Category: DEVELOPMENTS AT THE CALIFORNIA FRANSHISE TAX BOARD


 

Our regularly updated newsletter provides timely articles to help you achieve your financial goals. Please come back and visit often.

April 2019

 

Feature Articles

Tax Tips

Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, nor a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. If desired, we would be pleased to perform the requisite research and provide you with a detailed written analysis. Such an engagement may be the subject of a separate engagement letter that would define the scope and limits of the desired consultation services.

Six Tips for Last-Minute Tax Filers

 

Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes but many people find preparing their tax return to be stressful and frustrating and wait until the last minute. Complicating matters this year is tax reform and the newly redesigned Form 1040. If you’ve been procrastinating on filing your tax return this year, here are six tips that might help.

  1. Don’t Delay. Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the very last minute (i.e., April 15). Your haste to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook potential sources of tax savings and will likely increase your risk of making an error. Getting a head start–even if it is a week or two) will not only keep the process calm but also mean you get your return faster by avoiding the last-minute rush.
  2. Gather tax documents and other records in advance. Make sure you have all the records you need, including W-2s and 1099s. Don’t forget to save a copy for your files.
  3. Double-check your math and verify all Social Security numbers. These are among the most common errors found on tax returns. Taking care will reduce your chance of hearing from the IRS. Submitting an error-free return will also speed up your tax refund.
  4. E-file for a faster tax refund. Taxpayers who e-file and choose direct deposit for their refunds, for example, will get their refunds in as few as 10 days. That compares to approximately six weeks for people who file a paper return and get a traditional paper check.
  5. Don’t Panic if You Can’t Pay. If you can’t immediately pay the taxes you owe, consider some stress-reducing alternatives. You can apply for an IRS installment agreement, suggesting your own monthly payment amount and due date, and getting a reduced late payment penalty rate. You also have various options for charging your balance on a credit card. There is no IRS fee for credit card payments, but the processing companies charge a convenience fee. Electronic filers with a balance due can file early and authorize the government’s financial agent to take the money directly from their checking or savings account on the April due date, with no fee.
  6. Request an Extension of Time to File (but make sure you pay by the April 15 due date). If the clock runs out, you can get an automatic six-month extension bringing the filing date to October 15, 2019. However, the extension itself does not give you more time to pay any taxes due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have not paid at least 90 percent of your total tax by that date.

If you run into any problems, have any questions, or need to file an extension, help is just a phone call away.

The Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion

 

As the driving force in today’s economy, small businesses benefit from numerous tax breaks in the tax code. One of these, the Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS), was made permanent by the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015). If you’re a small business investor, here’s what you need to know about this often-overlooked tax break.

What is the Qualified Small Business Stock Exclusion?

Sometimes referred to as Section 1202 (after Section 1202 of the Internal Revenue Code, the PATH Act made permanent for taxpayers (excluding corporations) the exclusion of 100 percent of the gain on the sale or exchange of qualified small business stock (QSBS) acquired after September 27, 2010, that is held longer than five years.

Two tax provisions apply to gain from the sale or trade of qualified small business stock. Taxpayers may qualify for a tax-free rollover of all or part of the gain, or they may be able to exclude gain from income.

Qualified stock must also meet the active business test, and it can’t be an investment vehicle or an inactive business. A corporation meets this test for any period of time if, during that period, both the following are true:

  • It was an eligible corporation, defined below.
  • It used at least 80 percent (by value) of its assets in the active conduct of at least one qualified trade or business.

Further, QSBS gain excluded from income is not subject to the 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax from capital gains (and other investment income) on high-income taxpayers.

Qualified Small Business. The definition of a qualified small business under the IRS varies; however, examples of businesses that do NOT qualify include, but are not limited to:

  • A regulated investment company,
  • A real estate investment trust (REIT)
  • One involving services performed in the fields of health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting, athletics, financial services, or brokerage services;
  • Any business of operating a hotel, motel, restaurant, or similar business.
  • Any farming business (including the business of raising or harvesting trees).

What is Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS)?

