The New Business Deduction – Stop worrying and start preparing

The New Business Deduction – Stop worrying and start preparing

A new deduction is available to businesses with qualified business income (QBI). While that’s great news, new deductions (especially ones with lots of rules) can bring anxiety and confusion. Never fear! Ensuring you receive a maximum deduction will come down to providing the proper information. Here is some knowledge to help you cut through the confusion:

What is the QBI deduction?

In short, it’s a 20 percent deduction against ordinary income, taken on your personal tax return, that reduces qualified business income earned for most pass-through businesses (sole proprietorships, partnerships and S-corporations). It’s not an itemized deduction, so you can take it in addition to the standard deduction. To qualify without limitations, your total taxable income needs to be below $157,500 ($315,000 for married couples) for 2018. If your income exceeds the threshold, it gets complicated.

What you need to know:

  • If your total taxable income is above the income threshold, your deduction may be limited or nullified. If your income is below the threshold, the calculation is pretty straightforward. If not, additional phaseouts, limitations and calculations come into play. The first limitation to consider is whether or not your business is qualified. Certain specified service trades or businesses (SSTBs) are excluded from the deduction altogether if taxable income is over the threshold. If your business is not an SSTB, other calculations related to W-2 wages and basis in qualified business property may be required.
  • Schedule K-1s for S-corporations and partnerships have new codes. Businesses with partners and shareholders are now required to report information related to the QBI deduction on each Schedule K-1 they issue. Based on the draft versions of the forms, the new codes will be in Box 17 for S-corporations (V through Z) and Box 20 for partnerships (Z through AD). If you receive a Schedule K-1, check to see if the new codes have values associated with them. If not, contact the issuing business to correct the mistake. Schedule K-1s without the required data will delay your tax-return filing.
  • Certain data needs to be collected. For the most part, the data required to calculate your deduction will be included on the normal forms needed to file your taxes. Here is list of common documentation to watch for that may be required to calculate your QBI deduction:
    • Business financial statements
    • Forms W-2 and W-3 issued by your business
    • Purchase information related to business assets
    • Schedule K-1s
    • Forms 1099-B with cost/basis information
  • The sooner you close your books, the better. The new deduction means more work. Knowing your final business net income as soon as possible gives you extra time to work through the additional necessary calculations. If your business is required to issue Schedule K-1s, even more time may be required.
  • More guidance is expected from the IRS. In August, the IRS published guidance to clear up some of the confusion regarding the deduction, but it didn’t cover everything. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) responded with 11 specific items that still need to be addressed.

With proper planning and preparation, you can rest easy knowing that obtaining your shiny, new QBI deduction is in good hands.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your tax situation please feel free to call.

Early Warning Signs of a Tax Problem

Early Warning Signs of a Tax Problem

There are many factors that can cause an unfavorable tax swing leaving you with a surprising tax bill in the spring. Here are six warning signs that you might have some unexpected taxes waiting for you.

  1. You didn’t update your W-4
    You may have noticed a change in your tax withholdings earlier this year. These changes are based on withholding tables rolled out by the IRS to employers in early February. Now, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), as many as 30 million taxpayers may not have adequate withholdings for 2018. If you have not already done so, review your withholdings in light of the new tax laws.
  2. You withdraw funds from an IRA before you’re 59½
    Situations arise where you need to dip into your retirement savings to address an immediate need. When this happens, it might have major tax implications. This includes:

    • The withdrawal may be subject to a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.
    • The funds withdrawn will be taxed at your highest (marginal) tax rate.
    • The additional income may push you to a higher tax bracket or bump you over tax-benefit phaseout thresholds.
  3. You receive a large raise early in the year
    While the raise means more income for you, it also means more taxes due to the IRS. Depending on how much more income, it might be taxed at a higher rate than your income in previous years. The tax brackets are built-in to the IRS withholding tables, but they don’t take your entire situation into account.
  4. You have a second job
    Making some money on the side is a great thing, but can be a major tax problem if you don’t plan properly. In addition to being taxed as ordinary income, it might be subject to self-employment tax of 15.3 percent! Plus, withholding rules start over for each job and do not account for any other income you receive.
  5. Your child turns 17
    One of the biggest tax benefits that come by having dependent children is the Child Tax Credit. In the year your child turns 17, they are no longer eligible for this potential $2,000 credit. What’s more, personal exemptions are suspended for the next few years. So you may not only lose an exemption for this child, you now will not receive a Child Tax Credit.
  6. Your standard or itemized deduction is lower
    While the standard deduction is nearly double to $12,000 ($24,000 for married filing jointly) for 2018, personal exemptions are suspended. In addition, many itemized deductions are either limited or eliminated! This can create a vastly different amount of taxable income versus last year. While tax rates are generally lower, there will be more than one surprised taxpayer that sees an expected tax refund turn into a tax bill.

So what can you do? If any of these situations apply to you, now is the time forecast your income and deductions for the year and estimate your tax liability. If your withholdings are falling short, there is still a little time to update your paycheck allowances for a pay period or two or make an estimated tax payment.

Retirement Contributions Get a Boost in 2019

Retirement Contributions Get a Boost in 2019

For the first time since 2013, the IRS is raising the contributions limits for IRAs. The maximum contribution for 401(k) accounts and IRAs is increasing by $500 for 2019. If you have not already done so, now is the time to plan for contributions into your retirement accounts in 2019. Check out the tables below for the new contribution limits and Social Security increases:

Retirement Contribution Limits

Retirement Program 2019 2018 Change Age 50 or older
catch up
401(k), 403(b), 457 plans $19,000 $18,500 +$500 add: $6,000
IRA: Roth $6,000 $5,500 +$500 add: $1,000
IRA: SIMPLE $13,000 $12,500 +$500 add: $3,000
IRA: Traditional $6,000 $5,500 +$500 add: $1,000

Social Security

Item 2019 2018 Change
Wages subject to Social Security $132,900 $128,400 +$4,500 Annual Social Security
employee tax:
Average estimated monthly
retirement benefit
$1,461 $1,422 +$39

Don’t forget to account for any matching programs offered by your employer as you determine your various funding levels for next year.

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