Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Under the Corporate Transparency Act

Serious millennial man using laptop sitting at the table in a home office, focused guy in casual clothing looking at the paper, communicating online, writing emails, distantly working or studying on computer at home.What is Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting?

Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) reporting is a federal requirement by the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). BOI reports include information about all the company’s beneficial owners.

Who is considered a Beneficial Owner?

A beneficial owner is any individual who, directly or indirectly, exercises substantial control over a reporting company or owns or controls at least 25 percent of the company’s ownership interests.

What is the Corporate Transparency Act?

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) is a United States federal law that aims to increase transparency in corporate ownership. The law requires that individuals considered beneficial company owners in the U.S. provide the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) with specific information.

For individuals, that includes:

  • their full name
  • date of birth
  • current residential address
  • a federally issued identification number from a driver’s license or passport

For companies, that includes:

  • legal entity name or DBA name
  • business address
  • state jurisdiction of formation of registration
  • IRS TIN

Any changes to the above reporting information must be updated with the FinCEN within 30 days of the change.

What is considered a Reporting Company?

Companies required to report a BOI are referred to as reporting companies. There are two types of reporting companies: domestic and foreign. They are defined as follows:

  1. Domestic reporting companies are corporations, limited liability companies (LLC), and other entities created by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office in the U.S.
  2. Foreign reporting companies are entities (including corporations and LLCs) formed under a foreign country’s law and registered to do business in the U.S. by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office.

There are 23 types of entities that are exempt from the reporting requirements. Those entities can be found on the FinCEN website.

What is the Reporting Process?

The reporting process takes place via an online portal on the FinCEN’s website. Filing begins January 1, 2024, with an initial filing window of one year (i.e., initial BOI reporting can be done from January 1, 2024, through January 1, 2025). The FinCEN will not accept BOI reporting before January 1, 2024. There is no fee for submitting this information.

New entities established after December 31, 2023, must report within 90 days of establishment.

Hefty civil ($500/day) and criminal penalties (up to $10,000) can be imposed on companies that fail to file a complete report.

To be sure that you and your firm comply with BOI reporting requirements, check with your trusted tax accountant or CPA.

Tax Tips for Businesses

Paper sheet in hand with magnifier, paperwork, consultant, concept business adviser, financial audit, seo analytics, auditing tax process, big data analysis, research report, market stats calculateAs a business owner, you should familiarize yourself with your federal, state, and local tax requirements. Understanding what your obligations are will assist you in filing returns and paying taxes accurately and on time. Whatever taxes you are required to pay, you have to be very aware that there are deadlines for remitting them and any delays on your part could result in penalties. Here are some tips that can help you avoid tax trouble with the IRS.

Employment Taxes

The IRS requires employers to withhold federal income tax and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes from their employees’ wages. The IRS also wants you to remit these employment taxes, along with your company’s FICA contributions, to them in a timely manner. Failing to remit these taxes can lead to serious penalties for noncompliance. This is one issue you absolutely must stay on top of.

Remember, sole proprietors, general partners, and, usually, members of limited liability companies do not have Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld like employees do. Instead, they must pay self-employment taxes, which typically cover Social Security and Medicare.

Estimated Taxes

You must generally make quarterly estimated tax payments to cover self-employment taxes and income tax on income that is not subject to withholding. If you do not make required estimated payments on time, you may owe the IRS an underpayment penalty.

Misclassifying Workers

Employees and independent contractors are treated differently for income tax withholding and employment tax purposes. Generally, the more control you have over a worker’s tasks and hours of work, the more likely that individual is an employee. In the case of employees, you must withhold federal income tax and FICA taxes, pay your share of FICA taxes, and pay unemployment taxes. You are not required to withhold income or FICA taxes from an independent contractor. Independent contractors pay income taxes and self-employment taxes on their own. If the IRS determines that your business has misclassified employees as independent contractors, it could prove to be costly.

Keep Business and Personal Transactions Separate

Personal bank and credit card accounts should always be kept separate from business accounts. Doing so makes it easier to identify all appropriate business expenses at tax time. That, in turn, simplifies things when it comes to claiming business tax deductions.