Qualified small business stock is stock that meets all of the following tests:

  1. It must be stock in a C corporation.
  2. It must have been originally issued after August 10, 1993.
  3. The corporation must have total gross assets of $50 million or less at all times after August 9, 1993, and before it issued the stock. Its total gross assets immediately after it issued the stock must also be $50 million or less.
  4. When figuring the corporation’s total gross assets, you must also count the assets of any predecessor of the corporation. In addition, you must treat all corporations that are members of the same parent-subsidiary controlled group as one corporation.
  5. You must have acquired the stock at its original issue, directly or through an underwriter, in exchange for money or other property (not including stock), or as payment for services provided to the corporation (other than services performed as an underwriter of the stock). In certain cases, your stock may also meet this test if you acquired it from another person who met this test, or through a conversion or trade of qualified small business stock that you held.
  6. The corporation must have met the active business test, defined next, and must have been a C corporation during substantially all the time you held the stock.
  7. Within the period beginning two years before and ending two years after the stock was issued, the corporation cannot have bought more than a de minimis amount of its stock from you or a related party.
  8. Within the period beginning one year before and ending one year after the stock was issued, the corporation cannot have bought more than a de minimis amount of its stock from anyone, unless the total value of the stock it bought is five percent or less of the total value of all its stock.

Questions?

The QSBS exclusion, as with many tax provisions, is complicated. Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions or would like more information on this topic.

Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Tax Credits

 

Tax credits can reduce your tax bill or give you a bigger refund, but not all tax credits are created equal. While most tax credits are refundable, some credits are nonrefundable, but before we take a look at the difference between refundable and nonrefundable tax credits, it’s important to understand the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction.

Tax credits reduce your tax liability dollar for dollar and are more valuable than tax deductions that reduce your taxable income and tied to your marginal tax bracket. Let’s look at the difference between a tax credit of $1,000 and a tax deduction of $1,000 for a taxpayer whose income places them in the 22% tax bracket:

    • A tax credit worth $1,000 reduces the amount of tax owed by $1,000–the same dollar amount.
  • A tax deduction worth the same amount ($1,000) only saves you $330, however (0.22 x $1,000 = $220). As you can see, tax credits save you more money than tax deductions.

Tax Credits: Refundable vs. Nonrefundable

A refundable tax credit not only reduces the federal tax you owe but also could result in a refund if it more than you owe. Let’s say you are eligible to take a $1,000 Child Tax Credit but only owe $200 in taxes. The additional amount ($800) is treated as a refund to which you are entitled.

A nonrefundable tax credit, on the other hand, means you get a refund only up to the amount you owe. For example, if you are eligible to take an American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $1,000 and the amount of tax owed is only $800, you can only reduce your taxable amount by $800–not the full $1,000.

Refundable Tax Credits

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit
  • The Saver’s Credit

Nonrefundable Tax Credits

Examples of nonrefundable tax credits include:

  • Adoption Tax Credit
  • Foreign Tax Credit
  • Mortgage Interest Tax Credit
  • Residential Energy Property Credit
  • Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
  • Child Tax Credit (tax years prior to 2018)

Partially Refundable Tax Credits

Some tax credits are only partially refundable such as:

  • Child Tax Credit (starting in 2018)
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit

Questions about tax credits or deductions?

If you have any questions or would like more information about either of these tax topics, please call.

Reporting Foreign Income

 

If you are living or working outside the United States, you generally must file and pay your tax in the same way as people living in the U.S. This includes people with dual citizenship.

In addition, U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts exceeding certain thresholds may be required to file Form FinCen114, known as the “FBAR” as well as Form 8938, also referred to as “FATCA.”

FBAR is not a tax form, but is due to the Treasury Department by April 15, 2019, but may be extended to October 15. Form 114 must be filed electronically through the BSA E-Filing System website. The BSA E-Filing System supports electronic filing of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) forms (either individually or in batches) through a FinCEN secure network.FATCA (Form 8938) is submitted on the tax due date (including extensions, if any,) of your income tax return.

