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  • Deducting Business Vehicle Expenses

    July 2019 SMALL BUSINESS TIPS Quarterly: Oct 17 Deducting the Business Use of Your Vehicle If you operate a small business and you drive regularly for that business you have two choices: you can either drive your personal vehicle and reimburse yourself for the business portion of the associated costs, or you can transfer the vehicle to the business and pay all of the associated costs directly from the business. Which of these options you choose depends on the vehicle and how you use it within the business. There are no inherent tax benefits to titling your vehicle into your business, in fact doing so limits your options in how you deduct the cost of that vehicle. However, when your vehicle is 100% business use then titling it to your company can simplify your record-keeping requirements and allow you to pay for your vehicle costs directly out of your business account. ​ The first step to decide where you should place ownership of your vehicle is to determine which vehicle cost deduction method is more beneficial in your situation. ​ Standard Mileage Rate vs Actual Expenses There are two primary methods for deducting the cost of using a vehicle for business purposes: The standard mileage rate method and the actual costs method. Standard Mileage With the standard mileage rate you can deduct a specific dollar amount for each business mile you drive during the year (for 2022 the standard rate is 58.5 cents per mile). The standard mileage rate is used more often since it only requires you to keep track of the miles you drive throughout the year and does not require records of any other expenses. However, the standard mileage rate can only be used for a vehicle that is in your personal name. If your vehicle is titled to your business, you are required to use the actual expense method.. Actual Expense With the actual expense method you can deduct your out of pocket costs for fuel, insurance, repairs, etc. You can also deduct the cost of the vehicle by depreciating it over its asset life (typically 5 years). The actual expense method requires much more thorough record-keeping. You need to keep track of each vehicle related expense throughout the year, and if you use the vehicle for both personal and business use then you also need to keep track of the total business and total personal miles for the year Choosing the Right Method If your vehicle title is in the name of your business you are required to use the actual expense method. However, if the title is in your personal name you can choose which method to use in the first year. You can switch methods in the following years, but there are additional restrictions to do so. It is in your best interest to take the time in the first year to determine which method will be more beneficial. ​ The standard mileage rate method is intended to simplify record-keeping requirements while still providing for an accurate deduction for the cost of using your vehicle in your business. To that end, in many cases the standard mileage rate method should provide the same or greater tax benefits as the actual expense method. However, there are specific factors that can make the actual expense method more beneficial: ​ Price of Car: Since you can deduct the cost of a car over several years with the actual expense method, a more expensive car increases the probability that the actual expense method will be more beneficial Fuel Efficiency: With the standard mileage rate you get the same deduction no matter how many miles you get per gallon, so a less efficient vehicle will eat away at a greater portion of your allowed deduction. Highway vs City: If you are driving primarily in a large city you are likely putting much fewer miles on your vehicle while still spending the same amount on car payments, insurance, etc. ​ If any of these factors apply to your situation then you may receive a greater benefit through the actual expense method. It is also worth noting that under the actual expense method you will receive a greater tax benefit in the first few years while you are depreciating the cost of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is fully depreciated your deduction will drop significantly. Under the standard mileage method your deduction will be relatively consistent subject only to small changes in the standard rate each year. ​ Summary If 100% of the use of your vehicle is for your business and you have large vehicle costs either from buying a newer car or driving mostly in the city, putting your vehicle title into your business can simplify your record-keeping requirements without sacrificing the benefits of the standard mileage rate method. If you use your vehicle for both personal and business needs or you drive an older vehicle with a low market value, you may want to keep it in your personal name to preserve the option to use the standard mileage rate. Previous Article Next Article

