading to learn how to legally take these benefits.

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How to Get More Tax Write-offs for Your Rental Property

Question: Do I need to have my LLC hold the title to my rental property to get the tax benefits?

Answer: If you’re like most investors, you probably purchased your rental property in your own name. While this doesn’t keep you from accessing all the special tax breaks available with owning real estate, it does expose you to some risky liabilities.

Insurance can cover a lot of predictable liabilities like slip and falls, theft, and vandalism, but there are many other things that can happen putting not only the property at risk but also your personal assets.

One way to protect against this risk is by using an LLC to hold your property. Most LLCs act like a corporation in providing limited liability protection against creditors for your personal assets and your other non-real estate business activities.

Like most things in law, changing the deed can lead to a whole set of problems. So be sure to think twice before changing your deed. There are two key problems this action can cause you as the property’s owner. Keep reading to learn how to overcome them.

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