Substantiating Business Expenses

Like every business, your company will incur various expenses that are simply the cost of doing business. Many of these business expenses will be deductible. You should have proof of purchase for those expenses that you intend to deduct. Proof can be a cancelled check (or a legible image of the check), or a credit card, debit card, or electronic funds transfer (EFT) statement that shows the payee, amount of purchase or transfer, and the date of the transaction.

It’s also important that you can provide an invoice or receipt that identifies the purchase. If it’s not clear what the business purpose for the purchase is, then you should attach a note of explanation or write directly on the invoice or receipt. This can be helpful if the deductibility of the purchase is ever questioned by the IRS. Deductions for business travel expenses have very specific substantiation requirements, so be sure you are familiar with them before claiming these expenses.

Determining what taxes your business is subject to and when those taxes must be remitted is complex. Unfortunately, errors can be costly to your business. A professional who specializes in small business tax and accounting matters can help your business put systems and procedures in place so that it can claim all the deductions it is entitled to and meet its tax obligations in a timely and accurate manner.

7 Tax Credits for Your Small Business

Portrait of a businessman working on a tablet computer in a modern office. Make an account analysis report. real estate investment information financial and tax system conceptsLet’s talk about tax credits – what they are, how they differ from deductions, and which can benefit your small business.

What are tax credits?

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of one’s tax liability, reducing the amount of tax owed. So, a tax credit of $300 lowers your bill by $300.

Tax deductions work differently. Let’s see how tax credits and tax deductions differ.

How do tax credits differ from tax deductions?

Unlike tax credits, which are dollar-for-dollar reductions in taxes, tax deductions decrease one’s taxable income. That means only a percentage of each dollar deducted is taken off your income tax. The percentage depends on your tax bracket and the rate at which your income is taxed.

How do you know which tax credits apply to your business?

General business tax credits are calculated individually from a list of tax credits published by the IRS. Each one requires its own form. Once those are filled out, they are tallied. Once the general business tax credit for the year is determined, it is filed on Form 3800 with your tax return.

Now let’s discuss some tax credits that benefit small businesses.

What are some tax credits that benefit small businesses?

1. Family and Medical Leave Credit (FMLC)

Family and medical leave is taken when an employee must be away from work due to an event such as:

  • the birth of a baby
  • a severe illness of an immediate family member
  • a serious health condition that prevents the employee from working

The tax credit for this type of leave is applicable when the employer:

  • has a written policy in place stating they will provide family and medical leave.
  • provides paid leave to employees for family or health-related reasons for at least two weeks in a given year.
  • pays a minimum of half the employee’s earnings

The employee must have been on the payroll for at least one year for an employer to claim the credit, which is between 12.5 and 25 percent of the employee’s pay.

You will use IRS Form 8994, the Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave to claim this credit.

2. Child Care Credit

This credit is part of the general business credit. It may be claimed any time within three years from the due date of your return on either an original or amended return. The credit is 25 percent of the qualified childcare facility expenditures plus 10 percent of the qualified childcare resource and referral expenditures paid or incurred during the tax year, limited to $150,000 per tax year.

Qualified expenditures are:

  • The cost of acquiring, building, or expanding a property to be used as part of a qualified childcare facility, is the depreciable (or amortizable) property and is not part of the principal residence of the business owner or any employee.
  • Operating expenses of a qualified childcare facility of the taxpayer
  • The expense paid to a qualified childcare facility that provides childcare to employees.

For this tax credit, fill out IRS Form 8882, Credit for Employer-Provided Child Care Facilities and Services.

3. Health Insurance Credit

Employers who pay health insurance premiums for employees can redeem a tax credit for up to 50 percent of those expenses. However, specific criteria must be met. For example, this credit only applies to companies with less than 25 full-time employees. The employer must pay at least half the employees’ health insurance premiums. Further, the average payroll cannot be more than $56,000 (as of 2022). Also, remember that your business must purchase health coverage through the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) program.

If your business meets these criteria (and all others required by the IRS), use Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums.

4. Employee Pension Plan Credit

The Employee Pension Plan Credit is worth up to $500, or 50 percent of your business startup costs. It can be claimed for the first three years of your plan. To qualify for this credit, your company must have fewer than 100 employees, each receiving a minimum of $5,000 in compensation. You can’t have had a 401(k) or other qualifying retirement plan for the previous three years. Lastly, you must plan to start a pension plan for your employees.