Here’s what else you need to know about reporting foreign income:

  1. Report Worldwide Income.By law, Americans living abroad, as well as many non-U.S. citizens, must file a U.S. income tax return and report any worldwide income. Some key tax benefits, such as the foreign earned income exclusion, are only available to those who file U.S. returns. Any income received, or deductible expenses paid in foreign currency must be reported on a U.S. tax return in U.S. dollars. Likewise, any tax payments must be made in U.S. dollars. Both FinCen Form 114 and IRS Form 8938, require the use of a December 31 exchange rate for all transactions, regardless of the actual exchange rate on the date of the transaction. Generally, the IRS accepts any posted exchange rate that is used consistently.
  2. Report Foreign Accounts and Assets.Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts.
  3. File Required Tax Forms.In most cases, affected taxpayers need to file Schedule B, Interest and Ordinary Dividends, with their tax returns. Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts, such as bank and securities accounts, and usually requires U.S. citizens to report the country in which each account is located.

Some taxpayers may need to file additional forms with the Treasury Department such as Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets or FinCEN Form 114 (formerly TD F 90-22.1), Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”).

FBAR. Taxpayers do not file the FBAR with individual, business, trust or estate tax returns. Instead, taxpayers with foreign accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2018 (or in 2019 for next year’s filing returns) must file a Treasury Department FinCEN Form 114 (formerly TD F 90-22.1), Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”).

The deadline for filing the FBAR is the same as for a federal income tax return and must be filed electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) by April 15, 2019. FinCEN grants filers missing the April 15 deadline an automatic extension until October 15, 2019, to file the FBAR.

Taxpayers who want to paper-file their FBAR must call the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s Regulatory Helpline to request an exemption from e-filing.

Form 8938. Generally, U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and certain nonresident aliens must report specified foreign financial assets on Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds:

  • If the total value is at or below $50,000 at the end of the tax year, there is no reporting requirement for the year, unless the total value was more than $75,000 at any time during the tax year
  • Taxpayers who do not have to file an income tax return for the tax year do not have to file Form 8938, regardless of the value of their specified foreign financial assets.

The threshold is higher for individuals who live outside the United States and thresholds are different for married and single taxpayers. In addition, penalties apply for failure to file accurately.

Please contact the office if you need additional information about thresholds for reporting, what constitutes a specified foreign financial asset, how to determine the total value of relevant assets, what assets are exempted and what information must be provided.

An individual may have to file both forms, and separate penalties may apply for failure to file each form.

  1. Review the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Many Americans who live and work abroad qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion when they file their tax return. This means taxpayers who qualify will not pay taxes on up to $103,900 of their wages and other foreign earned income they received in 2018 ($105,900 in 2019). Please contact the office if you have any questions about foreign earned income exclusion.
  2. Don’t Overlook Credits and Deductions. Taxpayers may be able to take either a credit or a deduction for income taxes paid to a foreign country. This benefit reduces the taxes these taxpayers pay in situations where both the U.S. and another country tax the same income. However, you cannot claim the additional child tax credit if you file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
  3. Automatic Extension. U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad on April 15, 2019, qualified for an automatic two-month extension (until June 15) to file their 2018 federal income tax returns. The extension of time to file also applies to those serving in the military outside the U.S. Taxpayers must attach a statement to their returns explaining why they qualify for the extension.
  4. Additional Extension of Time to File. U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad may be granted a filing extension of up to six months (October 15, 2019) by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return prior to the due date of the tax return (April 15, 2019). However, a taxpayer filing an extension must pay any tax due by the original date or be subject to late payment penalties and interest.
  5. Get Tax Help. If you’re a taxpayer or resident alien living abroad that needs help with tax filing issues, IRS notices, and tax bills, or have questions about foreign earned income and offshore financial assets in a bank or brokerage account, don’t hesitate to call.

Scam Alert: Fake Calls from Taxpayer Advocate Service

 

Like clockwork, every year, there’s a new twist on old scams. This year, it is the IRS impersonation phone scam whereby criminals fake calls from the Taxpayer Advocate Service. The TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that help protect your taxpayer rights. TAS can help if you need assistance resolving an IRS problem, if your problem is causing financial difficulty, or if you believe an IRS system or procedure isn’t working as it should. Typically, a taxpayer would contact TAS for help first, and only then would TAS reach out to the taxpayer. TAS does not initiate calls to taxpayers out of the blue.

