CARES Act Helps Businesses with Change in Interest Expense Deduction for 2019 and 2020
Apr 06,2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed by Congress to help people and businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is temporarily changing some tax limits that were put in place by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. Prior Interest Expense Deduction Rules Section 163(j) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) created a limitation on the deduction of business interest expenses for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. The law applied to interest on all business debt without a transition rule in place prior to the law. Deductions for business interest expense were limited to the sum of: Business interest income Floor plan financing interest expense 30% of Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI) Interest expense that had been disallowed as a deduction in the current tax year could be carried forward indefinitely to future years and would be...
Extended Deadlines for Federal Tax Filing
Mar 28,2020
On March 20, 2020, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued Notice 2020-18 postponing the due date for both filing federal income tax returns and making federal income tax payments from April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020. In addition, the due date for filing Forms 709 (United States Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return) and making payments of Federal gift and generation-skipping transfer tax due April 15, 2020, is postponed to July 15, 2020. There is no need to file an extension to benefit from this extended deadline. However, a taxpayer may choose to file an extension (Form 8892) by July 15, 2020 to obtain an extension to file Form 709 by October 15, 2020. Note that any federal gift and generation skipping transfer tax payments postponed until July 15, 2020 will still be due on July 15, 2020. No interest, penalty or addition to tax for failure to...
DOL Clarifies Effective Date of Certain Provisions of FFCRA
Mar 25,2020
According to information on the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) website,  the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA),  which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, will become effective on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Additionally, the DOL announced in a Field Assistance Bulletin that there will be a temporary non-enforcement  period of FFCRA from March 18 through April 17. During this grace period, no enforcement actions will be taken against private or public employers for non-compliance as long as they are able to show that they have made "reasonable, good faith efforts to comply with the Act." This means: Any violations are remedied as soon as is practical. The violations were not made willfully. The employer must send written notification to the DOL stating it will comply with the Act in the future. The DOL will begin...
2019 Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15, 2020
Mar 20,2020
On March 20, 2020, the Treasury Department announced the 2019 tax filing deadline  has been extended to July 15, 2020. This move is in recognition of the hardship faced by many as a result of restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes an extension of the due date for filing Forms 709 (United States Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return) to July 15, 2020 and making payments of Federal gift and generation-skipping transfer tax. There is no need to file an extension to benefit from this extended deadline. However, a taxpayer may choose to file an extension (Form 8892) by 7/15/2020 to obtain an extension to file Form 709 by 10/15/2020. Note that any federal gift and generation skipping transfer tax payments postponed until 7/15/2020 will still be due on 7/15/2020. No interest, penalty or addition to tax for failure to file will be accrued from 4/16/2020 until 7/15/2020....
Leveraging the Investment Potential of Qualified Opportunity Funds – An Update
Feb 27,2020
A provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was the Investing in Opportunity Act, which allowed for the creation of Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs). In June 2019, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that the city had seen a flurry of activity in some of Atlanta's 26 Opportunity Zones, including in  the historic Fairlie-Poplar neighborhood and the West End Mall. Curbed Atlanta reported in January that the plan to develop the West End Mall into a mixed-use hub featuring offices, shops, eateries and homes has attracted investors and is moving forward. According to the real estate data service, Reonomy, since November 2017, 52 commercial and industrial properties have sold in Atlanta Opportunity Zones, funneling a total of $78 million in new capital to those areas. As we explained previously, this gave investors a possible triple tax break: temporary deferral of tax on capital gains if they are invested in QOFs; a...
Time to Claim Refunds or Credits for Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits
Feb 12,2020
The IRS has released instructions for nonprofits to request refunds of tax paid on taxable employee fringe benefits. Why is this being done? The taxation of these fringe benefits was repealed in December 2019, when the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act was passed into law. Included in that spending bill was the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019, which retroactively repealed the Internal Revenue Code that increased unrelated business income tax (UBIT) for transportation fringe benefits. Originally, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2017 for qualified transportation fringe benefits were required to be reported as unrelated taxable income by nonprofits. This included items such as employer-provided parking and public transit passes. Nonprofits that want to claim a refund or credit of the UBIT they reported in 2017 or 2018 will have to file an amended Form 990-T. The...
These Georgia Tax Forms are Only Available Online
Feb 10,2020
This is a public service announcement for taxpayers who may not be aware of a recent change in tax forms. According to information on the Georgia Tax Center (GTC) website, the State of Georgia’s Department of Revenue (GA DOR) is no longer mailing Forms 1099-G to individuals or Form 1099-INT to businesses. Instead, those forms will be available online. Taxpayers are encouraged to sign up with the GTC, which is run by Georgia’s Department of Revenue, as it gives individuals and businesses a safe and accurate way to take care of your state tax needs. Once you are registered, you can view and download your Form 1099-G or 1099-INT. Other services include paying your taxes online, verifying your return, finding out the status of your refund and even protesting a proposed assessment.
Foreign Workers with Certain U.S. Source Income Have New Withholding Regulations
Feb 10,2020
If you hire foreign contractors or workers to do jobs in the United States, withholding on their payment may be required.  Foreign persons can use the appropriate W-8 form to claim treaty benefits which reduce or prevent withholding. If you have a withholding obligation, you should take note of the final regulations published on January 2, 2020 by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). W-8 forms are used by foreign individuals and businesses to verify their country of residence for tax purposes and certify that they qualify for a lower rate of tax withholding. Form W-8  is submitted to the withholding agents, not to the IRS. The form is kept on file in the event of an audit. Forms are generally valid for several years. Failure to submit the appropriate W-8 form will result in withholding at the full rate of 30%. The new regulations are applicable if you have accepted...
Smith & Howard Named a Top Tax Firm by Forbes
Jan 29,2020
Smith & Howard is honored to have been named one of the Top Tax Firms in the nation by Forbes. In December 2019, Forbes announced its first ever “Best Tax and Accounting Firms” list. The list of the most recommended firms for tax and accounting services in the U.S. was created through a partnership with market research company Statista. Forbes said the 227 firms on the list include businesses of all sizes located across the country. “We are proud to be one of the select firms recommended for our tax services because the recognition comes from our clients and peers,” said Sean C. Taylor, Managing Partner at Smith & Howard. “There are tens of thousands of firms of all sizes offering accounting and tax services nationally, which makes this recognition both humbling and inspiring.” According to Forbes, between August 12 and September 13, 2019, Statista considered 1,800 survey responses from...
What is an IP PIN and Do You Need One?
Jan 24,2020
Identity theft has become a serious problem and fraudsters have used stolen identities to file false tax returns and claim refunds before the rightful filers can do so. Even children’s Social Security numbers are being targeted. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) Opt-In Program to protect taxpayers whose identities had been stolen. Although the program was initially for victims of identity theft, it is being expanded in phases to all taxpayers. The IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on fraudulent federal income tax returns. An IP PIN is used only on Forms 1040, 1040PR and 1040SS. There are a number of reasons for signing up for an IP PIN, but also some drawbacks. Data breaches have become prevalent and most of us have our personal information stored somewhere...

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