5 Tips for Claiming the Qualified Business Income Deduction

Some forms of taxable business income now have a lower rate, thanks to a new deduction for qualified business income (QBI). If you like the thought of paying tax on 20 percent less of certain kinds of business income, be sure to follow these five tips:

Qualifying Income

Only individuals and business owners with certain kinds of income are able to claim this new QBI deduction (also known as the Section 199A deduction). The QBI deduction may allow you to reduce your taxable business income by 20 percent if it’s earned by a domestic business that is operating as:

  • an individual,
  • sole proprietorship,
  • partnership,
  • S corporation,
  • real estate investment trust (REIT),
  • publicly traded partnership (PTP), or
  • some types of trusts and estates.

Income paid to you as an employee and income from C corporations is not eligible income for the QBI deduction. 

Income That Does Not Qualify

Qualified forms of income, minus deductions and losses, total your QBI. Wage income, as well as a dozen other varieties of income, do not figure into your QBI. A tax professional can walk you through the list of income types that do not count toward QBI.

 The Deduction’s Limitations

The 20 percent QBI deduction is only available to certain types of trades and businesses and allowable only under defined income levels. For example, domestic trades or businesses operating as sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, trusts or estates with taxable income at or below $157,500 for those filing as individuals ($315,000 for a married couple filing a joint return), including the unadjusted basis immediately after acquisition (UBIA) of qualified property held by the trade or business. Other limits may also apply. Your tax professional can help you decide which ones apply to your situation. Itemizing your deductions by using Schedule A, or taking the standard deduction, does not affect your ability to claim the QBI deduction.

Trades or Businesses That Qualify

Any trade or business listed under Internal Revenue Code Section 162 qualifies except for three kinds:

  • Those conducted by a C corporation,
  • Performing services as an employee, or
  • A specified services trade or business (SSTB), one that relies upon an individual’s endorsement, likeness, voice, or identity (within certain industries) where the principal asset is the reputation or skill of at least one of its employees or owners. There are exceptions, however. IRS Publication 535 provides additional details about qualifying businesses.

Computing the QBI Deduction

Publication 535 also contains worksheets to help you compute the QBI deduction. In some cases, the Form 1040 instructions will be appropriate to guide you through the computation. Have a tax professional help you decide which method is right for your business. Donohoo Accounting is prepared to answer your questions and find the most deductions that apply to your particular business. Talk with one of our specialists or schedule an appointment today by calling 513-528-3982 or email us. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest tips and updates!

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Personal Tax Prep Checklist

Getting ready to file your 2019 personal income taxes can be a daunting task of collecting information. But don’t worry, the pros at Donohoo Accounting Services are here to help! The information required to file your income taxes neatly falls into four categories: Your personal information, dependents’ information, income sources and deductions.

Your Personal Information

While most people may have this information ready-at-hand for other purposes, others may have to locate it. Either way, you will need it to file your federal, state and local income taxes. Be sure to have your Social Security number or tax ID number, as well as the full name and Social Security number or tax ID number for your spouse if you are married. If you have this information in written or printed form, be sure to shred the document after your tax preparation for security purposes. Professional accountants take very good care to do this.

Dependent Information

You will need the full names of your children or dependents along with their Social Security numbers or tax ID numbers. Having either their Social Security cards or their names and numbers in written or printed form may make filing easier for your tax preparer. However, as mentioned above, be sure to shred the document after your tax preparation for security purposes.

Income Sources
This is where collecting income tax information starts to get tricky, but you can do this!

W-2 Forms

If you and your spouse work a regular full-time or part-time job, your employer will issue a W-2 Form that shows your earnings and tax deductions for the year. Some employers mail W-2 Forms to their employees while others provide access to an electronic document online that you can download and print. Either way, secure a paper copy of your W-2 Forms for yourself and for your spouse.

1099 Forms

Companies issue this form to contracted workers who earn more than $600 within one tax year. Additionally, you may receive a 1099 Form if you received income from non-work sources such as investments, rental income, prior years’ state and local income tax refunds, lottery or gambling winnings, unemployment compensation or retirement benefits. In addition to the 1099 Form, you may be required to provide additional documentation for income earned outside of your primary job. Your tax professional can provide details.

Deductions

Although this area of tax filing seems complicated to most people, taking deductions can reduce your tax liability and may increase the likelihood of your getting an income tax refund. More than a dozen kinds of income tax deductions can be taken, but the most popular deductions are for qualified charitable contributions, home mortgage interest, educational expenses and medical expenses. While you may receive year-end statements from the institutions that received your contributions or payments, consult with your tax professional for details about the kinds of records you need to provide when claiming deductions.

To help you find the most deductions and keep your personal information secure, contact Donohoo Accounting Services at 513-528-3982 for a free consultation. We have served and earned the trust of individuals and small businesses throughout the Greater Cincinnati area for more than 20 years.