How the scam works

Like many other IRS impersonation scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS. In this most recent scam variation, callers “spoof” the telephone number of the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service office in Houston or Brooklyn. Calls may be ‘robo-calls’ that request a call back. Once the taxpayer returns the call, the con artist requests personal information, including Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

In other variations of the IRS impersonation phone scam, fraudsters demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive. Alternately, scammers may tell would-be victims that they are entitled to a large refund but must first provide personal information. Other characteristics of these scams include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may know the last four digits of the taxpayer’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof caller ID to make the phone number appear as if the IRS or another local law enforcement agency is calling.
  • Scammers may send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or with, driver’s license or other professional license revocation, scammers hang up. Others soon call back pretending to be from local law enforcement agencies or the Department of Motor Vehicles, and caller ID again supports their claim.

Telltale signs of a scam call

While the IRS or the TAS will never do any of the following, scammers will often:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Call about an unexpected tax refund.

Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time and its important to stay alert to scams that use the IRS or other legitimate companies and agencies as a lure. If you have any concerns, please call the office.

Don’t Delay: Late Filing and Late Payment Penalties

 

April 15 (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts) is the deadline for most people to file their federal income tax return and pay any taxes they owe. The bad news is that if you miss the deadline (for whatever reason), you may be assessed penalties for both failing to file a tax return and for failing to pay taxes they owe by the deadline. The good news is that there is no penalty if you file a late tax return but are due a refund.

Here are ten important facts every taxpayer should know about penalties for filing or paying late:

  1. A failure-to-file penalty may apply.If you owe tax, and you failed to file and pay on time, you will most likely owe interest and penalties on the tax you pay late.
  2. Penalty for filing late.The penalty for filing a late return is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late and starts accruing the day after the tax filing due date. Late filing penalties will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
  3. Failure to pay penalty.If you do not pay your taxes by the tax deadline, you normally will face a failure-to-pay penalty of 1/2 of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes. That penalty applies for each month or part of a month after the due date and starts accruing the day after the tax-filing due date.
  4. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty.You should file your tax return on time each year, even if you’re not able to pay all the taxes you owe by the due date. You can reduce additional interest and penalties by paying as much as you can with your tax return. You should explore other payment options such as getting a loan or making an installment agreement to make payments. Contact the office today if you need help figuring out how to pay what you owe.
  5. Extension of time to file.If you timely requested an extension of time to file your individual income tax return and paid at least 90 percent of the taxes you owe with your request, you may not face a failure-to-pay penalty. However, you must pay any remaining balance by the extended due date.
  6. Two penalties may apply.One penalty is for filing late and one is for paying late–and they can add up fast, especially since interest accrues on top of the penalties but if both the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty and the 1/2 percent failure-to-pay penalties apply in any month, the maximum penalty that you’ll pay for both is 5 percent.
  7. Minimum penalty.If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.
  8. Reasonable cause.You will not have to pay a late-filing or late-payment penalty if you can show reasonable cause for not filing or paying on time. Please call if you have any questions about what constitutes reasonable cause.
  9. Penalty relief.The IRS generally provides penalty relief, including postponing filing and payment deadlines, to any area covered by a disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  10. File even if you can’t pay.Filing on time and paying as much as you can, keeps your interest and penalties to a minimum. If you can’t pay in full, getting a loan or paying by debit or credit card may be less expensive than owing the IRS. If you do owe the IRS, the sooner you pay your bill, the less you will owe.

If you need assistance, help is just a phone call away!

There’s Still Time to Make a 2018 IRA Contribution

 

If you haven’t contributed funds to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) for tax year 2018, or if you’ve put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time to do so. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April 15 due date, not including extensions.

Be sure to tell the IRA trustee that the contribution is for 2018. Otherwise, the trustee may report the contribution as being for 2019 when they get your funds.