To claim this credit, use IRS Form 8881, Credit for Small Employer Pension Plan Startup Costs.

5. New Clean Vehicle Credit

This tax credit applies to plug-in electric vehicles (EV) or fuel cell vehicles (FCV). You could receive a credit of up to $7,500 for either of these types of cars. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 changed the rules for this credit for vehicles purchased from 2023 to 2032.

To qualify, the vehicle must be for your own use and not for resale and must be used in the United States. Further, your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) may not exceed $150,000. The type of vehicle the credit applies to can be found on the IRS website. (Note: battery and vehicle weight specifics and other qualifying criteria exist.)

To claim the credit, file Form 8936, Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit (Including Qualified Two-Wheeled Plug-in Electric Vehicles), with your tax return. You will need to provide your vehicle’s VIN.

6. Disabled Access Credit

You might be eligible for this credit if you spent money making your business more accessible to people with disabilities. To determine the official IRS definition of “accessible” which is broad, consult the instructions for IRS Form 8826. That is where you will find qualifying expenses.

The credit covers 50 percent of expenses up to $10,250 after the first $250. The maximum tax credit is $5,000. To claim this credit, use IRS Form 8826, Disabled Access Credit.

7. Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

This credit is targeted at employers who hire individuals from specific groups, including (but not limited to):

  • Veterans
  • Ex-felons
  • Summer youth employees
  • SNAP recipients
  • SSI recipients
  • Long-term unemployment recipients

The WOTC is a one-time tax credit for newly hired individuals. To claim this credit, fill out IRS Form 8850, Pre-screening Notice, and Certification Request.

Of course, you can discuss these and many other tax credits that may benefit your small business with your qualified accountant or CPA.

4 Tips on How Small Businesses Can Reduce Taxes

mid section view of a businessman using a calculator in an officeAs a small business owner, tax liability is the money you owe the government when your business generates income. With changing laws and gray areas regarding deductions, exemptions, and credits, it’s no wonder small business owners rank taxes at the top of the list of the most stress-inducing aspect of business ownership. To reduce that stress, taxes shouldn’t be something to focus on only at year’s end. Use these tips on reducing your business tax year-round and see your taxes and stress level decrease!

1. Business structure

Your company’s business structure is how it is organized – it answers questions like who is in charge, how are profits distributed, and who is responsible for business debt. The most common business structures are:

  • Sole proprietorships have one owner who takes all profits as personal income. The owner is personally liable for any business debts.
  • Partnerships are structured like sole proprietorships but can have an unlimited number of owners.
  • C corporations have unlimited shareholders who each own part of the company. Profits are distributed as dividends between them. Owners are not personally liable for business debts.
  • S corporations are structured like C corporations, but the number of shareholders is capped at 100.

In addition to affecting how a business operates, business structure impacts how much a company pays in taxes. The U.S. tax code is complex and includes four main tax categories:

  • Income tax – paid on profits
  • Employment tax – employee Social Security and Medicare contributions
  • Self-employment tax – Social Security and Medicare contributions for self-employed individuals
  • Excise tax – special taxes for specific goods and services like tobacco, alcohol, etc.

IA sole proprietorship or partnership is a good idea for businesses wanting tax simplicity. For those with less than 100 owners, an S corporation might be the right fit and best tax option. Again, business structure and tax laws are complex and are best determined by a qualified, experienced accountant.

2. Net Earnings

Net earnings (i.e., net income or profit) is the gross business income minus business expenses. Regardless of the business, it begins with gross income (the income received directly by an individual, before any withholding, deductions, or taxes), and allowable expenses are deducted to arrive at net income. How this figure is calculated is dependent upon business structure.

Net earnings are used to calculate business income taxes. Again, the calculation process differs slightly for different business structures. It is best to seek a professional to help with net earnings calculations for the proper calculation and maximum legal deductions.

3. Employ a Family Member

One of the best ways for small business owners to reduce taxes is hiring a family member. The (IRS allows a variety of options for tax sheltering. For example, suppose you hire your child, as a small business owner. In that case, you will pay a lower marginal rate or eliminate the tax on the income paid to your child. Sole proprietorships are not required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on a child’s wages. They can also avoid Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax. Consult a trusted accounting professional for details about the benefits of hiring your children or even your spouse.

