Six Options For Small Business Aid And Tax Savings

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"15 years ago, the internet was an escape from the real world. Now, the real world is an escape from the internet." -Noah Smith

Depending on how your business entity is structured, you could be paying anywhere from 15-25% (or more!) of your business revenue into the coffers of the IRS and various state departments of revenue.

Which, of course, is what we're here to help you minimize.

That's why the "second stimulus bill" signed into law in late December 2020 was a welcomed one for us here at Utah Real Estate Accountants -- simply because it means small business owners are getting more choices during a very tumultuous time. Review this blog to see what is appropriate for your unique situation.

So, because we've been getting so many questions about these, I'd like to run them down as simply as possible so you can make the right choice of action. Because action will be necessary in some cases.

1) Revamped and expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit
In order to get this  Read More...


My Small Business Health Quiz (part 2)

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“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius

Regardless of national events, or where things are at with PPP and EIDL -- as a small business owner, it's important that you take a REGULAR, clear-eyed look at the underlying legal and financial foundations of your business.

As we all pull our tax documentation together, I can't think of a better time.

I started with these last week, and I'm wrapping them up today.

My Small Business Health Quiz (Part 2)

From last week...

#1: Is the value of your business firmly established?
(Buy/Sell Agreements)
#2: Is there an emergency plan?
(Will & Asset Protection Strategy)
#3: What happens next?
(Business Succession Plan, and more)

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My Small Business Health Quiz (Part 1)

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#1: Is the value of your business firmly established?
Questions to consider:

  • Have I ever had my business value appraised by an outside party?
  • Do I have a formal buy/sell agreement in place?
  • Is my buy/sell agreement funded?
  • Does my buy/sell agreement adequately protect my heirs, my business, and my partners?
  • Has this agreement been reviewed in the last 3 years?

If you have any plans to someday extricate yourself from your business (and you should ALWAYS consider your exit strategy), these are critical questions.

#2: Is there an emergency plan?
Questions to consider:

  • Do I have a will, and is it up to date with my business wishes?
  • Do I have a plan to retain key employees if something were to happen to me?
  • Are my assets protected from potential litigation?
  • Have I identified and written down my trusted advisors?

Unless you plan to forever cheat death, a business owner would be foolish to not prepare for that event.

#3: What happens next?
Questions to consider:

  • Do I have a formal succession plan prepared and on file?
  • Does my succession plan have a provision for disability?

  • Read More...


Provisions of the Second Coronavirus Relief Bill That Affect Small Businesses

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"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” -Robert Schuller

The passage of this relief bill brought some changes that we had been hoping to see for months (notably the deductibility of PPP-related expenses), but there is much more to this relief bill than merely that, and the $600 stimulus payments that get all of the press.

So I thought I'd delve a little deeper than I did last week on the high points of this CAA bill.

Eviction Relief
This new measure extends the moratorium on evictions under the CARES Act, designed to protect renters from eviction, until January 31, 2021. That means, if you are a renter, you have one more month to get right. For landlords, you need to know that you will have to wait one more month.

PPP-Related Provisions
As I mentioned, businesses are now allowed to deduct expenses associated with their forgiven PPP loans -- this is amazing news.

Further, the new law provides $284.45 bill
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Last of the LAST Minute Tax Moves

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“Every task, goal, race and year comes to an end…therefore, make it a habit to FINISH STRONG.” - Gary Ryan Blair

As I mentioned, time is short, and some moves do require more than this week to pull off -- so I'm restricting myself to those items which you can realistically do something with before the end of the year.

And, again--these are focused on what will apply to your business

Also, the fact that expenses paid via PPP loan proceeds are now deductible might affect these calculations for you.

1) Buy Supplies in Advance (to increase expenses and offset income)
How much disposable equipment do you expect to use in 2021? Order it now so the cost is deductible in 2020 if you need to offset income. Buy what you think you'll need for the coming year, as long as you have the space to store it. This is especially easy to do with software, information courses, or other subscriptions that you know you want to keep.

A word of caution: Under a 12-month rule, yo
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Janet Behm's Annual Holiday Prayer 2020

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"People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering." -St. Augustine

"Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

"Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

"Remind us that the scary-looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares ...

"Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slowly through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, bas
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Janet Behm's Annual Holiday Prayer

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"People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering." -St. Augustine

"Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

"Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

"Remind us that the scary-looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares ...

"Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slowly through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, bas
Read More...


Behm's Guide To Getting Tasks Done

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“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” -Henry van Dyke

I've discovered a few tricks when it comes to getting tasks done through the day -- and managing others who do so. Here are some little tactics I've found to be helpful: 

Turn off cell phone alerts.
Resist the temptation to stop what you're doing every time your phone beeps with a new message. You'll be better able to focus on tasks when you're not constantly distracted and interrupted.

Fine-tune your to-do list.
When planning your day, add estimated times to each item on your to-do list. This will help you decide what to do first and what can be saved for later.

Run two-minute drills.
Every few hours, look at your list for tasks that can be done quickly--answering emails and phone calls, confirming appointments, and the like. Spend a few minutes clearing those away, and you'll have more blocks of uninterrupted time to take on bigger tasks.

Take regular breaks.
You'll burn out if you go full throttle for eight or 10 hours. Determine how long you can effectively concentrate on a single task (usually between 30 minutes and an hour, for most peop
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12 Year-End Todos...

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2021 is hurtling at us, isn't it? May it ever come sooner.

Well, except for this part:

I'm here to remind you to plan now for how to best position your income, assets, and other revenues for the most favorable tax positions possible.

Let's make some tax-smart moves before 2020 comes to a close.

Here's one not many people are talking about: tax-deductible, employer-paid student loan payments.

Hidden within the CARES Act was this gem: employers can pay up to $5,250 to employees as student loan repayment assistance and it will not be taxable income to the employee. Employers can ALSO deduct the amount and not pay federal payroll taxes on the payments.

So if you're an "employee" of your own a business, and you have outstanding student loans, here's what to do:

  1. Make a written plan (there are some provisos here -- more in a moment)
  2. Make a payment to your student loans up t
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Good News Depends On Where The Fence Is

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There's both good news (for some) and bad news (for many) as we round the corner into December.

And I'm not talking about our culture, or politics, or sports, or anything like that.

I'm talking about TAXES.

I'll start with the good news. This is applicable to some of my readers only, but it is nice news for business owners in certain high tax states.

One of the difficult aspects of the TCJA was the "SALT" (state and local tax) deduction limitations. Specifically, in high-tax states, this represented a difficult setback in what could be deducted.

Well, one semi-sneaky way around this limitation has just been tentatively approved by the IRS in Notice 2020-75: paying these taxes on behalf of the owner or partners through an S-corp or partnership (pass through entity), and enabling them to be counted as a business expense.

This workaround immediately came into effect in MD, LA, CT, NJ, OK, RI and WI. Four more states already have legislation on the dockets: AL
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