  • Tax Implications of the Proposed American Jobs Plan

    TAX IMPLICATIONS of the AMERICAN JOBS PLAN President Biden recently unveiled his new infrastructure plan which includes significant tax hikes for corporations and higher-net-worth families. While the plan has not been passed through congress, we thought we would share a quick overview of what is likely to come if there is a shift in tax policy. The plan includes over $2 trillion in proposed infrastructure spending over the next 15 years. To offset this additional spending the plan imposes significant tax hikes on corporations and higher-net-worth families. The plan also includes a number of changes to corporate tax law while modifying the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed in 2017. Increased Corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%... While the 7% corporate tax hike may translate into lower stock prices, reduced 401(k) matching, fewer bonuses, fewer raises and fewer stock grants for employees, another impact is likely to come from the income phaseouts on Roth and traditional IRAs. In addition to these proposed changes is a significant tax increase on those making over $400,000 a year. Higher income, capital gains and estate taxes… President Biden campaigned on taxing the wealthy and he’s now beginning to deliver on that promise. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the $400,000 threshold for higher taxes would be for families. That implies that individuals surpassing the $200,000 threshold are also likely to face higher taxes. The changes that U.S. taxpayers are facing provide Monotelo with a significant opportunity to demonstrate our value. By getting creative and thinking outside the box, we can equip you to take proactive steps to reduce your short-term and lifetime tax burden. If you would like to learn more about the specific changes that are being proposed, please see below. Warning! There is a fair amount of tax speak here! The proposed tax plan includes the following changes: Imposes a 12.4 percent Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (Social Security) payroll tax on income earned above $400,000, evenly split between employers and employees. This would create a “donut hole” in the current Social Security payroll tax, where wages between $137,700, the current wage cap, and $400,000 are not taxed. Reverts the top individual income tax rate for taxable incomes above $400,000 from 37 percent under current law to the pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act level of 39.6 percent. Taxes long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the ordinary income tax rate of 39.6 percent on income above $1 million and eliminates step-up in basis for capital gains taxation. Caps the tax benefit of itemized deductions to 28 percent of value for those earning more than $400,000, which means that taxpayers earning above that income threshold with tax rates higher than 28 percent would face limited itemized deductions. Restores the Pease limitation on itemized deductions for taxable incomes above $400,000. Phases out the qualified business income deduction (Section 199A) for filers with taxable income above $400,000. Provides renewable-energy-related tax credits to individuals. Expands the estate and gift tax by restoring the rate and exemption to 2009 levels. Expands the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) from a maximum of $3,000 in qualified expenses to $8,000 ($16,000 for multiple dependents) and increases the maximum reimbursement rate from 35 percent to 50 percent. For 2021 and as long as economic conditions require, increases the Child Tax Credit (CTC) from a maximum value of $2,000 to $3,000 for children 17 or younger, while providing a $600 bonus credit for children under 6. Reestablishes the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit, which was originally created during the Great Recession to help the housing market. Biden’s homebuyers’ credit would provide up to $15,000 for first-time homebuyers. ​ Source: ​ If you would like to learn more about how these changes will directly impact you or how to proactively address these changes so your financial security is not put at risk, please reach out to us at or 800-961-0298. Failing to order your affairs to minimize your tax burden could cost you significant money - so don't wait to take action. If you have additional questions or need some planning help, please reach out to us.

  • Five Retirement Mistakes

    Five Retirement Mistakes - Full Webinar All Videos Five Steps for Retirement Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Now Playing Five Steps for Retirement 03:12 Play Video Now Playing Wages vs Distributions 02:44 Play Video

  • Home Test 2021 | Monotelo Advisors

    Making a difference with meaningful and actionable financial solutions that positively impact our clients' lives. Get Started SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS If you are a small-business owner, there is a high probability that you are paying more tax than what is required. The key to lowering your tax bill is not in finding a competent CPA to file your tax returns, it's in finding an expert with a disciplined process to help you plan your future. LEARN MORE Financial Planning If you are a small-business owner, there is a high probability that you are paying more tax than what is required. The key to lowering your tax bill is not in finding a competent CPA to file your tax returns, it's in finding an expert with a disciplined process to help you plan your future. LEARN MORE Tax Expertise Click here to access the tools and articles designed to help you manage your taxes and your finances while giving you confidence to take the steps needed to prepare for a future filled with peace, hope, and financial security LEARN MORE CONTACT US Submit