4. Retirement contributions

Employee retirement plans benefit employees, but they can also be good for your small business. Employer contributions to an employee retirement plan are tax-deductible. They can also carry an employer tax credit for setting up an employee retirement plan. Again, this is a task an accountant can handle for you. They can guide you on retirement plan choices based on your business’s situation, employees, and other factors.

As a small business owner, you can deduct contributions to a tax-qualified retirement account from your income taxes (except for Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s). Sole proprietors, members of a partnership, or LLC members can deduct from their personal income contributions to their retirement account.

As with any tax situation, consulting your trusted accounting professional is always best. They are up to date on the latest tax laws, information, and allowable deductions. By being aware of ways your small business can reduce taxes, you can bring these topics up with your accountant, discuss the best options for you, and be prepared long before tax time rolls around.


Contact our tax professionals to learn more about how you can control tax exposure for your small business.

Starting a Side Gig in 2022? Your New Tax Obligations

Business people Having Meeting Around Table In Modern OfficeIt’s not just self-employed individuals who must pay estimated taxes. Here’s what you need to know.

W-2 income tax withholding isn’t perfect. You’ve probably had years when you owed more than you expected to on April 15. Or you were pleasantly surprised to receive a sizable refund. The idea, of course, is to try to come out as even as possible. You can usually do this by adjusting your withholding when you experience a life change like taking on a mortgage or having a baby.

Income taxes are also pay-as-you-go for self-employed individuals – or at least they should be. If you’re striking out on your own by starting your own small business in 2022 or you’re simply taking on a side gig to improve your finances, your tax obligation will change dramatically. Your income will not be subject to employer withholding every week or two. In most cases, you’ll get it all. But the IRS expects you to pay estimated taxes on that income four times a year.

Who Else Must Pay?

There are other situations where you’ll be expected to make quarterly payments. In fact, the only individuals who aren’t required to pay estimated taxes (besides W-2 employees whose withholding is on target) are those who meet all three of these conditions:

  • You owed no taxes the previous tax year (line 24 on your 2021 1040—total tax—is zero, or you weren’t required to file a return).
  • You were a resident alien or U.S. citizen for all of 2021.
  • Your 2021 tax year covered a 12-month period.

tax tips

You’ll find your total tax for 2021 on line 24 of the Form 1040. Notice, too, that line 26 asks for 2021 estimated tax payments.

There are numerous situations where individuals who have payroll taxes regularly withheld on their income may still be required to submit quarterly estimated taxes. For example, did you receive income from rents or royalties? Dividends or interest? Income from selling an asset? Gambling?

If you have an employer who withholds taxes, but you don’t think you’ll be paying enough given the deductions and credits you might receive, you need to plan for estimated taxes. Self-employed individuals are almost always required to submit them.

Special Rules for Some

As with all things IRS, there are many exceptions to the rules regarding estimated taxes. For example, there are special rules for:

  • Fishermen and farmers.
  • Some household employers.
  • Certain high-income taxpayers.
  • Nonresident aliens.

How Do You Estimate Your Quarterly Taxes?

That’s the hard part, especially if you’re new to the world of estimated taxes. There is no magic formula, no way to calculate to the penny what you’ll owe. You’re basically making an educated guess. Since you won’t know for sure what changes to the tax code will be put in place until the end of the year, you can’t be absolutely certain that you might get a particular credit or deduction.

But you know roughly what your income will be for a given quarter once you’re nearing the end of it. Do you have a lot of business-related expenses? Keeping track of those is critical, as they’ll offset your income. If you don’t, you’ll have to budget for a heftier quarterly payment. And you must keep in mind that you’ll be paying self-employment tax – that portion of your income taxes that your employer used to pay.

Once you’ve been self-employed for a full tax year and have seen what your tax obligation was, it will be easier to estimate in subsequent years. But you may have a difficult time your first year.

How Do You Pay Estimated Taxes?

tax tips

Individuals and business that had to pay estimated taxes in 2021 submitted the Form 1040-ES four times. If you’re self-employed in 2022, you’ll need to submit similar vouchers with your payments, unless you’re paying online.

