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Yeah – A Bail Out for Small Business From The SBA

From the SBA‘s Website.

If your small business is stressed meeting expenses during these economic times, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a new loan program designed just for you.
SBA’s America’s Recovery Capital Loan Program can provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the current uncertain economic times and return to profitability. Each small business is limited to one ARC loan.

ARC loans will be offered by some SBA lenders for as long as funding is available or until September 30, 2010, whichever comes first. SBA Participant Lender Fact Sheet

About the ARC Loan Program
ARC Loan Eligibility
Applying for an ARC Loan
Learn How SBA Can Help

Since June 15, lenders across the country have provided millions of dollars in capital to small businesses through the America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) loan program. Created under the Recovery Act, the temporary ARC program offers interest-free loans to viable small businesses, which carry a 100 percent guaranty from the SBA to the lender and require no fees paid to SBA. Loan proceeds are provided over a six-month period and repayment of the ARC loan principal is deferred for 12 months after the last disbursement of the proceeds. Repayment can extend up to five years.

The ARC loan program is open to any SBA-approved lender. Non-SBA lenders can easily become SBA participants by working with their nearest SBA district office. Businesses interested in applying for an ARC loan should first contact their current lender.
If you would like to speak directly to a customer service representative about the ARC Loan Program, please call our toll-free number (866-947-8081) Monday through Friday during the hours of 8am to 6pm (Eastern Time).

Want A Quick Refund of Overpaid Estimated Tax?


By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

Have you over paid your corporate income tax in the form of estimated tax payments and now you need or heck – just want your money back?

Well Form 4466 Corporation Application for Quick Refund of Overpayment of Estimated Tax will help you do just that.

If you determine that you have a refund due that is at least $500 and at least 10% of the Corporations expected tax liability then here’s what you do:

Just after your year-end, file Form 4466, but not later than two and a half [2 and 1/2] months after your year end and before you file the corporate return.

The purpose of the Form is to adjust your overpayment of estimated taxes. Therefore, amounts returned are not considered income tax refunds.

The IRS claims that they will “act on” the request within 45 days from the date it was filed.

Don’t forget to also attached a copy of the completed Form4466 to your corporate tax return Form 1120.

Extend The Due Date To Pay Your Corporate Income Taxes

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

Do you have a profit in the current year, but because of certain economic conditions, or other factors you expect to have a net operating loss next year?

If the answer is yes, you may be able to delay payment of your corporate income taxes.

Yes – Really, you can delay payment of corporate income taxes if the right conditions exist.

Generally, if you request an extension of time to file your tax return, you are extending the due date of the return, but not the due date for paying your income tax. As corporate tax payers know, their income taxes are due in full by the 15th day of the third month following the corporation’s year-end.

However, you may be able to extend the due date for paying your corporate income taxes by filing Form 1138 Extension of Time for Payment of Taxes by a Corporation Expecting A Net Operating Loss Carry back.

In order to take advantage of this extension of time to pay your tax, you must also extend the due date of your corporate income tax return using Form 7004 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax. Payment is delayed [and therefore not deposited with Form 7004] because taxes that normally would be deposited will be reduced or possibly eliminated by the carry back of the net operating loss from the following year.

File the Form 1138 after the beginning of the tax year where you expect a net operating loss, but before the original due date of the tax return.

The extension for payment is in effect until the return for which the extension is requested is due to be filed – including extensions.

Note: Not all payments are extended. If you were required to make estimated payments throughout the year, these will most likely not be extended. Only payments that would be due after you file Form 1138 are extended.

Keep Psychopaths Out of Your Accounting Firm – an article by Michell Langbert

This post is outside my norm for this blog, but I liked this article so much, I thought I would post it here as well as at my The Business Perspective Blog.

The article is about Keeping Psychopaths out of Your Accounting Firm by Michell Langbert.

This article has an interesting take on ethical lapses that I thought was compelling. In his article, Langbert talks about how the characteristics of a psychopath in the workplace can be mistaken for desirable traits.

He states: “..psychopathic charm and charisma can often be mistaken for leadership; psychopathic talk of imaginary goals can be mistaken for visionary leadership; and psychopathic lack of emotion can be mistaken for being in control.”

It occurs to me that this psychopathic personality may explain some of the behavior at AIG and other bailed out firms.