  • Prospects: Five Changes | Monotelo Advisors

    TO BE AWARE OF UNDER THE 2018 TAX REFORM At the end of last year President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, signaling the largest tax reform in over three decades. We have received a lot of questions recently on how this law will affect our clients. With the tax season now behind us it is time to address how these changes will impact you in 2018. ​ There are many aspects to this law and there is no "one size fits all" explanation for how it will impact our clients. Some of our clients will win and some of them will lose under the new law. With that in mind we have outlined the five changes that we believe are most relevant to you. Personal exemptions historically represented a $4,000 reduction in taxable income for each dependent listed on the tax return. Under the new law these exemptions have been eliminated. However, to help mitigate the loss of these exemptions, the law also made changes to the child tax credit and has added a new credit for non-child dependents. ​ Starting in 2018 the Child Tax Credit has been doubled to $2,000 per child, $1,400 of which is refundable. The phaseout threshold for the Child Tax Credit has also been drastically increased to $200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for joint filers. This means that most taxpayers who were previously prevented from claiming the full Child Tax Credit will now be able to claim the entire credit. ​ Additionally, the law has introduced a new $500 credit for any dependents who are over the age of 17, allowing parents to continue to receive a tax benefit for children in college or other adults residing in their home. SUMMARY There are many moving parts in the new tax law, with a lot of them working to balance one another out. Some of our clients will see a decrease in their tax bill while others will see it increase. Overall, we do not expect any of our clients to see drastic changes, good or bad, with the new code. We expect the majority of our clients to see an increase or decrease in their tax bill of less than $1,000. If you would like to know how the tax reform will directly impact you, please call our office. Interested in a free review of your last three tax returns? Schedule a meeting to get started! Tax Brackets The number of brackets remains at seven. And the percentage charged at each of these brackets has been reduced, with the notable exception of the lowest bracket of 10% which remains unchanged. The majority of our clients who were previously in the 15% or 25% tax bracket will now find themselves in the 12% or 22% bracket respectively. You may have already noticed the impact of these new brackets when your employer adjusted your withholdings earlier in the year, increasing your take home pay. UNREIMBURSED EMPLOYEE EXPENSES The change that could have the greatest impact on our public servant clients is the elimination of the deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses. As the law currently stands, employees will no longer be able to deduct their union dues, work uniforms, tools, or any other expenses related to their employment. The only exception to this is the special $250 allowance for teacher's expenses which remains unaffected. ​ There is currently a bill in congress which seeks to reinstate the deduction for unreimbursed expenses. The "Tax Fairness for Workers Act" would not only bring back the itemized deduction for employee expenses but would go a step further and allow for specific deductions to be taken above-the-line, meaning they would not be subject to many of the limitations that currently restrict their use. It remains to be seen how far this bill will go but we strongly recommend that you keep track of your job expenses until a decision is reached. If the bill passes, this will cause job related expenses to have a greater impact on your tax return. ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS AND THE STANDARD DEDUCTION One of the most promoted aspects of the new tax law is the nearly doubling of the standard deduction to $12,000 for single, $18,000 for head of household, and $24,000 for joint filers. While the standard deduction amounts are receiving significant increases, many of the allowed itemized deductions are either being handicapped or removed entirely: The deductions for state and local income taxes as well as property taxes are capped at a combined total of $10,000. This means that homeowners in high income-tax states are likely to lose a portion of this former deduction. The deduction for home mortgage interest remains but is limited to mortgages that do not exceed $750,00, down from the previous threshold of $1,000,000. All miscellaneous itemized deductions (including tax preparation fees, casualty losses and all unreimbursed employee expenses) have been eliminated entirely. The increased standard deduction amounts combined with the additional restrictions on itemized deductions increases the chances of the standard deduction being more beneficial than itemizing deductions in 2018.​ 1 ABOVE THE LINE DEDUCTIONS Above-the-line deductions are more beneficial than itemized deductions as they have far fewer restrictions. The new tax law retains many of these deductions including educator expenses, student loan interest, and contributions to Health Savings Accounts. Two deductions that have been changed are expenses for a job-related move, and alimony payments. ​ Starting in 2018 expenses for a job-related move will only be deductible by active members of the military. Starting in 2019 alimony payments will no longer be deductible. However, this will only apply to divorce agreements settled after the start of 2019. This means that alimony payments from divorce agreements that were already in place prior to 2019 will continue to be deductible. FIVE CHANGES 3 PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS AND THE CHILD TAX CREDIT 2 4 5 At Monotelo, we exist to make a difference with meaningful and actionable financial solutions that positively impact our client's lives. If you have questions about what steps you can be taking to prepare for your retirement years, call us at 800-961-0298