If you’re self-employed and you anticipate owing $1,000 or more in taxes on your 2022 income, you’ll need to file quarterlies using IRS Form 1040-ES vouchers (available on the IRS website) along with a check or money order. There are also ways to pay online using a credit or debit card or direct bank withdrawal. Corporations would file the Form 1120-W if they expect to owe $500 or more.

Estimated taxes for the 2022 tax year are due:

April 18, 2022 (January 1-March 31, 2022)

June 15, 2022 (April 1-May 31, 2022)

September 15, 2022 (June 1- August 31, 2022)

January 16, 2023 (September 1-December 31, 2022)

A Challenging Task

Estimated taxes are not precise. And it may be difficult to set aside money for them if your income is not where you’d like it to be. But as you might expect, the IRS will levy penalties on you if you don’t.

Year-round tax planning can help you in this critical area. We’ll be happy to set aside time to consult with you about estimated taxes. We’re also available to do tax preparation and to look at how your taxes fit into your overall financial situation. Contact us soon to get a jump on the 2022 tax season — or to finish up 2021.

Starting a Side Gig in 2022? Your New Tax Obligations

It’s not just self-employed individuals who must pay estimated taxes. Here’s what you need to know.

W-2 income tax withholding isn’t perfect. You’ve probably had years when you owed more than you expected to on April 15. Or you were pleasantly surprised to receive a sizable refund. The idea, of course, is to try to come out as even as possible. You can usually do this by adjusting your withholding when you experience a life change like taking on a mortgage or having a baby.

Income taxes are also pay-as-you-go for self-employed individuals – or at least they should be. If you’re striking out on your own by starting your own small business in 2022 or you’re simply taking on a side gig to improve your finances, your tax obligation will change dramatically. Your income will not be subject to employer withholding every week or two. In most cases, you’ll get it all. But the IRS expects you to pay estimated taxes on that income four times a year.

Who Else Must Pay?

There are other situations where you’ll be expected to make quarterly payments. In fact, the only individuals who aren’t required to pay estimated taxes (besides W-2 employees whose withholding is on target) are those who meet all three of these conditions:

  • You owed no taxes the previous tax year (line 24 on your 2021 1040—total tax—is zero, or you weren’t required to file a return).
  • You were a resident alien or U.S. citizen for all of 2021.
  • Your 2021 tax year covered a 12-month period.

tax tips

You’ll find your total tax for 2021 on line 24 of the Form 1040. Notice, too, that line 26 asks for 2021 estimated tax payments.

There are numerous situations where individuals who have payroll taxes regularly withheld on their income may still be required to submit quarterly estimated taxes. For example, did you receive income from rents or royalties? Dividends or interest? Income from selling an asset? Gambling?

If you have an employer who withholds taxes, but you don’t think you’ll be paying enough given the deductions and credits you might receive, you need to plan for estimated taxes. Self-employed individuals are almost always required to submit them.

Special Rules for Some

As with all things IRS, there are many exceptions to the rules regarding estimated taxes. For example, there are special rules for:

  • Fishermen and farmers.
  • Some household employers.
  • Certain high-income taxpayers.
  • Nonresident aliens.

How Do You Estimate Your Quarterly Taxes?

That’s the hard part, especially if you’re new to the world of estimated taxes. There is no magic formula, no way to calculate to the penny what you’ll owe. You’re basically making an educated guess. Since you won’t know for sure what changes to the tax code will be put in place until the end of the year, you can’t be absolutely certain that you might get a particular credit or deduction.

But you know roughly what your income will be for a given quarter once you’re nearing the end of it. Do you have a lot of business-related expenses? Keeping track of those is critical, as they’ll offset your income. If you don’t, you’ll have to budget for a heftier quarterly payment. And you must keep in mind that you’ll be paying self-employment tax – that portion of your income taxes that your employer used to pay.

Once you’ve been self-employed for a full tax year and have seen what your tax obligation was, it will be easier to estimate in subsequent years. But you may have a difficult time your first year.

How Do You Pay Estimated Taxes?

tax tips

Individuals and business that had to pay estimated taxes in 2021 submitted the Form 1040-ES four times. If you’re self-employed in 2022, you’ll need to submit similar vouchers with your payments, unless you’re paying online.

