What tax records can you throw away?
October 15 is the deadline for individual taxpayers who extended their 2019 tax returns. (The original April 15 filing deadline was extended this year to July 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) If you’re finally done filing last year’s return, you might wonder: Which tax records can you toss once you’re done? Now is a good time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard.
Reviewing your disaster plan in a tumultuous year
It’s been a year like no other. The sudden impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in March forced every business owner — ready or not — to execute his or her disaster response plan.
Why it’s important to plan for income taxes as part of your estate plan
As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($11.58 million in 2020), many estates no longer need to be concerned with federal estate tax. Before 2011, a much smaller amount resulted in estate plans attempting to avoid it. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to estate tax, more planning can be devoted to saving income taxes for your heirs.
IRS announces per diem rates for business travel
In Notice 2020-71, the IRS recently announced per diem rates that can be used to substantiate the amount of business expenses incurred for travel away from home on or after October 1, 2020.
Tax implications of working from home and collecting unemployment
COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways, and some of the changes have tax implications. Here is basic information about two common situations.
Weighing the risks vs. rewards of a mezzanine loan
To say that most small to midsize businesses have at least considered taking out a loan this year would probably be an understatement. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has lowered many companies’ revenue but may have also opened opportunities for others to expand or pivot into more profitable areas.
If your company needs working capital to grow, rather than simply survive, you might want to consider a mezzanine loan. These arrangements offer relatively quick access to substantial funding but with risks that you should fully understand before signing on the dotted line.
Helping employees understand their health care accounts
Many businesses now offer, as part of their health care benefits, various types of accounts that reimburse employees for medical expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. These include health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRAs) and Health Savings Account (HSAs, which are usually offered in conjunction with a high-deductible health plan).
5 common accounting software mistakes to avoid
No company can afford to operate without the right accounting software. When considering whether to buy a new product or upgrade their current solutions, however, business owners often fall prey to some common mistakes. Here are five gaffes to avoid:
Will You Have to Pay Tax on Your Social Security Benefits?
If you’re getting close to retirement, you may wonder: Are my Social Security benefits going to be taxed? And if so, how much will you have to pay? It depends on your other income. If you’re taxed, between 50% and 85% of your benefits could be taxed. (This doesn’t mean you pay 85% of your benefits back to the government in taxes. It merely that you’d include 85% of them in your income subject to your regular tax rates.)
Back-to-school tax breaks on the books
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, students are going back to school this fall, either remotely, in-person or under a hybrid schedule. In any event, parents may be eligible for certain tax breaks to help defray the cost of education.
Here is a summary of some of the tax breaks available for education.
President signs 5-week PPP extension
President Trump has signed a five-week extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), after unanimous agreement by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, in an effort to continue providing relief for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.
SBA reopens EIDL program to small businesses and nonprofits
Just last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program to eligible applicants still struggling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What qualifies as a “coronavirus-related distribution” from a retirement plan?
As you may have heard, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows “qualified” people to take certain “coronavirus-related distributions” from their retirement plans without paying tax. So how do you qualify? In other words, what’s a coronavirus-related distribution?
Minnesota lawmakers pass relief grant program, accepting applications June 23-July 2
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program last week. The program, which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz, will begin accepting applications on June 23 through 5:00 p.m. on July 2.
Accounting for PPP Loans
On June 10, 2020, the AICPA released guidance, to address how borrowers of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans should account for these loans in their GAAP financial statements. The legal form of the PPP loan is debt, however, some believe that the loan is, in substance, a government grant. These conflicting opinions have led the AICPA to provide PPP Loan borrowers with options to account for the PPP Loans. Borrowers can account for the PPP Loans as: