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Recent blog posts

San Jose, CA small business tax credit lawyerThe federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has brought sweeping changes to many areas of tax law. One change that might have been overlooked by businesses is that employers are now eligible for a tax credit if they offer certain kinds of paid family and medical leave to full and part-time workers. If you act before the end of this year, you may be able to qualify for this tax credit.

Qualifying for Tax Credits

Eligible businesses that enact qualifying paid family leave programs or amend existing ones by the end of this year will be able to claim the employer credit. This tax credit will be available for tax years 2018 and 2019. The credit is retroactive to the beginning of the business’ 2018 tax year for qualifying leave already given.

To qualify for the tax credit, employers must meet the following requirements:

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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, CA IRS audit attorneyIf you have been informed that your tax returns will be examined, or audited, you may not know what to expect from the process. Often, taxpayers are upset about having to devote more time to their tax returns, and they may be worried about a larger tax liability or concerned that they will face penalties from the IRS.

All of these thoughts are well-founded. Hiring an attorney to look out for your best interests during the course of an examination is allowed under IRS rules and may help you keep your tax liability as low as possible.

How Is One Chosen for an Examination?

According to the IRS, there are two ways your tax return may be selected for an audit. The first way is by computer programs that find incorrect amounts on your returns when compared to documents like W-2s or 1099s. 

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San Jose capital gain tax incentive lawyerA new federal initiative seeks to infuse low-income areas with investments for new projects and enterprises by offering tax breaks to investors. Opportunity Zones were added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017.

Under the new rules, Qualified Opportunity Zones are low-income census tracts selected by state governors and certified by the Department of the Treasury. A Qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that invests at least 90 percent of its capital in Opportunity Zones. 

How Do Opportunity Zones Incentivize Investors?

When an investor makes a gain from selling a capital asset to an unrelated party, the investor can put the amount of the gain into a Qualified Opportunity Fund and defer payment of capital gain tax. This step must be taken within 180 days of the disposition of the sale or exchange.

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What You Need to Know About Taxes When Renting a Residence Seasonally

San Jose, CA tax lawyer property rentalWebsites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway make it easier than ever to generate income by renting out a private residence, meeting the huge demand for home rentals, especially during the summer months when people go on vacation. However, the income collected from rental of a residence is typically subject to taxation, and there are special tax rules that must be followed. If you are a homeowner who plans to rent your property seasonally, you should be sure to understand whether your situation meets certain IRS requirements for taxation. 

Residential Rental Property Defined

The first step in determining how rental income will be taxed is understanding if the property you are renting is a residential rental property under the definition provided by the IRS. A dwelling will be classified as a residence if it is utilized for personal purposes during the tax year for 14 days, or for 10 percent of the total number of days the residence has been rented to tenants at its fair rental value, whichever is greater. Personal use could include the use of the dwelling by:

  • Anyone who owns a part of the dwelling;
  • Any family members of anyone who owns the property in whole or in part (unless the family member uses the dwelling as his or her primary residence and pays fair rental value to the owner);
  • Anyone who uses the property as part of an arrangement that allows the owner to use a different dwelling; or
  • Anyone who uses the property after receiving a discount that results in that person paying less than the property’s fair rental value.

Income, Deductions, and Other Considerations

According to the IRS, rental income includes regular and advance rent payments, penalties for lease cancellation, and expenses paid to the property owner by the renter. This income generally must be reported each year. 

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