If you’re self-employed and you anticipate owing $1,000 or more in taxes on your 2022 income, you’ll need to file quarterlies using IRS Form 1040-ES vouchers (available on the IRS website) along with a check or money order. There are also ways to pay online using a credit or debit card or direct bank withdrawal. Corporations would file the Form 1120-W if they expect to owe $500 or more.

Estimated taxes for the 2022 tax year are due:

April 18, 2022 (January 1-March 31, 2022)

June 15, 2022 (April 1-May 31, 2022)

September 15, 2022 (June 1- August 31, 2022)

January 16, 2023 (September 1-December 31, 2022)

A Challenging Task

Estimated taxes are not precise. And it may be difficult to set aside money for them if your income is not where you’d like it to be. But as you might expect, the IRS will levy penalties on you if you don’t.

Year-round tax planning can help you in this critical area. We’ll be happy to set aside time to consult with you about estimated taxes. We’re also available to do tax preparation and to look at how your taxes fit into your overall financial situation. Contact us soon to get a jump on the 2022 tax season — or to finish up 2021.

Hiring An Independent Contractor? Your Tax Obligations

First time hiring an independent contractor? Here’s what you need to know about taxes.

Two months ago in this column, we explained the differences between employees and independent contractors. The IRS has strict rules that you must follow when you make this distinction because there are very different tax rules for each type of worker.

If you’re hiring an independent contractor for the first time, here’s the good news: Your income tax obligations are much simpler than they’d be if you were bringing on a new employee. You are not responsible for withholding and submitting payroll taxes to the IRS and state agencies. You simply pay the compensation that you and your worker have negotiated.

Here’s a look at the forms you and your independent contractor will need to complete.

The W-9

tax tips

Independent contractors must complete a W-9 before they can get paid by you.

Where employees have to fill out a Form W-4 form to get paid by their employers, independent contractors are required to enter tax-related data on a Form W-9. This is a very simple document, requiring only the taxpayer’s:

  • Name, address, and business name (if different).
  • Business entity type (sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, etc.).
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This will most likely be your contractor’s social security number, though in rare cases, it may be an employer identification number (EIN).
  • Signature and date signed.

You or your independent contractor can print out a copy of the W-9 here. He or she can either send you a completed paper copy or scan it and email it to you. As the employer, you’ll use this information to report your independent contractor’s annual income. The IRS advises you to keep this form for four years in case it has questions at a later time.

Form 1099-NEC

Before tax year 2020, nonemployee compensation was reported in Box 7 of the Form 1099-MISC. Now, though, there is a separate form for it: the Form 1099-NEC. If you paid someone who is not your employee $600 or more during the tax year, you must complete this form. You’ll need to submit one copy to the IRS, one to state taxing agencies, and one to the contractor by January 31 of the year following the year the income was earned.

tax tips

You’ll need several copies of the 1099-NEC for distribution.

In addition to the taxpayer’s name, address, and TIN, and your TIN (account number is optional), you must include the following information on the Form 1099-NEC:

  • Box 1 should contain the total that you paid the independent contractor during the tax year (nonemployee compensation)
  • If the Box 2 is checked, it signifies that you sold $5,000 or more in consumer products to the contractor for resale, on a buy-sell, a deposit-commission, or other basis. The contractor should report income from these sales on the Form 1040’s Schedule C.
  • Box 3 is not currently being used by the IRS.
  • If you withheld federal income tax from the contractor’s payments, as is required when he or she does not supply a TIN, you must report it in Box 4.
  • Boxes 5-7 would only be used if you withheld state income tax.

You can see an example of the Form 1099-NEC here, but you can’t just print or scan and email all of the copies needed. Copy A goes to the IRS, and the other copies go to state tax departments and the independent contractor. You must have an official IRS version of Copy A because it needs to be scanned by the agency. The other copies can be downloaded and printed.

The Form 1099-NECs that you send to the IRS must be accompanied by Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns. We’ll tell you more about acquiring and preparing all of these forms as the deadline for the 2021 tax year gets closer. Your relationship with your independent contractor should be fairly uncomplicated where taxes are concerned. But if you’re dealing with a situation that causes you to question your handling of it, please let us help. We can also advise you on your classification of your new hire (independent contractor vs. employee), a distinction that the IRS takes very seriously. As always, we’re available to help with year-round tax planning and eventual preparation and filing.

