Entrepreneurs who took a PPP loan this year cannot write off certain expenses on their taxes if they expect the debt will be forgiven, according to the IRS and Treasury Department. The two agencies have issued guidance to clear up the tax treatment of expenses when a loan from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program hasn’t been forgiven by the end of the year.

The IRS and the Treasury issued both a revenue ruling and a revenue procedure, essentially saying that since businesses aren’t taxed on the proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan, the expenses aren’t deductible. The IRS notes that this results in neither a tax benefit nor harm since the taxpayer has not paid anything out of pocket.

“This results in neither a tax benefit nor tax harm since the taxpayer has not paid anything out of pocket,” said the Treasury in a news release. “If a business reasonably believes that a PPP loan will be forgiven in the future, expenses related to the loan are not deductible, whether the business has filed for forgiveness or not. Therefore, we encourage businesses to file for forgiveness as soon as possible.”

The IRS also notes that in cases where a PPP loan was expected to be forgiven, but it is not, businesses will be able to deduct those expenses. However, if a “business reasonably believes that a PPP loan will be forgiven in the future, expenses related to the loan are not deductible, whether the business has filed for forgiveness or not.”

Recently released guidance in IRS Notice 2020-32 further clarifies deducting expenses for PPP loans. The notice make clear that no deduction is allowed under the Tax Code for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of the loan under the CARES Act, and the income associated with the forgiveness is excluded from gross income.

Talley’s professionals have spent hundreds of hours reviewing the law, regulations and SBA PPP FAQs issued on an almost daily basis and we are happy to assist you in the process. We are available to simply answer a quick question or assist in the application and/or forgiveness audit process.

In an effort to address the growing wage gap between chief executives and their employees, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved what is believed to be the nation’s first tax aimed at fighting pay inequity. The “Overpaid Executive Tax,” formally known as Proposition L, will levy additional taxes to any company that does business in San Francisco and has top executives earning over 100 times more than their typical local worker.

Companies with executives who fall into this category face an additional 0.1 percent surcharge on their annual business taxes. The surcharge increases by 0.1 percent per factor of 100, maxing out at 0.6 percent. While Portland, Oregon passed a similar measure in 2018, that tax applies only to publicly held companies. San Francisco’s new measure affects both privately and publicly held companies. A municipal analysis estimates that the tax would bring in roughly $60 million to $140 million, but noted that the amount could vary from year to year.

Opponents to this plan argue that companies could reduce or stop hiring low-level employees altogether as a response to these measures. Such a tax would also dissuade large companies to relocate to San Francisco, ultimately harming the city’s efforts to overcome the unprecedented economic downturn as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Talley’s experienced team of tax professionals provides comprehensive tax compliance and consulting services so you can preserve, enhance and pass on to the next generation the assets and wealth that you’ve worked hard to build. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the current opportunities available to you. For more information, contact us today.

Due to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, philanthropists have brought new momentum to a less popular style of philanthropy: spend-down, or time-limited, philanthropy; in which charitable foundations spend their assets by a certain date, then close up shop. Foundations and donors alike are realizing that humanitarian and environmental issues won’t be solved by only allocating 5% of their assets to charity every year.

Although this concept is nothing new, it is outside of the norm. About 70% of foundations are designed to exist in perpetuity, while about 30% have established deadlines on their spending, according to a January 2020 report by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Campden Wealth. Over the past 20 years, spend-down philanthropy has been growing steadily since 2000, and the current crises seem to be accelerating the movement. Comparing Gilded Age philanthropists, like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, to philanthropists today, Gilded Age philanthropists started their foundations when they were in their 70s while today, philanthropists are starting at a much younger age. Philanthropists are also becoming more comfortable throwing money at certain problems because it’s now easier to measure the impact they’re having. People are more and more confident that they can have impact by giving at a much faster rate.

Individuals in favor of perpetuity for foundations say it will take a long time to end problems like poverty, racism and bias against girls and women and contend that doing so will require a slow stream of funding over many years. Although there is clear value in acting with urgency and dealing with pain and suffering in the current moment, there is also a benefit in thinking in terms of generational long-term change.

No matter the amount, your generosity in gifting time and money to worthwhile causes can have a significant impact on your tax liability. While tax considerations should never drive your charitable giving, it makes sense to structure your gifting to maximize the tax benefits. If you have questions regarding your gifting or estate plan, please contact Talley LLP today

Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus Unveils COVID-19 Stimulus Framework

Earlier this week, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC), comprised of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans from the House, unveiled its “March To Common Ground” framework to help break the gridlock on the latest COVID-19 relief package and encourage negotiators to get back to the table.

The package addresses key areas of need, including COVID-19 testing, unemployment insurance, direct stimulus, worker and liability protection, small business and non-profit support, food security, schools and child care, housing, election support, and state and local aid.

In light of the urgent needs facing millions of Americans, families, and small businesses, the framework is designed for a six month horizon and through the next inauguration, except for state and local funding which extends for a full year.

Depending on the severity of the pandemic and if a successful vaccination program is adopted by March, 2021, a system of automatic “boosters” are designed to incrementally increase the amount of relief to individuals and families. Conversely, a system of “reducers” will decrease the total cost of the package.

A Summary of the Proposed Framework

  • $280 billion in funding for $1,200 stimulus checks plus $500 per child plus dependent adults.
  • The PSC’s framework includes $100 billion of additional health care spending – testing and contact tracing, healthcare provider support, and forgiveness of Medicare loans to providers.
  • $11 billion would go to enhance WIC and SNAP through March and July 2o21 respectively. (WIC is a nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children. SNAP is commonly called “food stamps”).
  • There is $25 billion for rental assistance, rent stabilization and an eviction moratorium through January 2021 and student loan forbearance through December 31, 2020.
  • The unemployment provision is $450 per week for an eight-week transition period. That is followed up by up to $600 per week but not to exceed 100% of previous wage for thirteen weeks through January 2021.
  • Reappropriating $145 billion of PPP money and adding $95 billion in new money with simplified forgiveness and $50 billion for the Employee Retention Credit.
  • $145 billion for schools and child care.
  • Half a trillion in aid to state, local, territorial and tribal governments and
  • $400 million for election security.

The proposed framework would include automatic reducers and boosters depending on how things go based on Covid-19 hospitalization metrics and vaccine progress. If things get better more quickly PPP, state and local aid and renters assistance could be carved back by as much as $200 billion.
Alternatively, if things get worse, the framework’s “boosters” include a 3-month extension on the unemployment benefits starting in February 2021 and another $280 billion for automatic stimulus checks in March 2021.

Meanwhile, Congress is expected to focus in the coming weeks on passing legislation funding the government beyond Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Talley LLP shares the same entrepreneurial spirit that has helped propel our clients to their current levels of success. With over 30 years of experience assisting high net worth individuals and business owners, Talley has the expertise necessary to help entrepreneurs throughout their entire journey, from formation to succession.

Nearly two weeks after President Trump’s payroll tax deferral program came into effect, no major private employers have stepped forward with plans to forgo withholding the levy from workers’ paychecks. Costco Wholesale Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp are among those not participating.

Part of the challenge for the White House is it can’t unilaterally cut taxes and can only defer the due date. Internal Revenue Service guidelines left employers on the hook to pay back the payroll levy early next year, effectively doubling withholding from employees’ paychecks.

Among the challenges, is how companies can get the money owed from people who opt into the payroll tax deferral but leave prior to repaying their portion of the payroll tax being deferred. Other challenges include calculating the precise amount of payroll tax to pay back by the time taxes are due next year in April. If there are under-payments, discrepancies or reconciliation problems, the IRS can assess interest, penalties and additions to tax beginning May 2021, for which employers would be liable.

Trump’s August directive delayed the payroll tax due date for the 6.2 percent Social Security taxes for those making less than $4,000 bi-weekly, which amounts to about $104,000 a year. It was his latest attempt to achieve a second tax reduction after criticism that the 2017 Republican tax overhaul didn’t do enough to help middle-class workers.

Lawmakers did endorse a deferral of the portion of payroll taxes that is paid by companies and it was part of the last stimulus package, approved in March. That measure was easier for employers to administer and acted as a temporary liquidity aid.

Talley’s experienced team of tax professionals provides comprehensive tax compliance and consulting services so you can preserve, enhance and pass on to the next generation the assets and wealth that you’ve worked hard to build. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the current opportunities available to you. For more information, contact us today.

At the beginning of the pandemic, many workers were sent home armed with a laptop and other remote equipment so they could work remotely until it was safe to reopen public spaces again. But if you’re doing your job in a state different from your usual one, beware: You may need to file returns and perhaps pay taxes there.

Each state tax system is a unique combination of rules that consider how long a worker is there, what income is earned, and where the worker’s true home, known as domicile, is. But nearly all states that have income taxes impose them on workers who are passing through. In two dozen states, that can be for just one day.

So far, 13 states and the District of Columbia have agreed not to enforce their tax rules for remote workers who are present due to the coronavirus, according to American Institute of CPAs spokeswoman Eileen Sherr. Some states don’t have an income tax, but more than two dozen others, including New York and California, which are famously aggressive, are still set to levy taxes on these remote workers for 2020.

Most states offer tax credits to offset income earned in other states avoid double taxation. But these credits might not make the worker whole if the remote work is in a state with higher taxes than the home state. For example, a Seattle employee who works remotely from Oregon during the pandemic and owes Oregon income tax won’t get a credit from Washington, because it doesn’t have an income tax.

Businesses with employees or owners working remotely face further tax headaches. Simply having a worker present in a state can trigger so-called nexus rules that raise state taxes on business as well as personal income.

Out of state or telecommuting employees should talk to their employers about where state taxes are being withheld while they’re working remotely. As arrangements that at first seemed provisional take root, taxpayers should also track days spent working in different states, because auditors often use cell-phone or credit-card records to track movement.

Congress has come up with several possible solutions to this issue, however they seem to have limited traction at the moment. The proposed Multi-State Worker Tax Fairness Act, which has been introduced repeatedly since 2016, limits the ability of states to tax nonresident telecommuters. Alternatively, Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act includes a temporary provision which partially restricts such double taxation through 2024.

With these complex issues in play, we urge you to act soon to see how you may be affected when filing your taxes for 2020.

Talley’s experienced team of tax professionals provides comprehensive tax compliance and consulting services so you can preserve, enhance and pass on to the next generation the assets and wealth that you’ve worked hard to build. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the current opportunities available to you. For more information, contact us today.

The Internal Revenue Service will start examinations of several hundred high-net-worth (HNW) taxpayers beginning July 15. These audits will address partnerships, private foundations (PFs), trusts and other matters for sophisticated individual taxpayers. With a coordinated IRS campaign, HNW taxpayers can expect aggressive IRS audits.

Partnerships and Other Passthroughs. The IRS will likely target HNW taxpayers with partnerships and other pass-through entities. Exams will address taxpayers with pass-through structures, such as partnerships, S corporations and disregarded entities. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 overhauled the partnership audit rules to make it easier for the IRS to audit partnerships and collect tax from those audits.

Private Foundations. IRS examinations are expected to include individuals with PFs. HNW individuals and families utilize PFs to facilitate charitable giving and charitable activities. The tax rules governing PFs are complex. PFs are subject to several excise taxes and compliance requirements to ensure that PF assets are devoted to charitable purposes and to ensure that disqualified individuals don’t obtain certain prohibited personal benefits.

Multi-jurisdictional Families. Individuals with non-U.S. assets and income are subject to special tax and reporting requirements for offshore accounts and assets. The IRS has focused enforcement efforts on taxpayers with offshore bank accounts, assets and structures for several years. Reporting and compliance for these assets can be a trap for the unwary, especially for taxpayers living outside the United States, globally mobile individuals and multi-jurisdictional families. The IRS maintains a voluntary disclosure practice for individuals to regularize non-compliance with US international tax and reporting obligations.

TCJA Examinations for Individuals. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made major changes to the taxation of HNW individuals with international assets and activities. Many of the changes had a disproportionate impact on HNW individuals, including the rate structure of the Internal Revenue Code Section 965 transition tax, global intangible low taxed income and limits on available deductions. In May, the IRS announced a TCJA campaign and stated that “[t]he goal of this campaign is to identify transactions, restructuring and technical issues and better understand taxpayer behavior under the new law.” HNW individuals should be prepared to address TCJA tax issues and related planning during the coming cycle of examinations.

How Can Taxpayers Prepare? HNW individuals should be prepared to address issues relating to their sources of income, estate planning, foreign financial accounts, gifts to family members, assets transferred to PFs or charitable organizations and to identify assets they own both within and outside the United States. Increased scrutiny of IRS audits of HNW individuals make it extremely likely that the IRS will consider increasing enforcement measures.

Talley’s experienced team of tax professionals provide comprehensive tax compliance and consulting services so you can preserve, enhance and pass on to the next generation the assets and wealth that you’ve worked hard to build. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the current opportunities available to you. For more information, contact us today.

We’ve heard of artificial intelligence in movies like Terminator and I, Robot. But the real applications of artificial intelligence include analyzing complex data sets, driving vehicles, providing more insightful user experiences, and even setting dinner plans or weeding out spam callers. While these applications have grown incredibly in the private sectors, government agencies like the IRS have also started to employ artificial intelligence as a utility for improving communication, taxpayer assistance, and even detecting tax evasion.

Several government tax agencies have already employed the use of chatbots to answer taxpayer questions. The most recent example comes in the form of Canada’s Charlie the Chatbot. A similar system is no doubt in the works for the IRS, which will hopefully help taxpayers avoid long wait times on the phone and get clarification on confusing documentation on the IRS website. Artificial intelligence has a consumer-facing goal of making lives easier, so it’s not far off to expect time-saving applications like chatbots.

While this appeals to taxpayers and consumers, the ideal application for an agency like the IRS is in tracking tax evasion, and increasing the likelihood of collecting tax payments from delinquent tax payers or non-filers. Such an application comes into the picture as the Internal Revenue Service ramps up data collection and analysis by using artificial intelligence to create graphs and present relationships between data to identify people who may be avoiding their taxes. But the usability goes as far as analyzing the scripts between IRS agents and taxpayers in order to find out how to effectively solicit tax payments, and ultimately “get a check sent.”

In an effort to fulfill these objectives, the IRS has even engaged in relationships with data firms to investigate potential tax evasion. IRS commissioner Charler Rettig even reveals the benefits of these new partnerships with this quote: “If I get a first name and a cell phone number, you’d be shocked how much information Palantir can provide.” Palantir refers to Palantir Technologies, a private data analytics company based in California. The initiatives are still fairly new and uncertain considering the budget of the IRS.

Additional implications come from the already detached nature of the organization becoming more automated, pushing human interaction even further from the taxpayer. Often, taxpayers are already confused as to the reason for IRS notifications, and making the communication process automated could become frustrating and ultimately leave taxpayers even more uninformed.

While the involvement of artificial intelligence in tax processes remains uncertain, human interaction will always be close by. Taxpayers should be wary of the fact that the evolution of technology within agencies like the IRS makes it much harder to conduct nefarious actions like tax evasion.

Talley’s experienced team of tax professionals provides comprehensive tax compliance and consulting services so you can preserve, enhance and pass on to the next generation the assets and wealth that you’ve worked hard to build. We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the current opportunities available to you, your family and business. For more information, contact us today.

With tax season in full swing, it’s a great time to address tax savings strategies that apply to everyone. No matter what your age or what capacity you are employed in, if you are making money then these tips apply to you. We wanted to focus on retirement, not only because it’s relevant in the current self-help-centered social climate, but because saving for retirement is one of the most crucial investments in your future that may also serve as a tax-saving tactic.

Most Americans are not prepared for retirement. Consider the fact that almost 300,000 baby boomers are set to retire each month until 2030 with less than 10% of the suggested minimum retirement savings. The unfortunate reality is that the lack of retirement investments and savings coupled with active debt (e.g., a mortgage), many baby boomers are not in a position to enjoy a stress-free retirement. Many may even be forced out of retirement or kept from retiring altogether. That is why it is so important to take advantage of financial planning options like retirement accounts and leveraging tax-saving strategies that are available to you.

Most workplaces offer options like a 401(k) or 403(b), which are effectively savings accounts that allow you to invest your money while deferring any taxes until a later time. Although there is more to it and the details are generally pretty complex, it’s not hard to set up automatic contributions every month. As a bonus, if you are utilizing a 401(k) offered by your company, they may even offer to match what you put in up to a certain amount.

Traditional IRAs are also an option because you are taxed at the time of withdrawal. As such, these contributions may be considered tax deductions when you file your taxes. Roth IRAs are an interesting alternative because you pay taxes upfront, so the benefits come later on. Either way, the best part is that you can maintain both a 401(k) and IRA at the same time.

In conjunction with money management and financial planning, long-term tax planning can help both you and your family protect your hard-earned money. No matter your situation, consulting with your wealth advisor and tax advisor is a good start.

Talley’s experienced team of tax professionals provides comprehensive tax compliance and consulting services so you can preserve, enhance, and pass on to the next generation the assets and wealth that you’ve worked hard to build. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the current options available to you. For more information, contact us today.

California’s groundbreaking Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) went into effect on Jan. 1st, becoming the standard for determining whether workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors. All companies using independent contractors in California will be put through a three-part test to determine whether they must reclassify their workers. If they don’t pass that test, they’ll have to turn their workers into employees.

The debate that raged around the bill for months focused mainly on its effects on Big Tech and gig economy companies such as Uber, Lyft and Postmates. But by the time the legislation became law last year, its scope broadened to encompass an array of industries, from transportation/trucking to journalism. Proponents of the bill say that it forces companies to replace gigs with jobs that entitle employees to state-mandated protections like paid time off, coverage for job injuries, and unemployment insurance. Critics of AB 5 say despite its good intentions the legislation has boomeranged on contractors, making it harder for tens of thousands of them to make a living in a tight economy.

The three-part AB 5 “ABC classification test” requires businesses to use the following test in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor:

(A) The person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact.

(B) The person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.

(C) The person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.”

If even one of the conditions is not met, then the worker is classified as an employee. As concerns grow over the new law, large companies and third-party organizations like Uber and Airbnb are looking for ways to avoid having to take on a rush of new “employees” under this classification.

Our assessment of AB 5 is that it will have major tax implications across a wide variety of businesses and industries. Talley welcomes the opportunity to discuss what AB 5 may mean for you and your business. For more information, feel free to contact us

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