John D. Teter Law Offices

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San Jose business tax deduction attorneyHistorically, business owners have been able to utilize tax deductions based on the cost of assets bought for business use and the depreciation of those assets. However, the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) modified the rules regarding the deduction of expenses under Section 179(a) and the deduction of depreciation under Section 168(g). These changes affect business taxes filed for years 2018 and beyond.

Section 179(a): Business Asset Deductions

This law permits businesses to deduct the purchase price of certain assets as an expense for the year the business begins to use the property. The recent updates to the law raised the maximum expense deduction to $1 million (up from $500,000). The updated law also raised the phase-out limit to $2.5 million (up from $2 million).

This deduction is available for tangible property like tools and technology used in business. The deduction is also available for qualified real property. Under the TCJA, qualified real property includes qualified improvement property, as well as certain types of improvements to nonresidential property, which includes: 

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San Jose foreign asset tax attorneyThe federal government has long been concerned with assets and businesses based abroad but owned by United States citizens. The IRS regularly looks to address income that is purposefully generated outside the country to avoid taxation. As part of the efforts to ensure that foreign investments are taxed correctly, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was passed last year, made sizable changes to taxation rules, such as the addition of regulations mandating that global intangible low-taxed income produced by controlled foreign corporations be included in a taxpayer’s taxable income.

What Is a Controlled Foreign Corporation?

A controlled foreign corporation (CFC) is an American corporation that operates in another country with U.S. shareholders who hold 50% or more of the control of that corporation. American shareholders, directors, or officers of one of these businesses must report their income from the foreign corporation and pay taxes on that income. 

New Laws Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The TCJA provides that a U.S. taxpayer who possesses at least 10% of the value or voting rights in at least one CFC must now report global intangible low-taxed income from these CFCs as currently taxable income. This holds true even if there are no distributions to shareholders. 

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San Jose income tax attorneyOne change ushered in by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 permits eligible employees of privately held corporations to postpone paying income tax on the value of qualified stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) granted to them by their employers. Under the law, one can postpone payment of this tax for up to 5 years.

This law is meant to encourage employee stock ownership in startup or early-stage businesses. It applies to stock options that are exercised and RSUs that are settled as of or after December 31, 2017. 

The IRS has announced and clarified many requirements that affect whether a person may be eligible for tax deferral. For example, in order for a company to be eligible, at least 80% of its domestic employees must have received stock options during a single calendar year. 

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San Jose offshore tax attorney OVDPIf it has come to your attention that your tax filings may not be in compliance with U.S. tax laws and regulations, and you may be concerned you could face criminal liability, the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) may provide a means to rectify your noncompliance status. 

About the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

The OVDP applies to tax issues related to unreported offshore income or assets. The OVDP was created for taxpayers who are concerned the IRS will view their conduct as willful or fraudulent. Under the law, a taxpayer’s failure to report offshore financial assets and fully pay the taxes due related to such assets may lead to criminal charges. Allowing for voluntary disclosure once tax returns have been filed is a way a taxpayer may be able to avoid criminal prosecution.

In order to utilize the OVDP, certain requirements must be met and certain procedures must be followed. Several iterations of the OVDP have been in effect over the past few years. The IRS ended one disclosure program on September 28, 2018 and announced new rules that would affect disclosures made after that date.

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San Jose business tax form lawyerAn IRS deadline for business owners is fast approaching. January 31, 2019 is the date by which employers and businesses must submit wage statement forms and independent contractor forms. 

These requirements were outlined in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which made it compulsory for businesses to submit duplicates of Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) and Form W-3 (Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements) to the Social Security Administration by the end of January of each year. In addition, certain Forms 1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income) must be filed by this date with the IRS to report payments made to independent contractors. 

There are penalties for businesses that do not comply with this deadline. 

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