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Four Important Tax Tips for Nonprofits

As the close of the calendar year approaches, it may seem to be too early to start thinking about tax season. On the other hand, now may be the best time for nonprofit leaders to begin gathering the advice – and the documents – that they’ll need to maintain their organization’s tax-exempt status for 2020. These four important tips will help to get you on the right track:

Know Your Forms
Even though tax-exempt organizations don’t file taxes, most (except religious and political nonprofits) are required to annually file what’s known as a 990. However, there are four different IRS Form 990s. Which form your organization completes depends on its size in terms of its assets, gross receipts and funding sources.

  • Form 990-N (now only filed electronically) is for nonprofits that take in less than $50,000 from public sources over the course of the year. The form’s eight questions make it quick and easy to file.
  • Your nonprofit will file Form 990EZ only if it had less than $200,000 in gross receipts from public sources or it has a total of less than $500,000 in assets.
  • If your nonprofit is a non-public tax-exempt organization, such as a private foundation that uses the resources of an endowment or other privately-funded sources, then 990-PF is the required IRS filing.
  • Finally, IRS Form 990 is the form for large, established nonprofits that had $200,000 or more in gross receipts throughout the year, or if its assets total $500,000 or more.

Maintain Good Records
Having accurate records of your nonprofit’s finances are, of course, important to have throughout the year, as well as at tax time. But they aren’t the only records necessary for filing your 990. It’s also important to maintain detailed records of the organization’s structure, its board members, salaries paid, and its departmental and programming budgets. Depending on the organization’s make-up, you may be required to file additional schedules with your 990. In addition to having this information accessible at tax time, prospective donors will appreciate your nonprofit’s transparency if it’s also available when they’re researching organizations worthy of their contributions.

Do a Double-Take
Because your annual 990 tax filing is essentially an application to retain your organization’s tax-exempt status, submitting an incomplete or incorrectly completed form may result in penalties, rejection or denial of its nonprofit standing. That’s why having someone check your work – and especially, to verify the accuracy of your records – is so vitally important.

Trust a Professional
Although software, websites and well-meaning individuals may be available to walk you through the process of completing your nonprofit’s Form 990, consider hiring a tax professional to do the job. Working with a tax professional not only saves time, but it also may save you the headache of re-filing in the new year. Donohoo Accounting Service is prepared to answer your questions before, during and after the tax-filing season. Talk with one of our accountants or schedule an appointment today by calling
513-528-3982 or contacting us via our website. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates!

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4 Personal Finance Tips For A Strong 2020

2019 is quickly coming to a close. Get ahead of the game and get your money in order for 2020. Don’t know where to begin? No worries! Here are some helpful tips.

Get Organized

You can file taxes after the new year, so now’s a good time to get all your ducks in a row. In January and early February, you’ll be receiving important documents in the mail including your W2, mortgage interest statement (1098), or student loan interest statement (1098-E.) Most companies, by law, have until January 31 to mail statements, so keep an eye out.

Designate a single location where you’ll keep these documents so they are easily accessible when you’re ready to file taxes. You can use a folder, drawer, box or another container. Put a large “taxes” label on it and use the container for tax-related documents only, not other mail or bills. But you may want to keep it near where you sort mail, so you can immediately put the documents in their home.

Then start gathering other items you’ll need for filing taxes, including charitable contribution and expense receipts. Qualified expenses depend on your situation, but could include expenses related to childcare, medical, work (mileage, supplies, relocation) and education. Donohoo Accounting Services can help you navigate the complicated tax structure. In addition to income tax preparation, we handle payroll tax prep, tax levies and liens, back taxes, end tax penalties, estate tax return preparation and more.

Make Year-End Charitable Contributions

Many charities do a final fundraising push at the end of the year, so you’ll probably receive solicitations asking for support. If you want to help non-profit organizations while also possibly reducing your taxable income, make your donations by December 31. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of the year will count in that year – even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until later. You’ll want to make sure the charity is eligible. Many times, the charity will note its “501c3” status, which is IRS speak for tax-exempt. You can also use the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search. If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area, check out our blog for four great local non-profit organizations.

Take an Assessment of Where You Stand Financially

Now’s a good time to take a hard look at your income, debt, expenses, retirement funds, college and emergency savings. Are you on track to meet financial goals? If yes – great! If no – why are you falling short? To properly move forward into the next year, you need a realistic picture of where you are now. Put pen to paper and write down all the numbers. It helps to see everything in black and white.

Make a Financial New Year’s Resolution (Or Better Yet – Create A Plan You’ll Stick With All Year)

Once you know where you stand currently, you can create a plan for 2020. Perhaps you want an emergency savings fund. You never know when the furnace is going to go out, someone in your family has a medical issue or there’s a company layoff. Experts say you should have enough emergency savings to cover three to sixth months of expenses. Maybe you have all your financial bases covered but want to take an exotic vacation? Set the goal, create a plan and start saving for that overseas beach trip.

Although it’s a busy holiday season, set aside time to get your money in order for the new year. Once you’re ready to file taxes, turn to Donohoo Accounting Services, locally owned and operated by Cincinnati native, Duane Donohoo. Give us a call at 513-528-3982 to arrange your complimentary consultation to see how we can help find the most deductions possible for your personal taxes. And don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates!

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