Storing Your Tax Records

Tax wording on wooden cubes with US dollar coins and bag.Once you’ve filed your tax return, you may be tempted to clean house and get rid of some of your old records that are taking up space. The guidelines that follow will help you decide which items can go and which should stay in your files.1

Income and Expenses

Keep for at least three years after the date you file your return (or its due date, if later) the records proving your income and expenses, such as:

  • Form(s) W-2
  • Form(s) 1099
  • Form(s) K-1
  • Bank and brokerage statements
  • Canceled checks or other proof of payment

Three years is generally considered a minimum. If you can, consider keeping these items six years, the IRS’s time limit for auditing a return when income is substantially understated and no fraud exists.

Investments

You’ll need your investment records to figure your gains and losses when you sell the investments. After you’ve sold an investment, continue to retain your records for as long as you keep the other items supporting the tax return on which you report the sale (three or six years). Investment records include statements showing when you purchased the investment, the purchase price, brokerage commissions, and any reinvested dividends.

Residence Purchases and Improvements

Hold on to closing statements and other paperwork related to the purchase of your principal residence for use when you eventually sell the home. Put records of any home improvements you’ve made in the file, too. While many homeowners won’t have a taxable gain when they sell their homes because of the $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples) exemption, special circumstances, such as renting out your home or having a home office, could result in a taxable profit.

Your Tax Returns

Maintain one or more permanent files with important personal documents, including your tax returns. If you don’t file a return, the IRS can assess tax at any time. You’ll need a copy of your return in case the IRS has no record of your filing.

1This communication is not intended to be tax advice and should not be treated as such. Each individual’s tax situation is diferent. Contact your tax professional to discuss your personal situation.

Our team of tax planning and income tax preparation professionals can help you save on taxes. Contact us to request a consultation, or give us a call today at 775-332-4201 and ask for Mark Bailey for more information.

What is the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)?

Notebook with tax credit sign on a table. Business concept.Eligible employers are entitled to an Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) of up to 70 percent of the first $10,000 in wages and certain health care plan expenses paid per employee for each of the first two quarters of 2021 according to the New Stimulus Act.

What is the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)?

Designed to incentivize businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the pandemic, the ERTC is a fully-refundable tax credit that is part of the federal government’s COVID-19 relief plan. As part of this plan, the New Stimulus Act includes the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, which became effective January 1, 2021. This Act amends and extends the former ERTC and the availability of advance payments of the tax credits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Is My Company Eligible for the ERTC?

Previously, employers could only take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) OR the ERTC, so the ERTC was not widely used. However, Congress revised this provision to make both plans available to qualifying businesses.

As of December 2020, small businesses (with 500 or fewer employees) that suffered a revenue reduction in 2020 can claim the ERTC. A revenue reduction specifically means a business experienced a decline in gross receipts by more than 20 percent in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019. (Note this is a change from the previous ERTC rule that required a gross receipts decline of at least 50 percent.)

Further, the tax credit applies to employers, including tax-exempt organizations, that conducted business during 2020 and were forced to fully or partially suspend operation during any quarter due to government orders related to COVID-19, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

How is the Maximum Amount of ERTC Determined?

As mentioned, under the New Stimulus Act, eligible employers are entitled to a tax credit equal to 70 percent of the first $10,000 in wages and qualifying health plan expenses paid per employee for each of the first two quarters of 2021 (up to $14,000).

Note that the combined maximum $14,000 credit for the first two quarters of 2021 is available even if the employer previously received the $5,000 maximum credit for wages paid in 2020.

In addition to the aforementioned changes to the ERTC, the wage period has been extended. Under the New Stimulus Act, qualified wages are those paid after March 12, 2020 up until July 1, 2021. The previous cutoff date was January 1, 2021.

What are Qualified Wages?

Qualified wages are wages, compensation, and qualified health plan expenses paid by an eligible employer after March 12, 2020 and before July 1, 2021 for time that the employee did not provide services due to a full or partial COVID-19-related government suspension of operations OR a 20 percent or greater decline in gross receipts.