  • Tax Consequences of Reinvesting Your Mutual Fund Distributions

    1 2 If you hold shares of a mutual fund in a taxable investment account (taxable meaning not held in an IRA or other “deferred” investment account), then you will receive distributions from this fund in the form of interest, dividends or capital gains. These distributions are likely automatically reinvested into more shares immediately after they are received. While this can help you keep your money productive, it can also create a number of tax consequences when these funds are not held in tax-deferred accounts. Save as PDF TAX CONSEQUENCES of Reinvesting Your Mutual Fund Taxes on Reinvested Distributions When these funds are held in a taxable account, you will pay taxes on the interest, dividends or capital gains in the year that you receive them, even if they are immediately reinvested back into the fund. This can come as a surprise to some taxpayers who think they shouldn’t owe any taxes since they never pulled the money out of the account. ​ Disallowed Losses When a fund that you hold shares in has declined significantly in value you may sell those shares to prevent any further decline in value as well as to realize a tax deduction for your losses. However, if the proceeds are automatically reinvested back into the fund you may cost yourself the tax deduction for those losses due to the IRS “wash sale” rule. This rule states that when you purchase “substantially identical” shares within 30 days before or after the loss sale, your deduction will be reduced by the amount of purchases made within the window. If you plan to sell shares of a fund to realize a loss, make sure the proceeds are not automatically reinvested in a similar fund within 30 days. Records Nightmare from Long-Held Stock When you sell shares of a fund you need to report the original purchase price in order to reduce the taxable gain on the sale. If you only held the shares for a few months or a few years, then this likely is not a cause for concern. The fund company should know exactly when you purchased the shares and how much you paid. However, if you purchased the shares many years or even decades ago, you could find yourself making countless phone calls and digging through old records to try and determine your basis in the shares. Worse, if you cannot find your original purchase price the IRS will set it at zero and you will owe capital gains taxes on the entire sale. ​ Reinvesting at the Top You are likely to receive more distributions from a mutual fund after the fund has a profitable year. If your distributions are set to be reinvested automatically this can lead to you routinely buying more shares at their highest price and fewer at their lowest price. In these situations, it may be more advantageous to manually invest the distributions in other funds that are not at their peak price. ​ Summary Automatically reinvesting your earnings from mutual funds is an efficient way to keep your money active in the market without requiring your constant supervision. However, it can also create some unforeseen tax consequences at the end of the year if those funds are not held in a tax deferred account such as an IRA. Being aware of these potential tax consequences and monitoring your investment account throughout the year can help you avoid surprises and headaches when you file your taxes at the end of the year. Read more articles Share Failing to order your affairs to minimize your tax burden could cost you significant money - so don't wait to take action. If you have additional questions or need some planning help, please reach out to us.

