Friday, December 4, 2020
To My Dear Clients and Friends,
I hope this email finds you well. It's been a long haul since my last letter in the spring and I apologize for the quiet. It has been an eventful year for me and I am looking forward to turning the page in a few more short weeks.
What a year it has been! We have learned a lot of hard lessons, and fast! Our security in so many things has been shaken. Our relationships, our businesses, and our communities have experienced the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have become an expert in canceling plans, expecting the unexpected, and accepting that which I find unacceptable. I like to say that "acceptance doesn't mean approval"! All in all, I have found value in taking better care of myself and being there for my friends and clients when they need and want it.
As 2020 winds down to a close I wanted to bring up some important points to think about regarding year-end tax planning. This information is based on the latest guidance received from the IRS, my experience, training, and the additional research I have recently done. This is a challenging year for tax planning, but having an idea of what to expect come April 15, 2021 and beyond will improve overall outcomes. I will jump right in:
1. If you received an EIDL Grant, the income is expected to be taxable based on what the IRS is currently saying. The EIDL Grant ranged between $1,000 and $10,000 and was based on the number of employees your business had. This grant will be added to your business revenue for 2020 tax purposes.
2. If you received the PPP Loan, the expenses paid with the loan will not be deductible if you have received or if you can reasonably expect to receive PPP Loan Forgiveness. This means that if your business profit in 2020 was $10,000 and you received a $50,000 PPP Loan, you will actually pay tax on $60,000. This will be a major hit for struggling businesses and IS NOT what congress intended. Unfortunately the IRS is digging its heels in on this point. There is still time to make tax plans, but now is the time!
3. Make equipment purchases before year end in order to take advantage of depreciating the full value (taking a full deduction) of your purchase in 2020.
4. Plan to deduct COVID Related Disaster Losses. Examples of losses attributable to COVID-19 after March 13, 2020* that might potentially be claimed in 2020 include the following:
Closure of stores and facility locations
Complete abandonment of leasehold improvements
Permanent retirement of fixed assets
Disposal of inventory, supplies and other property that has become unsaleable
Losses from the sale or exchange of property
Losses on mark-to-market securities
Worthless securities (but not bad debts)
Certain termination payments to cancel contracts, licenses or leases
Abandonment of pending business transactions for which costs have been capitalized
Prepayment of events, conferences, etc. where refunds or credits are not provided.
Losses that should not qualify for IRC Sec. 165(i) treatment include, for example, lost revenues and a decline in fair market value of property due to economic conditions related to COVID-19.
5. Talk to us and plan for the future by taking advantage of tax credits such as the Credit for Small Employer Pension Plan Startup Costs , the R&D Tax Credit, the Work Opportunity Credit, and the Credit for Employer-Provided Child Care Facilities and Services.
6. In addition to IRA Contributions, Consider SEP IRA Contributions and Profit Sharing Plans which allow you to save (and keep your money) while receiving a tax benefit simultaneously. These are my favorite!
7. If you purchased or placed in service real estate property in 2020 consider a cost segregation study in order that you may accelerate depreciation.
1. The 2020 401k Contribution Limit is $19,500 ($26,000 for those over age 50). You have until 12/31/2020 to make these contributions through salary deduction. Pretax contributions will not be taxed in 2020 but will be taxed when withdrawn at retirement.
2. If you don't itemize deductions you can now deduct up to $300 in charitable contributions in addition to the standard deduction, so make those contributions before year end.
3. The CARES Act directed the IRS to issue stimulus checks of up to $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per qualified child dependent earlier this year. The payments were paid based on 2018 or 2019 return information, but are actually structured as advances of 2020 tax credits. If you received less than the credit calculated for 2020, you can claim it as an additional refund.
4. Although IRS tax refunds are generally issued within 21 days of filing, based on our experience this year and the continued COVID-19 crisis, don't expect IRS refunds to be performed in a timely fashion.
5. If you earned more than $122,909 in wages in 2020, 2019, 2018, 0r 2017 and switched jobs or held more than one job you may be entitled to a refund of overpaid CASDI. Check with us when you file your 2020 return and if you overpaid we can claim a refund through the EDD of overpaid CASDI.
6. Consider if you might qualify for the Qualified Electric Vehicle Tax Credit or the Residential Energy Credit.
7. If you sold property in 2020, consider investing in a QOF (Qualified Opportunity Fund) in order to defer or eliminate capital gains tax. Contact us to see if you are eligible.
8. If you have already paid $10,000 in state income taxes in 2020, defer additional payments until 2021. If you expect to owe state tax April 15th, pay up to $10,000 for a full deduction April 15th.
9. If you have realized capital losses in 2020 or loss carryforwards from last year consider realizing gains.
I have been in close contact with many of you throughout the year, but if we haven't had a chance to connect, please feel free to reach out at any time. The best way to connect is email (but please don't reply to this email - it will get buried) or text at 844-418-6440. If you would like to connect over phone or Zoom I am happy to meet with you. Please click here to calendar a meeting.
I look forward to catching up!