Getting a new business off the ground: How start-up expenses are handled on your tax return
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials are seeing a large increase in the number of new businesses being launched. From June 2020 through June 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that business applications are up 18.6%. The Bureau measures this by the number of businesses applying for an Employer Identification Number.
Do you want to withdraw cash from your closely held corporation at a low tax cost?
Owners of closely held corporations are often interested in easily withdrawing money from their businesses at the lowest possible tax cost. The simplest way is to distribute cash as a dividend. However, a dividend distribution isn’t tax-efficient, since it’s taxable to you to the extent of your corporation’s “earnings and profits.” And it’s not deductible by the corporation.
Why do partners sometimes report more income on tax returns than they receive in cash?
If you’re a partner in a business, you may have come across a situation that gave you pause. In a given year, you may be taxed on more income than was distributed to you from the company in which you’re a partner. Why is this? The answer lies in the way partnerships and partners are taxed.
(NOTE: This article makes specific references to partners and partnerships, but the information also applies to shareholders and S corporations. For specifics relating to your business, please contact us.)
If you operate a small business, or you’re starting a new one, you probably know you need to keep records of your income and expenses. In particular, you should carefully record your expenses in order to claim the full amount of the tax deductions to which you’re entitled. And you want to make sure you can defend the amounts reported on your tax returns if you’re ever audited by the IRS or state tax agencies.
Many people who launch small businesses start out as sole proprietors. Here are nine tax rules and considerations involved in operating as that entity.
Employee tip tax credit
Are you an employer who owns a business where tipping is customary for providing food and beverages? You may qualify for a tax credit involving the Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes that you pay on your employees’ tip income.
One of the most laborious tasks for small businesses is managing payroll. But it’s critical that you not only withhold the right amount of taxes from employees’ paychecks but also that you pay them over to the federal government on time.
The Davis Case
If you own a company filing an S Corporation tax return, you should be reporting reasonable compensation. Think of "reasonable compensation" as being what you would have to pay somebody else to do the same job you are doing. Many company owners want to pay themselves less, to reduce their payroll tax bill. However, the IRS has successfully argued that business owners should pay themselves more, and assessed tax to business owners many, many times. The following article discusses one of the times the IRS has gone to court over this issue.
SS No-Match Letters
In the past few months, many businesses and employers nationwide have received “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of these letters is to alert employers if there’s a discrepancy between the agency’s files and data reported on W-2 forms, which are given to employees and filed with the IRS. Specifically, they point out that an employee’s name and Social Security number (SSN) don’t match the government’s records.
Bitcoin and other forms of virtual currency are gaining popularity. But many businesses, consumers, employees and investors are still confused about how they work and how to report transactions on their federal tax returns. And the IRS just announced that it is targeting virtual currency users in a new “educational letter” campaign.
Next Step Blog
Our blog is intended as a tool to keep people informed about relevant tax and accounting issues. If you have a question or an idea for a post, let us know!