  • How to Deduct Your Vacation Travel as a Business Expense

    HOW TO DEDUCT YOUR VACATION TRAVEL As A Business Expense Taking a vacation can be expensive, so naturally the idea of deducting your vacation expenses on your tax return is an appealing idea. However, before you get carried away planning a lavish vacation with the hopes of writing off the entire cost, make sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements to qualify your expenses as business travel. To qualify for a tax deduction the trip needs to serve a legitimate business purpose. Handing out business cards on the beach does not count. There are 5 criteria your trip must meet to be a qualified business expense: 1. Profit motive. The trip must serve a legitimate profit motive. This means that you can reasonably expect the trip to create profit either now or at some point in the future. ​ 2. Stay overnight. You can only deduct meal and lodging expenses when you are away from home overnight. ​ 3. “Rational Businessperson” test. Your trip will only qualify as a business expense if the business motive is strong enough that a rational businessperson would make the trip if business was the only motive. ​ 4. Primary purpose test. You can only deduct your travel expenses when your trip is primarily for business. This is determined by calculating the number of business days vs personal days of the trip. This may sound like a deal breaker, but it is easier to meet this requirement than you think. ​ 5. Maintain good records. If you do not properly document the business purpose of your trip, your travel expenses, or your actual business activities on the trip you will risk losing your entire deduction. ​ Your trip expenses can be broken down into two general categories with different requirements to be deductible: Transportation Expenses Transportation costs include airfare, train tickets, or the cost of a rental car to get to your destination. These expenses are all-or-nothing, if the majority of your trip days are business days you can deduct all of your transportation costs. If the majority of your trip days are personal you cannot deduct any of these costs. Life Expenses Life expenses include your daily meals and lodging. Unlike transportation expenses you do not need to meet the majority of business days threshold to take life expenses. Instead you simply take the life expenses for each business day of the trip. What Counts as a Business Day? It may be easier than you think to qualify most of your trip as business days. Each day of the trip only needs to meet one of these criteria to qualify as a business day: ​ Work more than four hours. You have a workday when you spend more than half of normal work hours pursuing business. Since a normal workday is eight hours you only need to work for more than four. Presence-required day. If you are required to be at a destination on a specific day for a legitimate business purpose. For example, if you have a meeting with a client in another city on Tuesday, then Tuesday qualifies as a business day even if that is your only business activity for that day. Travel day. Days you spend traveling to or from your business destination count as business days as long as you are traveling in a reasonably direct route. Weekends and holidays. If a weekend or holiday falls in between two business days you can count those days as business days as long as it would not be practical to return home in between the two business days. If you live in California and have meetings in New York on Friday and Monday, it would not be practical to return to California for the weekend. Therefore, all four days count as business days. Saved-money-on-travel days. If you arrive at a destination a day early or leave a day late in order to save on your travel expenses you can count the extra day as a business expense as it served a legitimate business purpose of reducing your travel costs. Summary The rules governing business travel allow for some freedom to deduct vacation time as business expenses, but do not provide a blank check to write off an entire vacation simply because you spent a few minutes discussing business. You need to find the right balance between work and relaxation, properly document your work activities, and maintain records of all your expenses.

  • HOW WE HELP CLIENTS | Monotelo Advisors

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  • Corporate Income | Monotelo Advisors

    One step away to save on your taxes. Schedule a quick 10-minute, no-obligation consultation. ARE YOU PROTECTING YOURSELF From Your Corporate Income? ​ While there are potential tax savings with a corporate structure in place, it is critical that the corporation be the entity that actually earned the income. ​ WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? A fundamental principle of tax law is that income is taxed to the entity who earns it; and any attempts to divert the income away from its true earner are not recognized by the IRS. AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? It means the corporation (not the business owner) must be the entity that contracts for the services that it will have you (the business owner) provide. It means the corporation needs to be the entity that gets paid (not the business owner) for the services provided. It means the corporation must have control over the income it receives. Once it receives the income, it can then direct it to the business owner via payroll or a shareholder distribution. ​ WHAT ARE THE MAIN TAKEAWAYS HERE? If you have self-employment income, you should consider the potential tax benefits of a corporation At Monotelo, we believe that clients who have self-employment income should consider the potential benefits of structuring their business as a corporation. That is because a corporation can provide asset protection and potential tax benefits that are not available to the self-employed individual who files a Schedule C with their tax return. 1. Have your clients or customers write their check directly to the business. Do not accept checks written to you personally. A check made out to you and signed over to the business puts the business owner at risk of double taxation and penalties. ​ 2. Have the corporation pay you a salary for the services you are providing to the corporation. ​ 3. Make sure that all contracts and agreements with clients are between the client and the corporation, not between the client and the business owner. Save as PDF

