— March 28, 2019
2019 continues the new tax regime passed two years ago that proved so friendly to business. The corporate tax rate now tops out at 21 percent. While that’s great for reducing your tax bill, it also means that deductions are worth less than they used to. Nonetheless, deductions help you save money and might make the difference between an overall profit and loss.
Qualified Business Income (QBI)
You can deduct up to 20 percent of your QBI from a U.S. business that operates as something other than a C Corporation. It also works for the self-employed, trusts and estates. Wage income and C Corp income do not benefit from this deduction. The deduction has certain other conditions:
- Maximum income: Joint filers $ 315,000, others $ 157,500. Deductions above these thresholds may be limited.
- Limit: Lesser of (20 percent QBI + 20 percent REIT dividends + 20 percent publicly traded partnership income), or (20 percent of taxable income minus net capital gains)
It’s back! We’re talking about 100 percent bonus depreciation that allows you to deduct the entire cost of qualifying assets with useful lifetimes up to 20 years. In addition, the cap on expensing business assets instead of depreciating them is $ 1 million, phasing out dollar for dollar once you place assets worth more than $ 2.5M into service. The universe of depreciable assets is wider, and includes lodging furnishings (refrigerators, stoves and beds), HVAC equipment, roofs, and security and alarm systems. They’ve cut farm equipment depreciation periods from seven to five years.
Bonus depreciation on business vehicles obtained after September 27, 2017 and put into service in 2018 is capped at $ 18,000 in year one, $ 16,000 in year two, $ 9,600 in year three, and $ 5,670 thereafter. If you buy a heavy pickup truck or SUV for business, you can qualify for up to 100 percent deduction in year one.
These generally are no longer available. But you can still deduct holiday parties. You can deduct up to 50 percent of your employees’ meals while traveling on business. The 50 percent deduction on client business meals appears to be intact, but double-check with your tax professional.
Employers can no longer deduct transportation benefits for employees. This includes mass transit passes and parking. However, employers can deduct up to $ 20/month to subsidize employees who ride their bicycles to work. Alas, these bike riders will be taxed on the benefit. Employees can set aside up to $ 260 a month in pre-tax money to cover vanpools, mass transit passes and parking.
Net Operating Loss (NOL)
You can offset up to 80 percent of taxable income with NOL in future years. You can carry forward NOL offset indefinitely, rather than just 20 years under the old tax law. You can no longer carry back NOL.
Family Paid-Leave Credit
For 2018 and 2019, you get a tax credit for workers on paid medical or family leave. The credit amount equals 12.5 percent of the wages paid during the leave. That credit is larger when the employers pay workers on leave more than half of their normal wages. There are many strings attached to this credit, so check with your tax professional.
Cash Method of Accounting
If you are a C Corporation, you can use the cash method of accounting if your average gross receipts over the previous three years was less than $ 25 million. The cap used to be $ 5 million. This also applies to LLCs and partnerships owned by a C Corporation.