The CPA Desk

A Thought Leader Production by PKFTexas

Tag Archives: tax

Opportunity Zones – What Are They and How They Provide Tax Savings

Recently, the Houston Business Journal published an article on their website authored by PKF Texas Tax Director, Martin Euson, JD, about Houston’s designated “opportunity zones.” What are opportunity zones? According to Euson’s article, opportunity zones are part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s new program, which was created by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act… Continue Reading

Tax Deduction Considerations When Donating Artwork to Charity

If you’re charitably inclined and you collect art, appreciated artwork can make one of the best charitable gifts from a tax perspective. In general, donating appreciated property is doubly beneficial because you can both enjoy a valuable tax deduction and avoid the capital gains taxes you’d owe if you sold the property. The extra benefit… Continue Reading

Key Q4 2018 Deadlines for Businesses and Other Employers

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. October 15 If a calendar-year C corporation that filed an automatic six-month extension: File a 2017 income tax… Continue Reading

Do You Need to Pay Estimated Tax by September 17?

To avoid interest and penalties, you must make sufficient federal income tax payments long before your April filing deadline through withholding, estimated tax payments, or a combination of the two. The third 2018 estimated tax payment deadline for individuals is September 17. If you don’t have an employer withholding tax from your pay, you likely… Continue Reading

Tax Break for Teachers in the New School Year

When teachers are setting up their classrooms for the new school year, it’s common for them to pay for a portion of their classroom supplies out of pocket. A special tax break allows these educators to deduct some of their expenses. This educator expense deduction is especially important now due to some changes under the… Continue Reading

What is the Right Accounting Method for Your Tax Purposes?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) liberalized the eligibility rules for using the cash method of accounting, making this method — which is simpler than the accrual method — available to more businesses. Now the IRS has provided procedures a small business taxpayer can use to obtain automatic consent to change its method of… Continue Reading

The TCJA Prohibits Recharacterization, 2017 Conversions Still Eligible

Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can provide tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement. But what if you convert your traditional IRA — subject to income taxes on all earnings and deductible contributions — and then discover you would have been better off if you hadn’t converted it? Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs… Continue Reading

How the TCJA Has Made the “Kiddie Tax” More Dangerous

Once upon a time, some parents and grandparents would attempt to save tax by putting investments in the names of their young children or grandchildren in lower income tax brackets. To discourage such strategies, Congress created the “kiddie” tax back in 1986. Since then, this tax has gradually become more far-reaching. Now, under the Tax… Continue Reading

A Closer Look at the New QBI Deduction Wage Limit

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provides a valuable new tax break to noncorporate owners of pass-through entities: a deduction for a portion of qualified business income (QBI). The deduction generally applies to income from sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations and, typically, limited liability companies (LLCs). It can equal as much as 20% of… Continue Reading

What Can Be Deductible When Volunteering

Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible (if you itemize), it only seems logical that the donation of something even more valuable to you — your time — would also be deductible. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Donations of time or services aren’t deductible. It doesn’t matter if it’s simple… Continue Reading

How “Going Green” Can Save You Taxes

“Going green” at home — whether it’s your principal residence or a second home — can reduce your tax bill in addition to your energy bill, all while helping the environment, too. The catch is that, to reap all three benefits, you need to buy and install certain types of renewable energy equipment in the… Continue Reading

Is Your Not-For-Profit Tax-Compliant with Fundraising Auctions?

Auctions have long been lucrative fundraising events for not-for-profits, but these events come with tax compliance responsibilities. Acknowledging Item Donations If you auction off merchandise or services donated to your charity, you should provide written acknowledgments to the donors of the auctioned items valued at $250 or more. You won’t incur a penalty for failing… Continue Reading

How Well Do You Know Your Health Care Accounts?

There continues to be much uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act and how such uncertainty will impact health care costs. So it’s critical to leverage all tax-advantaged ways to fund these expenses, including HSAs, FSAs and HRAs. Here’s how to make sense of this alphabet soup of health care accounts. HSAs If you’re covered by… Continue Reading

How the TCJA Impacts Estate Planning

The massive changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made to income taxes have garnered the most attention. But the new law also made major changes to gift and estate taxes. While the TCJA didn’t repeal these taxes, it did significantly reduce the number of taxpayers who’ll be subject to them, at least for… Continue Reading

Reconsidering Tax Planning Strategies for International Middle Market

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here today with Frank Landreneau, one of our International Tax Directors. Frank, welcome back to the Playbook. Frank: Well, thanks, Jen. It’s great to be back again. Jen: Last time we talked a little bit about tax reform—how it impacts international businesses—and… Continue Reading

Is Your Not-For-Profit Properly Reporting Donations?

Your not-for-profit probably already ensures that donors receive a receipt with information about claiming a charitable contribution deduction on their tax return. But your obligations may go further than that. For noncash donations, you might have responsibilities related to certain tax forms. Form 8283 for Donors When filing their tax returns, donors must attach Section… Continue Reading

Section 83(b) Election May Save You Taxes on Restricted Stock Awards

Today many employees receive stock-based compensation from their employer as part of their compensation and benefits package. The tax consequences of such compensation can be complex — subject to ordinary-income, capital gains, employment and other taxes. But if you receive restricted stock awards, you might have a tax-saving opportunity in the form of the Section… Continue Reading

TCJA Rule Change Affects Deducting Pass-Through Business Losses

It’s not uncommon for businesses to sometimes generate tax losses. But the losses that can be deducted are limited by tax law in some situations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) further restricts the amount of losses that sole proprietors, partners, S corporation shareholders and, typically, limited liability company (LLC) members can currently deduct… Continue Reading