On December 17, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a Federal Register notice granting more exclusions of products from the 25-percent duty imposed on the third tranche (List 3) of Section 301 tariffs on goods totaling approximately $200 billion. The published notices can be read here.Read more
By John Nuckolls
For understandable reasons, the United States has adopted a series of laws designed to prevent U.S. taxpayers from taking advantage of foreign trusts as tax shelters from U.S. income taxation. The obvious application of these laws is to a U.S. citizen attempting to transfer cash or income-producing assets to an offshore trust. When dealing with foreign trusts, however, these laws can apply in circumstances where unsuspecting non-U.S.-citizen taxpayers can be financially devastated by the consequences.
By Bethany Banks, CPA
There can be considerable confusion amongst taxpayers who face foreign taxes as to what is creditable and how to allocate, calculate, and carryforward/carry back. There can still be surprises for those who feel they have a good grasp on the basics. One of the areas that can take a taxpayer by surprise is handling foreign tax credit for high taxed income.Read more
A recent spending package signed into law by President Trump on December 20 retroactively resurrects and/or extends several key tax breaks through 2020. It also provides tax relief for victims of federally declared disasters. Here are ten breaks that can benefit eligible individuals.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was mainly intended to help individuals save more for retirement. But the new law also contains provisions that help simplify the administration of retirement plans for employers and allow more employees to participate in 401(k) plans. Here are some provisions that may affect business owners.Read more
When it comes to renting vs. buying a home, there are two parts to the analysis: 1) lifestyle and personal priorities, and 2) long-term financial planning. But the decision also involves timing, because many people are better off owning a home later in life when they’re more likely to be settled.
The IRS and employers often are at loggerheads over the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors. Typically, many employers want to to treat workers as independent contractors, while the IRS often determines that workers are misclassified employees. Sometimes, the issue winds up in the courts.
Fortunately, there might be a way for employers to obtain a measure of protection if the IRS challenges the classification of a worker or workers. With “Section 530 relief,” an employer may avoid adverse tax consequences from a misclassification of employment status. However, this special safe-harbor rule is only available if the employer can show it had a reasonable basis for treating workers as independent contractors.Read more
In the past, home office deductions were available to a wide range of taxpayers, including certain employees who worked from home. But the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has effectively eliminated home office deductions for employees through 2025. Fortunately, many self-employed individuals can still claim deductions — even if they don’t itemize deductions on their tax returns.Read more
Nearly 600,000 people will take on holiday seasonal jobs this year, predicts the National Retail Federation (NRF). The usual pressure to bring them in the door, compounded by today’s low unemployment environment, could be a recipe for trouble. So, it’s important to take the time to properly vet seasonal workers, just as you would your permanent employees.Read more
Nearly everyone should consider updating his or her estate plan. This is smart advice even if you’re not currently exposed to the federal estate tax. Year end can be a convenient time to reflect on major life changes and plan for the future, including devising strategies to minimize taxes.