The Tax Benefits of Showing a Loss

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Tax Benefits
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As head of the team of professionals at ADVISORY GROUP ASSOCIATES’ Tax & Advisory firms, Frank L. Zerjav Sr., CPA, guides a respected St. Louis County, Missouri, with clients nationwide that for over 40 years of trust offers a broad spectrum of professional accounting, compliance, tax & advisory services to Individuals, Investors, professionals, business and real estate owners. In their complimentary monthly electronic newsletter to subscribers the TAX TIPS NEWSLINE which provides comprehensive and timely insight on a wide range of taxation issues including federal and state incentives and current issues, Frank Zerjav, CPA, and the team recently highlighted strategies for Individuals or businesses that show a loss.

Business or Investment losses, in which income is exceeded by deductions, present a number of tax benefits that can also improve cash flow dynamics. This has to do with the way in which a Net Operating Loss (NOL) within a tax year results in a deduction that is carried back two years and carried forward 20 years. The carry-back element typically results in an instant refund of federal and state income taxes paid during the two years prior.

In certain cases where the NOL carry-back would not generate a significant tax refund, or the money is not immediately needed, it may be advantageous to waive the two-year carry-back and carry the NOL forward. Given the complexity of the subject, it makes sense to seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable tax advisor. The ADVISORY GROUP ASSOCIATES’ Tax & Advisory firms offer an initial complimentary consultation to help identify proven tax-smart strategies, options and solutions that deliver real value for the professional services needed based upon the particular situation of any taxpayer.

For more information, answers to questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact a Professional Tax Advisor by calling toll free (888) 809-9595 or visit their recently launched website: www.advisorygroupassociates.com

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IRS FORMS 1099

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IRS FORMS 1099It’s that time of year again, when IRS Forms 1099 arrive. Perhaps no one likes IRS Forms 1099 except the IRS. The agency loves them, because they allow for the easy computer matching of Form 1099 data against tax returns. Businesses may not like sending the forms out, but there are penalties for failing to issue them.  Besides, no one wants trouble from the IRS. So as all the forms descend this time of year, here are things to know about Forms 1099:

  • Better to give than to receive. Generally, businesses must issue the forms to any payee (other than a corporation) who receives $600 or more during the year. That’s just the basic threshold rule, but there are many exceptions. That’s why you probably get a Form 1099 for every bank account you have, even if you earned only $10 of interest income.
  • Report every 1099. The key to Forms 1099 is IRS’s matching. Every Form 1099 includes the payer’s employer identification number and the payee’s Social Security number. The IRS matches Forms 1099 with the payee’s tax return. If you disagree with the information on the form but can’t convince the payer you’re right, explain it on your tax return. If you receive a Form 1099, you can’t just ignore it, because the IRS won’t.
  • There are many varieties. There’s a 1099-TNT for interest; 1099-DIV for dividends; 1099-G for state and local tax refunds and unemployment benefits; 1099-R for pensions and payouts from your individual retirement accounts; 1099-B for broker transactions and barter exchanges; 1099-S for real estate transactions, etc.  There are many categories, but the Form 1099-MISC (for miscellaneous) seems to prompt the most questions and covers the biggest territory.
  • Timing is everything. Businesses must now send out Forms 1099 by Jan. 31 for the prior calendar year. However, don’t assume you’re off the hook for reporting income if you don’t receive a Form 1099 by February or even March. There are penalties on companies that issue Forms 1099 late, but some come as late as April or May when you may have already filed your return. Even if you never receive a Form 1099, if you receive income, you must report it. You don’t need a 1099 to report income received.
  • Beware changed addresses. The information will be reported to the IRS based on your Social Security number regardless of whether you receive the form. Update your address directly with payers, as well as putting a forwarding order in with the U.S. Post Office. You’ll want to see any forms the IRS sees.
  • The IRS gets them, too. Any Form 1099 sent to you also goes to the IRS. The deadline is Jan. 31 for mailing some Forms 1099 to taxpayers, but the payer generally has until the end of February to send all its Forms 1099 to the IRS. This year (2017, for 2016 payments), the IRS has moved up the filing date for Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation in box 7.  The reporting date to the IRS will now be the same as the due date for the forms to be issued to recipients, January 31.
  • Report errors immediately. If there is an error on a Form 1099 tell the payer immediately. There may be time for the payer to correct it before sending it to the IRS. If the payer has already dispatched the incorrect form to the IRS, ask the payer to send in a corrected form (document this request in writing).
  • IRS Notices. If you forget to report a Form 1099, the IRS will send you a computer-generated letter billing you for the taxes (CP2000 Notice).
  • Don’t ask. Keeping payers advised of your current address is a good idea, as is reporting errors to payers. In some cases, if you are missing an IRS Form 1099, you may want to keep quiet. If you are expecting a Form 1099, you know about the income, so just report that amount on your tax return. IRS computers have no problem with that. If you call or write the payer and raise the issue, you may end up with two of them, one issued in the ordinary course (even if it never got to you), and one issued because you called.

