7 Things Tax-Savvy Business Owners Should Do Before Year-End

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances ArticleIt’s not too late for you to take steps to minimize your 2018 business taxes!

At the end of the year, many small business owners start looking for ways to lower their business taxes using a TFSA calculator. Although the best tax plans are usually implemented year-round, it’s not too late for you to save in 2018 while you begin to plan for next year.

Here are just a few of the many tax-saving strategies we recommend to our business clients at year-end:

1. Time your income and expenses

Although it is difficult to predict how your business will fare next year, we can review your books and business plan to see whether receipt of income and payment of expenses would benefit you more this year or next. If you have had a great year, you may wish to decrease your revenue by delaying some of your December billings until early January. If you have the cash available, you can also increase your deductions this year by (1) purchasing equipment that you were planning to buy in the near future; (2) stocking up on office supplies and other items that you utilize on a regular basis; and (3) pre-paying your business mortgage, rent, insurance and/or professional subscriptions.

2. Depreciate your new equipment

The Section 179 deduction has been expanded – business are now permitted to take a first year deduction of up to $1 million on purchases of qualified equipment. Above this amount, the deduction is reduced dollar for dollar until it completely phases out at $2.5 million. For equipment expenditures that either don’t qualify under or exceed the limits of Section 179, you can take an immediate first-year deduction of 100% of the adjusted basis of the property under the new bonus depreciation rules. The new law also allows you to take this depreciation allowance for equipment that you purchased second hand – just make sure to put it in service before the end of the year. (Well, if you want to estimate how fast the value of an asset decreases over time, then simple try this smart depreciation calculator that helps to calculate depreciation by using four different methods. This depreciation rate calculator allows you to determine simple, auto, and property depreciation instantly.)

3. Set up a 401(k) plan

You are entitled to a tax credit of up to $500 per year towards the setup and the first three years of administering a company 401(k) plan. You also receive a deduction for all amounts put into the plan, which are tax-deferred until you or your employees withdraw funds.

4. Give bonuses to your staff

You can lower your business taxes and make your employees happy with gifts or bonuses at year-end. Keep in mind that while S Corporations can deduct the full amount, C Corporations can only deduct bonuses to shareholders with a 50% or greater interest in the company. These deductions are not available at all to LCCs, partnerships and sole proprietors.

5. Take all available deductions and write-offs

Remember that pass-through entities such as S Corporations and Partnerships are now able to take a 20% off qualified purchases under Section 199A of the new tax code. Also, don’t forget to take a deduction for business loan interest and to write off bad debts and obsolete equipment!

6. Buy energy-efficient business property

Be good to the environment and yourself (through tax deductions and credits) by purchasing energy-efficient business property, vehicles and equipment.

7. Meet with your tax professional now!

“It is vital that you plan your taxes before the end of the year in order to utilize as many new benefits of the new tax law as you can,” says Moskowitz, “otherwise, you may regret missing a tremendous benefit because you only found out about it after December 31st.”

So before you go any further, check out Simplex Group and find all the tax permits and services that could benefit your business.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances ArticleSteve Moskowitz founded the full-service tax law firm of Moskowitz, LLP with the firm belief that everyone with the drive and commitment to start and operate a profitable business should not be held back by fear or ignorance of the tax code. In fact, one of the core principles of our firm is that individuals and businesses should learn how to benefit from it.

About Moskwitz, LLP

The tax lawyers and other financial professionals at Moskowitz, LLP offer comprehensive assistance to businesses large and small, including year-end business tax planning services. Located in the heart of the financial district of San Francisco, Moskowitz LLP works with businesses of all sizes. To learn more about Moskowitz, LLP and how we can help you legally save taxes, visit our website at: or call toll-free at: (888) 829-3325.

How Is an LLC Taxed?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |LLC|How Is an LLC Taxed?Easily one of the most daunting parts of being an entrepreneur, tax season can be complicated if you’ve never been exposed to doing business taxes before.

In this article, we’ll explore how LLC taxation works, so as an LLC owner, you neither overpay nor underpay the government.