There is no doubt that Mr. Langbert’s article is a gripping and thought provoking read.

Starting a New Business

Anyone starting a new business this summer should be aware of their federal tax responsibilities.

Here are the top seven things the IRS wants you to know if you plan on opening a new business this year.

first, you must decide what type of business entity you are going to establish. The type your business takes will determine which tax form you have to file. The most common types of business are the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and S corporation.

The type of business you operate determines what taxes you must pay and how you pay them. The four general types of business taxes are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax.

An Employer Identification Number is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. Visit IRS.gov for more information about whether you will need an EIN. You can also apply for an EIN online at IRS.gov.

Good records will help you ensure successful operation of your new business. You may choose any recordkeeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income and expenses. Except in a few cases, the law does not require any special kind of records. However, the business you are in affects the type of records you need to keep for federal tax purposes.

Every business taxpayer must figure taxable income on an annual accounting period called a tax year. The calendar year and the fiscal year are the most common tax years used.

Each taxpayer must also use a consistent accounting method, which is a set of rules for determining when to report income and expenses. The most commonly used accounting methods are the cash method and an accrual method. Under the cash method, you generally report income in the tax year you receive it and deduct expenses in the tax year you pay them. Under an accrual method, you generally report income in the tax year you earn it and deduct expenses in the tax year you incur them.

Visit the Business section of IRS.gov for resources to assist entrepreneurs with starting and operating a new business.

Links:
Starting A Business
Operating A Business
Closing A Business
Publication 4591, Small Business Federal Tax Responsibilities (PDF 470.1K)
Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business (PDF 286.2K)
Order Publication 1066C, A Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop DVD

Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonments

A summary of Publication 4681
By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
Generally
Generally, if you have a debt (that is a debt that you are personally liable for) that is cancelled or forgiven, you must include the amount of cancelled debt as ordinary income on your income tax return. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Here is a list of some of the exceptions which would allow you to exclude the cancelled debt from income:
1) If the cancellation is intended to be a gift, then you are not required to report it as income. See Publication 525 for more information.
2) Certain student loans, if they contain a provision that the debt can be cancelled if certain qualifications are met.
3) If payments on the debt would have been considered tax deductions at the time the principal payments were made.
4) If the price of an item you have purchased on credit is reduced by the seller at a time when you are insolvent. However, you must reduce your basis in the property by the amount of the reduction.
There are also certain situation which allow you to exclude debt cancelation from income.
Bankruptcy
If you are bankrupt and you file for bankruptcy under title 11, the debt that is cancelled is not included in your income. But only if the cancellation of debt is under the jurisdiction of a court and the court approves the cancelation.
If your debt is cancelled, you should complete and attach Form 982 to your federal income tax return.

Insolvency

You are not required to include debt cancellation to the extent that you are insolvent immediately before the cancellation. You are insolvent if the total of your liabilities, exceeds the FMV of all of your assets.
To show that you are insolvent and to exclude cancelled debt, attach Form 982 to your income tax return.
The following worksheet can be used to calculate the extent that you were insolvent.
[Click on the picture to enlarge]
Certain qualified farm indebtedness can be excluded from income – See publication 4681
Qualified Real Property Business Indebtedness

If you have qualified real property business indebtedness that is cancelled, you can elect to exclude this from income. However, the debt must meet the following criteria:

1) It must be incurred or assumed in connection with real property used in a trade or business.

2) It must be secured by such real property.

3) It must be incurred or assumed at either of the following times:

a. Before 1993

b. After 1992, if the debt is either (i) qualified acquisition indebtedness (defined below), or (ii) debt incurred to refinance qualified real property business debt incurred or assumed before 1993 ( but only to the extend the amount of such debt does not exceed the amount of debt being refinanced.)

4) It must be debt to which you elect to apply these rules

Qualified principal Residence indebtedness

The qualified debt from your principal residence can be excluded from income if it is cancelled. The maximum amount that can be excluded is $2 million ($1 million if you are married filing separately).
Be sure to check out Publication 4681 for a definition of qualified principal residence indebtedness.
Attach a completed Form 982 to your federal income tax return to exclude the income.
Qualified Midwestern Disaster Area Indebtedness
If non business debt is cancelled by an applicable entity and you are a qualified individual you can exclude the cancelation from income. See publication 4681 for more details.