For specific determinants, see sections 3121(a) and 3231(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The determination of qualified health plan expenses is the same as qualified health plan expenses for the Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Number of Employees Matters

Under the CARES Act, companies with 100 or fewer employees were eligible for the ERTC; however, under the New Stimulus Act, the threshold increased to 500 employees. In other words, for the first two quarters of 2021, a company with 500 or fewer employees is eligible for the ERTC. This is true whether those employees are working or not.

Other Notable Changes to the ERTC

  • Previously, governmental entities were not eligible for the ERTC under the CARES Act; however, under the New Stimulus Act this tax credit is available to state or local run colleges, universities, and organizations providing medical or hospital care.
  • While the New Stimulus Act allows businesses with a PPP loan to qualify for the ERTC, the tax credit may not be claimed on wages paid with the PPP loan that has been or will be forgiven.

As always, seek counsel from your trusted accountant, tax preparer, or CPA to be certain your business is in compliance with current laws related to the ERTC or any tax matter.

Our team of tax planning and income tax preparation professionals can help you save on taxes. Contact us to request a consultation, or give us a call today at 775-332-4201 and ask for Mark Bailey for more information.

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

Eligible employers are entitled to an Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) of up to 70 percent of the first $10,000 in wages and certain health care plan expenses paid per employee for each of the first two quarters of 2021 according to the New Stimulus Act.

What is the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)?

Designed to incentivize businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the pandemic, the ERTC is a fully-refundable tax credit that is part of the federal government’s COVID-19 relief plan. As part of this plan, the New Stimulus Act includes the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, which became effective January 1, 2021. This Act amends and extends the former ERTC and the availability of advance payments of the tax credits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Is My Company Eligible for the ERTC?

Previously, employers could only take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) OR the ERTC, so the ERTC was not widely used. However, Congress revised this provision to make both plans available to qualifying businesses.

As of December 2020, small businesses (with 500 or fewer employees) that suffered a revenue reduction in 2020 can claim the ERTC. A revenue reduction specifically means a business experienced a decline in gross receipts by more than 20 percent in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019. (Note this is a change from the previous ERTC rule that required a gross receipts decline of at least 50 percent.)

Further, the tax credit applies to employers, including tax-exempt organizations, that conducted business during 2020 and were forced to fully or partially suspend operation during any quarter due to government orders related to COVID-19, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

How is the Maximum Amount of ERTC Determined?

As mentioned, under the New Stimulus Act, eligible employers are entitled to a tax credit equal to 70 percent of the first $10,000 in wages and qualifying health plan expenses paid per employee for each of the first two quarters of 2021 (up to $14,000).

Note that the combined maximum $14,000 credit for the first two quarters of 2021 is available even if the employer previously received the $5,000 maximum credit for wages paid in 2020.

In addition to the aforementioned changes to the ERTC, the wage period has been extended. Under the New Stimulus Act, qualified wages are those paid after March 12, 2020 up until July 1, 2021. The previous cutoff date was January 1, 2021.

What are Qualified Wages?

Qualified wages are wages, compensation, and qualified health plan expenses paid by an eligible employer after March 12, 2020 and before July 1, 2021 for time that the employee did not provide services due to a full or partial COVID-19-related government suspension of operations OR a 20 percent or greater decline in gross receipts.

For specific determinants, see sections 3121(a) and 3231(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The determination of qualified health plan expenses is the same as qualified health plan expenses for the Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Number of Employees Matters

Under the CARES Act, companies with 100 or fewer employees were eligible for the ERTC; however, under the New Stimulus Act, the threshold increased to 500 employees. In other words, for the first two quarters of 2021, a company with 500 or fewer employees is eligible for the ERTC. This is true whether those employees are working or not.

Other Notable Changes to the ERTC

  • Previously, governmental entities were not eligible for the ERTC under the CARES Act; however, under the New Stimulus Act this tax credit is available to state or local run colleges, universities, and organizations providing medical or hospital care.
  • While the New Stimulus Act allows businesses with a PPP loan to qualify for the ERTC, the tax credit may not be claimed on wages paid with the PPP loan that has been or will be forgiven.

As always, seek counsel from your trusted accountant, tax preparer, or CPA to be certain your business is in compliance with current laws related to the ERTC or any tax matter.