  • 2020 Year-End Tax Planning

    YEAR END Tax Planning With roughly 6 weeks to go until we can say goodbye to 2020, now is a great time to review your personal situation and consider any year-end adjustments to minimize your short and long-term tax liability. We have identified five year-end planning strategies you can use to minimize your tax burden. ​ Maximize Your Retirement Account Contributions If you have a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 retirement account you can contribute up to $19,500 ($26,000 if you are over the age of 50) for 2020. Contributions to any of these plans must be made before January 1st to apply to 2020. ​ Before you contribute to your 401(k) you should watch our 4-minute video Why 401k Plans Are Sub-Optimal . ​ You can also contribute up to $6,000 ($7,000 if you are over the age of 50) to a traditional or Roth IRA for 2020 depending on your income. Contributions to traditional or Roth IRAs can be made up until April 15th of next year and still be applied to your 2020 contributions. ​ If you qualify for a Health Savings Account you should max out your contributions to the HSA before making further contributions to your other retirement accounts. This is because HSAs allow for a tax deduction for your contributions, tax-free growth of the assets in your account, and tax-free distributions when used for medical expenses. With significant medical expenses almost guaranteed later in life, an HSA combines the best of both traditional and Roth retirement accounts. For more on HSAs read “Six Myths About Health Savings Accounts ” ​ Take Advantage of Tax-Free Capital Gains If your taxable income is below $40,000 (80,000 if you file a joint return) then your long-term capital gains tax rate is 0%. If your taxable income is below these thresholds and you own stocks or other investments that have appreciated in value you can take advantage of this 0% tax rate by selling your investments with long-term capital gains and not pay any federal income taxes. If the sale of your investment pushes your taxable income above the thresholds for the 0% bracket you will pay 15% on the amounts above the threshold but will not pay taxes on the amount up to the threshold. While capital gains below these income thresholds are tax-free, the proceeds from the sales will still increase your taxable income for the calculation of certain tax credits such as the premium tax credit for health insurance. If you are currently receiving the premium tax credit, selling your investments could reduce the amount of the credit that you qualify for. ​ Set Up a Donor Advised Fund The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the standard deduction while also limiting or removing various itemized deductions. As a result of these changes a much greater percentage of taxpayers will be taking the standard deduction between now and 2025 when the tax cuts expire. This also means that meaningful charitable donations may have little impact on your tax return. This is because a much larger portion of your charitable deduction is being used to reach the standard deduction threshold before you can realize any tax savings. One way you can work around this new limitation is to set up a donor advised fund. With a donor advised fund you can make a large contribution to the fund in one year and then make donations out of the fund to your charities of choice over the course of several years. With a donor advised fund you get a tax deduction in the year you contribute to the fund, regardless of when the fund distributes money to a charity. For example, if you typically give $5,000 each year to your church, you can choose to contribute $15,000 now to a donor advised fund and distribute $5,000 out of the fund each year for the next 3 years. Then refill the fund at the end of the 3rd year. By bunching your contributions into every 3rd year, you can prevent the bulk of your charitable donations from being absorbed by the standard deduction threshold. ​ Consider a Roth Conversion Contributing to a traditional IRA or 401(k) provides tax savings today by pushing the tax liability into your retirement years. This strategy can make sense when you are likely to be in a lower tax bracket in retirement. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has created one of the lowest tax environments our country has seen in decades. With that in mind there is no guarantee that you will be in a lower tax bracket at retirement. And with our national debt skyrocketing, you could find yourself in a higher tax bracket when you retire, even if your income is lower than it is today. ​ With higher tax rates likely in the future, you may want to consider converting some of your 401(k) or traditional IRA funds into a Roth IRA, paying taxes now in today's low tax environment in order to realize tax-free distributions later in retirement. With the results of the 2020 election, time could be running out to take advantage of the low tax rates. ​ For more information on why a Roth conversion may be a limited time opportunity watch our 3-minute video Tax Efficient Retirement Planning. Converting your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA is an option for everyone, even if you are above the income threshold to make a normal contribution to a Roth IRA. You will also not be subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty you would face when taking early distributions from a traditional IRA. ​ For more information on why a Roth IRA could be the right choice watch our 4-minute video The Big Picture . ​ Return Your Required Minimum Distributions If you are over the age of 70 ½ then you are required to withdraw a certain amount from your traditional IRA each year through Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). These RMDs can create an unwelcome tax liability. Fortunately, as part of the CARES Act, all RMDs for 2020 have been waived. This means that if you have not yet taken your RMDs for 2020 you can choose not to take any for the year. If you already took your RMDs for the year then you have a few potential options to undo them. ​ Option 1: Indirect Rollover When you take funds out of your IRA you have 60 days to either return the funds to the original IRA or invest them in another IRA through what is referred to as an indirect rollover. If you return the funds or reinvest them in another IRA within the 60 days you can avoid any taxes or penalties that would have otherwise been due on the distribution. You can only complete one indirect IRA rollover per year. ​ Option 2: Coronavirus-Related Distribution If you took your RMDs earlier in the year and can no longer qualify for a 60-day rollover, you may still be able to undo your RMDs by qualifying them as a coronavirus-related distribution (CVD). With CVDs you can take up to $100,000 from your traditional IRA at any point in 2020 and you have 3 years from the date of the distribution to recontribute the funds and avoid paying income taxes. If you don’t recontribute the funds you can also choose to spread the tax liability over the next 3 years instead of paying it all on your 2020 return. To qualify a distribution as a CVD you must meet at least one of the following criteria: ​ You are diagnosed with COVID-19 using a test approved by the CDC Your spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19 using a CDC-approved test You are experiencing adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off or having work hours reduced due to such virus or disease, being unable to work due to lack of child care due to such virus or disease, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by you due to such virus or disease, or other factors as determined by the secretary of the Treasury. ​ As you can see, even if you do not meet either of the first two criteria, just about anyone in the United States should be able to qualify under the third criteria given that almost every state issued a shelter-in-place order earlier this year. By reclassifying your RMD as a CVD you can either avoid the taxes altogether by recontributing your distribution within the next 3 years, though we would recommend recontributing before the end of the year to keep everything simple, or spread the tax burden of the distribution over a 3-year period. ​ Summary Now is a great time to review your financial situation and determine if there are any year-end adjustments you should make, as there should be very few income surprises between now and year-end. Taking the time to review your situation and applying some of the strategies we just shared could help you significantly reduce your short and long-term tax liabilities. Read more articles Failing to order your affairs to minimize your tax burden could cost you significant money - so don't wait to take action. If you have additional questions or need some planning help, please reach out to us.