For more information, contact by phone or email

(314) 205-9595 or toll free 888-809-9595

INFO@ADVISORYGROUPASSOCIATES.COM

ADVISORY GROUP ASSOCIATES’ Tax & Advisory firms.

Trusted Advisors & devoted professional experts providing tax, accounting, compliance and business solutions.

Our Mission:   Sharing Solutions that deliver real value.

Small Business Succession Planning

Taxes

 

A graduate of St Louis University, Frank L. Zerjav, CPA, holds Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance and a bachelor’s degree in commerce. Now leading the ADVISORY GROUP ASSOCIATES’ Tax and Advisory firms. Frank Zerjav Sr., CPA, with his team of Professional Tax Advisors and Tax Resolution Experts helps clients with business and tax planning, tax preparation, tax problem resolution, retirement and estate planning, and the creation of business succession plans.

Business owners should start their succession plans early to avoid rushing as the deadline for their exits looms. Succession plans should be in place approximately a decade prior to the leaving date, as succession often involves working out complex emotional decisions, as well as those related to the business. For example, leaders may need to make difficult choices about whether or not to hand the reins of their companies to family members and may need to consider how to approach the situation if they decide the business should go in a different direction.

Keeping clients informed about plans also helps to give structure to the company at a time when many may be wary about how business operations may change under new leadership. Be transparent about plans when communicating with clients and provide them with information about who is set to take over the company and what that person brings to the table once you depart. Also, apprise clients of any potential changes in business processes that may affect them.

Visit our website: advisorygroupassociates.com

Reporting Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI)

Even though your Retirement Plan is generally recognized as tax exempt before making distributions, it still may be liable for tax on its Unrelated Business Income, which is income from a trade or business.  If your retirement plan has $1,000.00 or more of Unrelated Business Income, either the Custodian, Trustee or you must file Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return.

The Form 990-T may need to be filed for an employee’s 401(k) Trustee, an IRA (including SEPs and SIMPLEs), a ROTH IRA, a Coverdell ESA, or an Archer MSA by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of its tax year.  Failure to file when due (including extensions of time for filing) is subject to a penalty of 5% of the unpaid tax for each month the return is late, up to a maximum of 25% of the unpaid tax.

For many years investors with qualified retirement plans have looked to reduce overall portfolio volatility and improve returns on their investments. This has led to an increased interest in the area of “Alternative Investments,” which include Direct Participation Programs (“DPP”) in oil and gas, hedge funds, real estate, private equity and venture capital funds. These investors have embraced the pros and cons of Unrelated Business Taxable Income (“UBTI”) generated by Alternative Investments for more attractive risk adjusted returns.

Oil and gas drilling funds structured through a limited partnership that holds working interests in oil and gas properties create UBTI when placed inside an IRA or other qualified retirement plan. So, do oil and gas investments belong in IRAs and qualified plans? This is not a black and white issue and the usual answer is no, but there may be exceptions. The nature of certain types of oil and gas DPP investments may have benefits created by the investment that more than offset the potential negatives, or exposure to UBTI. If the exposure to UBTI is insignificant or inconsequential to the total benefits from the investment’s non-UBTI returns, there may be a level of acceptability.

Other energy DPP investments, such as leasebank investments, may be more suitable to an IRA than a drilling fund. Typically, the majority of the returns to a leasebank fund come from capital gains created by the sale of lease assets and passive income from royalty interests. It is our belief that capital gains and passive income are exempt from UBTI, however, we encourage investors to consult their tax advisors for specific advice and guidance.

What is UBTI?

Unrelated Business Taxable Income in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code is the income that comes from an activity engaged in by a tax exempt entity or organization that is unrelated to the tax-exempt purpose of that entity or organization.

UBTI is a tax imposed by Congress on tax-qualified entities that produce profits through business activity instead of passive investments. Examples of passive investments include interest from loans, dividends and gains from private stock holdings, and returns from the purchase/sale of precious metals.

