Usually, in the week following the Super Bowl, I do a fun rundown on the various advertisements — at least a short one. But this was an unusual year. Because unless you are a Patriots fan, everything about that game experience was boring, including the commercials.
The NFL can’t be feeling great about its product after that. (Especially in New Orleans.)
So instead of running all of that down, I’m going to give you a different kind of rundown. Now that deadlines are beginning to stare all of us in the face, we’re getting many questions about these things.
So I thought I’d offer you some of the basics today.
As always, we are here for you … and are already getting into the details for some of our Chicago business clients. Is that you yet? If not, feel free to shoot me an email through the email us button at the top of the page about your plans, or give us a call: (773) 995-2990.
But let’s dive in, shall we?
The TCJA And What It Means For Your Chicago Business
“Tax complexity itself is a kind of tax.” – Max Daucus
A, B, C, D, E, F, G … something, something … T, C, J and A.
Remember when the alphabet meant singing songs in class? We don’t really either…
But now, thanks to those last four letters, it means small income tax rate reductions for individuals, and larger ones for corporations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed on December 22nd, 2017 and brought many new provisions with it.
As far as Chicago businesses are concerned, the new law is worth looking into. If you have yet to do so, my goal below is to highlight some specifics before your eyes glaze over … I do remember that from school.
I will say up front: If this is overwhelming to you, there’s a simple solution — have us handle all of it for you. But if you want to tackle it yourself, here are some notable components of the law that went into effect.
And again, this is a mere overview. There is PLENTY more where this came from.
This is an extremely important provision under the TCJA. Under its rule, sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, S corporations, trusts and estates are allowed a deduction up to 20% of qualified business income.
Is there more at stake? Of course. There usually is. I’ve written extensively on this subject before, but you may also trudge through Forbes’ Tony Nitti’s article on Section 199A, if you have a free weekend.
Let’s eat. As a part of the new law, you may continue to deduct 50% of the price on business-related meals as long as the taxpayer is present. In addition, the meals cannot be labeled “lavish or extravagant”. So go ahead and skip the escargot. (Shouldn’t you anyway?) You can apply this law to current or potential customers as well as clients or other business connections.
Another item worth noting: there are new limits on the deduction for business interest expenses. The new provision explains that your deductible business interest is limited to interest income plus 30% of adjusted taxable income and floor-plan financing interest (with some exceptions).
Like-Kind / Be Kind
There is also a completely new provision in regard to sexual harassment cases: certain payments toward any such case are ineligible for deduction. The easiest way to avoid worrying about this law? Ensure your employees value one another’s emotional and physical well-being before it becomes an issue.
All is Not Lost
Working men and women who are not incorporated, like farmers, might be liable to excess business loss limitations. Excess business losses are defined as total deductions attributable to trades or businesses exceeding total gross income and gains for those trades and businesses plus $250,000.
And a new Net Operating Loss (NOL) provision means many Chicago taxpayers no longer have an option to carryback an NOL.
I know things got a little hairy there at the end, but I wanted you to know some of the important new TCJA rules for businesses like yours specifically.
Because the TCJA was signed into effect for 2018 through 2025, many of these laws could theoretically be scrapped when 2026 rolls around … but let’s not worry about that just yet, shall we?
In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions or if we can help your business in any way. It’s why we’re here. It’s why we went to school and sang alphabet-songs in the first place. 🙂
Feel free to forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners.
A.L. Taylor and Associates, PC