Before We Discuss LLC Taxation

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of LLC taxation, it’s important to first understand what an LLC is.
A Limited Liability Company is one of the simplest ways for a new employee to structure their business and have it recognized as a commercial entity in the government’s eyes. The requirements to form an LLC are low, making it the path of least resistance for budding entrepreneurship to achieve legal status.

Forming LLC (through an attorney or online service) enables owners to protect themselves with limitations of the risk their personal assets face, should something untoward happen with the company. In addition, starting fees are relatively small (less than $200 in most states).

The principal benefit of LLCs, however, lies in the discussion of LLC taxes. LLC’s are single taxation entities, meaning that unlike corporations, the income can only be taxed at one level (business or personal income).

How is an LLC Taxed?

The answer to this question technically depends on how the company is structured. If the company is structured as a collection of multiple partners, then the LLC’s income is taxed only at the personal income level.

That means that each of the shareholders in the LLC report income from the LLC as their personal income, and they file individual tax returns. No additional forms have to be completed for the LLC itself.

However, if the LLC is structured as a C corp or S corp, which it can elect to do after it’s created, then it will be required to submit additional documentation. The IRS Form 8832 is used for the LLC to elect to submit taxes as either a C corp or an S corp. The documentation submitted thereafter will determine what additional forms the LLC uses to be taxed (Form 2553 for an S corp and Form 1120 for a C corp).

Without corporation status, the LLC’s income is classified as “pass-through” which means that it just goes into each owner’s personal income return.

Do LLC’s Pay State Income Tax?

Some states require that LLC’s pay income tax at the state level. This is fairly common, and will often take the form of a franchise fee.

The franchise fee is an annual fee submitted whenever the LLC submits its annual report. The annual report contains information regarding total revenues, total operational expenditures, philanthropic expenditures, etc..

Most states will use the federal tax liability as a starting point for their own tax determination. Look up your individual state’s LLC tax law to figure out how much you’ll be liable for this April.

Don’t Mess Up Your Taxes!

Few things can kill a growing company’s momentum than falling on the wrong side of the IRS. Take the right steps to ensure that you’re completing your LLC taxation correctly — look up state laws, fill out the right forms, and consider calling a professional if you need help.

Once you’ve gotten through this tax season, make sure to come back and subscribe for more small business advice!

How do tax changes affect you?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Tax Reform|How do tax changes affect you?Politicians of any experience and caliber love to talk about tax reform. Why should you care? As you already know, tax reform is a change in the current tax code. That includes the way taxes are collected as well as the amount of taxes you will pay. The keyword here is “you”. You are the taxpayer and therefore any change in the current taxation system will have a direct effect on you. Another reason to stay informed about any changes in the tax law is the change in the way taxes are managed and distributed after they have been collected. Your money will be managed by the local or federal government. The way it is done and the places your tax money will be designated to will have a major effect on you on many different levels. If you want to learn more about how tax changes will affect you, go to or read more below.

What are some of these effects?

If the current tax code is simplified enough, you may be able to get your own tax return done. That translates into a few hundred dollars savings annually directly to you. Being able to understand the taxation rules and regulations will give you the confidence to file on your own. If you currently hire a professional out of fear to make a costly mistake, you will be able to save that fee by doing it yourself.

The major goal of any tax reform is to improve and streamline tax collecting processes. Depending on what exactly is changed, you may see effects like lower taxes that you have to pay. As a business owner, you may experience a change in the way you can make business expense deductions. As a homeowner, you may get more or fewer rebates for energy-efficient improvements done at your house.

Tax reform would also call for language simplification when dealing with the IRS. The plain language throughout will help you understand exactly what you are dealing with.

Tax reform will provide taxpayers with the necessary tools to plan ahead. It is especially valuable for self-employed people. The current code already has some tools on how to estimate the amount you will end up paying at the end of the year. However, more improvements will allow you to estimate your tax goals. You will be able to enter your goals like “pay zero” or “get a return” and see how much you will need to put in to meet a certain goal.

Tax reform will provide you with the tools to foresee and prepare for a tax bill or avoid paying a penalty. As we know, the current IRS administration is often ineffective when helping its main customers. Most people don’t feel like figuring it all out on their own. Tax reform will provide more resources for the current IRS. As more webinars by the IRS on how to use the system become available, you will be able to use those tools and save more time and money.