What’s new for 2008

The qualified principle residence indebtedness exclusion has been extended. The extension includes debts discharged after 2006 and before 2013.

The Heartland Disaster Tax Act Relief of 2008 which allows qualified individual to exclude from gross income discharges of certain indebtedness because of Midwestern Disasters.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows certain businesses to make an elect to defer over a five year period the recognition of income from the cancellation of business debt arising from the reacquisition of certain types of business debt repurchased in 2009 or 2010. However, for the current or subsequent years, if you make the election to defer over the five year period, you cannot exclude the cancellation of debt related to a title 11 bankruptcy case, insolvency, qualified farm indebtedness or qualified real property business indebtedness. See Section 108(i) for more information.

New Law Extends Net Operating Loss Carryback for Small Businesses

New Law Extends Net Operating Loss Carryback for Small Businesses; IRS To Ensure Refunds Paid Timely
Washington – The Internal Revenue Service announced today that small businesses with deductions exceeding their income in 2008 can use a new net operating loss tax provision to get a refund of taxes paid in prior years.
To accommodate the change in tax law, the IRS today updated the instructions for two key forms – Forms 1045 and 1139 — that small businesses can use to make use of the special carry back provision for tax year 2008. These forms are used to accelerate the payment of refunds.
The new provision, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, enables small businesses with a net operating loss (NOL) in 2008 to elect to offset this loss against income earned in up to five prior years. Typically, an NOL can be carried back for only two years. The IRS released legal guidance today in Revenue Procedure 2009-19 outlining specific details. Some taxpayers must make the election to use this special carryback by April 17, 2009.

Taxpayers make the election by attaching a statement to the return. The statement should indicate that they are electing the number of years that the loss will be carried back. The election is irrevocable. Therefore once made, it can not be reversed.

If the required statement is not properly attached to the return, a late election may be applied for under Reg.301.9100-2(b).

“The new net operating loss provisions could throw a lifeline to struggling businesses, providing them with a quick infusion of cash,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We want to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to take advantage of these key tax benefits.”
With the economic downturn and the new law, the IRS expects record numbers of small businesses to be eligible for the refunds. The IRS is putting in special steps to ensure timely processing of these refunds to help small businesses during this difficult period.
Small businesses with large losses in 2008 may be able to benefit fully from those losses now, rather than waiting until claiming them on future tax returns.
The normal two-year carryback remains available if the small business does not elect the special carryback provision. If the loss exceeds the income for the carryback period, the taxpayer can continue to carry forward the remaining balance of the NOL for up to 20 years.
For small businesses that use a fiscal year, this special carryback may be used for an NOL in either a tax year that ends in 2008 or a tax year that begins in 2008. Once a taxpayer makes this election, it may not be changed.
To qualify for the new five-year carryback provision, a small business must have no greater than an average of $15 million in gross receipts over a three-year period ending with the tax year of the NOL. Businesses with more than $15 million in gross receipts still qualify to carry back their 2008 NOL for two years.
There are several methods that a small business uses to elect the new provision as detailed in the Revenue Procedure.

If a small business previously elected to waive the carryback of 2008 NOL but now wants to elect this special carryback, the small business may revoke its previous election to waive the carryback. The election revocation must be made on or before April 17, 2009.

Generally small businesses that are not corporations (including sole proprietorships filing schedule C with their Form 1040) may accelerate a refund by using Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund.
Corporations with NOLs may also accelerate a refund by using Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund.
The IRS will be closely monitoring these filings and will provide additional staff as needed to process these forms. The IRS will work to issue refunds within 45 days or even earlier to the degree possible.
In addition, Frequently Asked Questions have been posted on the IRS.gov web site. Small businesses that file Form 1040 can also call 1-800-829-1040 with NOL questions. Corporations can contact 1-800-829-4933 with NOL questions.
Form 1045 or Form 1139, whichever the taxpayer uses, generally must be filed within one year after the end of the tax year of the NOL. In addition, the current year’s tax return must be filed by the date the Form 1045 or Form 1139 is filed. Form 1045 and Form 1139 are filed at the same place the taxpayer’s return is filed, as listed on the return instructions.
Accelerated refunds paid via Form 1045 or Form 1139 is described as “tentative” because the applications for refunds are potentially subject to review at a later date. Form 1045 Instructions and Form 1139 Instructions on http://www.irs.gov/ provide more information on the accelerated refund option.
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