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San Jose tax planning attorneyIf you are one of the millions of Americans who is saving for retirement, the IRS recently announced some good news for you. Starting in 2019, you can contribute more money to certain retirement accounts, including IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, most 457 plans, and the Thrift Savings Plan for federal workers. These changes will allow many people to save more money for retirement, and more tax deductions will be available.

Changes to Contribution Limits and Deductions

With this change, the IRS has increased the annual IRA contribution limit for the first time since 2013. The IRS also announced rules that make it easier to qualify for a Roth IRA as well as to deduct contributions to a traditional IRA. The changes include:

  • With respect to the contribution limits to IRAs and Roth IRAs, the limit in 2019 is $6,000. That is a $500 increase from years prior.
  • An extra $500 can be contributed to 401(k)s, 403(b)s, most 457 plans, and Thrift Savings Plans. The new limit is $19,000 in 2019.

Starting in 2019, more people will be eligible for Roth IRAs. These IRAs have the distinct advantage of tax-free distributions during retirement. Only those under certain income levels qualify for a Roth IRA.

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San Jose small business tax deduction attorneyThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 has made many significant changes to tax laws that affect both individuals and small businesses. Understanding how these changes will affect the taxes a business owner must pay and the deductions they are allowed to take can help avoid tax penalties or audits. 

One area affected by the TCJA is the allowance for deductions for business expenses. This change went into effect for the 2018 tax year. 

Entertainment and Meal Expense Deductions

Business owners should understand that the TCJA removed the deduction for any expenses incurred by a business involving activities generally considered entertainment, amusement, or recreation. Previously, a company was typically allowed a deduction of up to 50 percent of entertainment expenses. To qualify for this deduction, the expense had to relate directly to the active performance of a business or trade. Common examples of ways a business would claim this deduction were for sporting event tickets or club memberships. Under the new rules, these expenses are now non-deductible.  

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San Jose business tax lawyer, small businesses, tax cuts and jobs act, tax deductions, pass-through incomeThe United States Congress passed a major tax reform bill in December 2017, and lawmakers stated that one of their top priorities was to help grow the country’s economy by alleviating the tax burden on small businesses. While the full effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has yet to be felt, the reform bill contained a number of provisions that will affect the taxes which small businesses pay. Therefore, small business owners should take steps to understand how to make the most of these changes.

Tax Deductions for Pass-Through Businesses

Pass-through companies, in which income is taxed at the rate of the individual business owner rather than through the corporate tax structure, account for 95 percent of businesses in the United States and include sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations. Under the new tax law, pass-through businesses can take a 20 percent deduction on their taxable income, providing them with some financial relief and allowing them to reinvest these tax savings to grow their business. The deduction is subject to several limitations based on the type of business, its financial condition, and the taxpayer’s income.

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