  • Building a Durable Cohesive Plan of Action

    Building a Durable Cohesive Plan of Action

  • Putting Your Self-Employment Income Away for Retirement

    SMALL BUSINESS TIPS Quarterly: Oct 17 Putting Your Self-Employment Income Away for Retirement If you are self-employed or own a small business you have the potential to put up to $61,000 per year towards your retirement by setting up a solo 401(k) ($67,500 per year if you are over 50). Of that $61,000 you can put $20,500 into a Roth 401(k) where all of your distributions will be tax-free at retirement. ​ The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has created a unique opportunity to maximize your retirement cash-flow by utilizing our current low tax rates to save in an individual Roth 401(k) account where your funds will never be taxed again. ​ Before we get into the gritty details of the solo 401(k), be aware that the rules governing these accounts are a bit complex. If you are interested in setting up a solo 401(k) please reach out to us and we will help you determine if you qualify for one and how much you can contribute on an annual basis. ​ Qualifications To qualify for a solo 401(k) you need to operate either a sole-proprietorship or an incorporated business and have no full-time employees other than your spouse. A full-time employee refers to any employee over 21 years of age who works 1,000 hours or more annually. You can utilize the solo 401(k) if you have part-time employees or independent contractors. ​ One advantage of the solo 401(k) over a traditional 401(k) is that as the business owner you are considered both the employer and the employee. This allows you to make employer contributions to your account on top of your traditional deferrals or Roth contributions. The employer contributions cannot be made to a Roth account. They must be made to the traditional 401(k), so they will be tax-deferred when they are made and taxable when you withdraw them in retirement. ​ Contribution Limits Employee Contribution Limits: As the employee of your business you can contribute up to $20,500 ($27,000 if you are over 50) or 100% of your “earned income,” whichever is less. If you are a sole-proprietorship or a single-member LLC your “earned income” is the net profit of your business after deducting your business expenses. If your business is a C-Corp or S-Corp your “earned income” would be the amount of your W2 wages. ​ Employer Contribution Limits: As the employer you can also contribute an additional 25% of your adjusted earned income. If you are a sole-proprietorship or a single-member LLC the formula to calculate your allowed employer contributions is a bit more complicated but works out to roughly 18.5% of your net profits. If your business is a C-Corp or S-Corp your allowed employer contributions are 25% of your W2 wages. Combined Annual Limits: For 2022 the combined limit on employee and employer contributions is $61,000 ($67,500 if you are over age 50). This means if you contribute the full $20,500 as an employee the most you can contribute as the employer for 2022 is $40,500 regardless of how much earned income you have. Summary With the potential to put away up to $67,500 per year towards your retirement, the solo 401(k) is a powerful tool to help you prepare for your future. While 401(k) plans have historically been very costly to set up and maintain, increased popularity has significantly reduced the administration costs in recent years. If you are interested in setting up a solo 401(k) for your business, we would be happy to direct you on how to get started. Previous Article Next Article

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