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Last-Minute Strategies for Businesses that Deferred Filing Tax Returns

During the COVID-19 crisis, some key tax deadlines were postponed until July 15, 2020. If your business and/or personal federal income tax return is still awaiting completion, you may have significant retroactive tax-planning flexibility. The same holds true for individuals who own interests in pass-through business entities and haven’t yet filed their personal tax returns. Here’s what business owners need to know.

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COVID-19 Tax Relief: Roundup of Postponed Federal Tax Deadlines

As a COVID-19 relief measure, the IRS has postponed many of the usual federal tax filing and payment deadlines, along with the deadlines for taking certain other tax-related actions. Generally, deadlines for federal income tax return filing and payments that would otherwise fall on or after April 1 and before July 15 have been postponed to July 15. The postponement applies to certain other deadlines as well. This relief, while welcome, has created confusion. Here’s what individuals and business owners should know to manage their tax calendars through July 15.

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Demystifying Casualty Loss Deductions

The days when you could claim deductions for run-of-the-mill casualty and theft losses of personal property are gone — at least temporarily. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) generally suspends write-offs for such expenses for 2018 through 2025.

However, you can still claim deductions for personal property losses caused by certain federally declared disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act enhanced deductions available to eligible individuals — but only for a limited time. Here are the details.

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Reportable Tax Position Schedule Expansion

Large private companies will soon have to deal with an added compliance burden, the Reportable Tax Position (RTP) schedule is set to apply to all large companies from 1 July 2020 (ie the 2020-21 income tax year). The reportable tax position (RTP) schedule is a schedule to the company income tax return and requires large businesses to disclose their most contestable and material tax positions.

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Foreign Residents And The Main Residence Exemption

Foreign residents beware, laws have been passed to restrict your access to claim the CGT main residence exemption on the sale of your home, except in some limited circumstances. This applies to any person that is not an Australian resident for tax purposes at the time of disposal (ie when the contract is signed to sell the property).

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Lowering the Bar on Performance and Payment Bonding

Acquiring or increasing your firm’s bonding capacity can open a whole new market of jobs. It can allow you to take on a multitude of public works projects or larger, more profitable, higher-profile private jobs that require a more hearty bonding capacity than what you, or your agent, are used to.

The traditional method of laying out up to 20% of the bond value in cash collateral may be uncalled for if you approach your agent in the right way with the following cash-saving opportunities.

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Crunching Numbers for Multiple Corporations

It might be advantageous from a tax standpoint to run a business through multiple entities. For example, a construction company might form a separate company to own and lease its trucks and equipment back to its related entities. Or a corporation might transfer appreciated property to an affiliated corporation in order to limit risk in case it is sued.

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Use Financial Statements to Make a Solid First Impression

Financial statements are a must-have for any organization. The balance sheet reveals how much its assets and liabilities are worth based on historic costs. The income statement tells investors and lenders how profitably and efficiently the company has performed during the accounting period. The statement of cash flows details sources and uses of cash from operating, investing and financing activities. All this is relevant information for company insiders, as well as for lenders, bonding companies and other stakeholders.

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Keep Employees COVID-19 Free: An Employer’s Guide From OSHA

Naturally you care about the health and safety of your employees, and don’t need a federal agency to tell you that you should be concerned. Still, it’s helpful to know what the overall position of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) is on COVID-19. In a recent “alert,” OSHA urged employers to take the following three steps:

  1. Assess the hazards to which workers may be exposed,
  2. Evaluate the risk of exposure, and
  3. Select, implement and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure.
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