UBTI in an IRA or Qualified Retirement Plan

If an investor holds an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and the Alternative Investment generates income that qualifies as UBTI, the Plan may be subject to taxation. When it comes to self-directed IRA investing, account holders often find out about prohibited transactions and disqualified persons before making investments; but fewer investors learn about (or even come across) UBTI before acquiring their DPP in a limited partnership or purchasing rental real property in their self-directed IRA or 401(k).

There are two scenarios that trigger UBTI for Retirement Plans:

  1. Profits generated from a business/trade.When an IRA or 401(k) derives profit from an operating business that has not paid business tax on those profits before distributing them to the retirement account, those profits trigger UBTI and are taxed at trust rates. This includes net taxable income from working interests in oil and gas properties. Taxable deductions from oil and gas properties can be used in computing net taxable income.  (Generally Mineral Royalties are excluded from UBIT whether measured by production or by gross or taxable income from the Mineral Property).
  1. Leveraged Real Estate Investments. When an IRA purchases real estate using a non-recourse mortgage loan, the Debt-Financed portion of the property’s profits is subject to UBTI. Similarly, if an IRA-owned property is sold while a percentage of ownership is still debt financed, the profit derived from the debt financed percentage is subject to UBTI.  (Generally rental income and Capital Gain are excluded in computing UBTI-property that is NOT Debt-Financed).

What is the tax rate for UBTI? How is UBTI Calculated?

UBTI rates for retirement account investments follow a schedule of “Trust Rates” provided by the IRS on an annual basis. Contact your Professional Tax Advisor about filing form 990-T as soon as you consider investing in an asset that may be subject to UBTI.  Keep in mind that losses in some years may offset profits in subsequent years. Trust rates change from year to year, but slide from 15% to 39.6%.

If your IRA generates UBTI, it does not disqualify the IRA (like prohibited transactions would). It does, however, require your IRA to file an income tax return, which is unusual since an IRA is supposed to be tax-exempt. Since UBTI is generated, income tax will be owed on the income if it reaches certain levels.

Just like individual tax returns, if the IRA generates gross income of $1,000 or more during the tax year, the Retirement Plan must file Form 990-T. Issues that arise with this filing include:

  • The IRA must have a federal tax ID (EIN).
  • The custodian is considered responsible for filing Form 990-T, but most self-directed IRA custodians transfer this responsibility to the account owner.
  • The IRA custodian may not have all of the information required to file the return, since much of the information in these privately-held investments is given directly to the account owner.
  • The account owner ultimately has the final responsibility to file the Form 990-T, and a lack of an understanding of the rules can cause major issues for the account owner.
  • The account owner will also be required to file quarterly estimated tax payments as long as the investment is in place.  Every three months, a tax payment must be made to the IRS if the total tax for the year is expected to be greater than $500.

Note: UBTI may create one of those cases where income within an IRA is actually destined to be double-taxed. Even though you pay tax on the tax as it is earned within the IRA (at trust rates, not individual rates, which are more compressed), when you take the money out of the IRA, you will be taxed again. Paying tax on the UBTI doesn’t create non-taxable basis in the IRA.

Depending upon the nature of the IRA or qualified plan investment, UBTI may be:

Good – with limited exposure, the overall net investment benefits may be worthwhile using assets from this source.

Bad – the tax shelter on some or all investment earnings may be lost and some of the IRA/plan may wind up being double taxed.

Ugly – there are tax reporting and tax estimates that may come into play. Failure to take care of all of these duties could lead to adverse consequences.

Account Owners should not run away when they hear UBTI, but care and proper evaluation are definitely in order. When debating the pros and cons of UBTI in an IRA, the question shouldn’t be “How do I avoid UBTI?” but rather “What is the resulting net rate of return from the investment within my IRA that will generate UBTI”

Dismissing an investment because of the potential payment of taxes should never be a deal killer.

 

PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PROFESSIONAL TAX ADVISOR REGARDING THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF UBTI ON AN IRA OR OTHER QUALIFIED PLAN.

For more information, contact by phone or email

(314) 205-9595 or toll free 888-809-9595

INFO@ADVISORYGROUPASSOCIATES.COM

ADVISORY GROUP ASSOCIATES’ Tax & Advisory firms.

Trusted Advisors & devoted professional experts providing tax, accounting, compliance and business solutions.

Our Mission:   Sharing Solutions that deliver real value.

IRS regulations require us to advise you that, unless otherwise specifically noted, any federal tax advice in this communication (including attachments, enclosures, or other accompanying materials) was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties; furthermore, this communication was not intended or written to support the promotion or marketing of any of the transactions or matters it addresses.