Generally, you can contribute up to $5,500 of your earnings for tax year 2018 (up to $6,500 if you are age 50 or older in 2018). You can fund a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA (if you qualify), or both, but your total contributions cannot be more than these amounts.

Traditional IRA: You may be able to take a tax deduction for the contributions to a traditional IRA, depending on your income and whether you or your spouse, if filing jointly, are covered by an employer’s pension plan.

Roth IRA: You cannot deduct Roth IRA contributions, but the earnings on a Roth IRA may be tax-free if you meet the conditions for a qualified distribution.

Saving for retirement should be part of everyone’s financial plan and it’s important to review your retirement goals every year in order to maximize savings. If you need help figuring out which retirement strategies are best for your situation, give the office a call.

Fringe Benefit Deductions Change; Affect Business

 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a number of tax law changes that affect small businesses such as deductions for fringe benefit, which can affect both a business’s bottom line and its employees’ deductions. Here’s a summary of what these are:

Transportation fringe benefits. The new law disallows deductions for expenses associated with qualified transportation fringe benefits or expenses incurred providing transportation for commuting, except as necessary for employee safety.

Bicycle commuting reimbursements. Under the new tax law, employers can deduct qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements as a business expense for 2018 through 2025. The new tax law suspends the exclusion of qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements from an employee’s income for 2018 through 2025. Employers must now include these reimbursements in the employee’s wages.

Moving expenses. Employers must now include moving expense reimbursements in employees’ wages. The new tax law suspends the former exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements. There is one exception for active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. They can still exclude moving expenses from their income. There is additional guidance on reimbursements for employees’ who moved in 2017, but were reimbursed for expenses in 2018. Generally, reimbursements in this situation are not taxed.

Achievement awards. Special rules allow an employee to exclude achievement awards from wages if the awards are tangible personal property. An employer also may deduct awards that are tangible personal property, subject to certain deduction limits. The new law clarifies the definition of tangible personal property.

Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions about tax law changes affecting fringe benefits and your small business.

Tax Due Dates for April 2019

 

April 1

Electronic filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, and 3922 – File Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, and 3922 with the IRS (except a Form 1099-MISC reporting non employee compensation). This due date applies only if you file electronically.

Electronic Filing of Form W-2G– File copies of all the Form W-2G (Certain Gambling Winnings) you issued for 2018. This due date applies only if you electronically file.

Electronic Filing of Forms 8027 – File copies of all the Forms 8027 you issued for 2018. This due date applies only if you electronically file.

Electronic Filing of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and Forms 1094-B and 1094-B – If you’re an applicable Large Employer, file electronic forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS. For all other providers of essential minimum coverage, file electronic Forms 1094-B and 1095-B with the IRS.

April 10

Employees who work for tips – If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

April 15

Individuals – File an income tax return for 2018 and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or you can get an extension by phone if you pay part or all of your estimate of income tax due with a credit card. Then file Form 1040 by October 15.

Household Employers – If you paid cash wages of $2,100 or more in 2018 to a household employee, file Schedule H (Form 1040) with your income tax return and report any employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2017 or 2018 to household employees. Also, report any income tax you withheld for your household employees.

Individuals – If you are not paying your 2019 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2019 estimated tax. Use Form 1040-ES.

Corporations – File a 2018 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 7004 and deposit what you estimate you owe in taxes.

Corporations – Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2019. A worksheet, Form 1120-W, is available to help you estimate your tax for the year.

Employers – Nonpayroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 30

Employers – Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. File form 941 for the first quarter of 2019. Deposit any undeposited tax. (If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return.) If you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time, you have until May 10 to file the return.

Copyright © 2019   All materials contained in this document are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. All other trade names, trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

Rex Crandell Firm
3000 Citrus Circle, #207
Walnut Creek, CA, 94598
Phone: (925) 934-6320
RexCrandell@astound.net

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Our firm provides income tax preparation and planning services for individuals, families, C Corporations, S Corporations, LLC Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, domestic partners, for income and deductions generated in California, the United States, and assist taxpayers internationally comply with the USA income tax reporting requirements. Rex Crandell, Esq. also provides services in the area of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Probate Procedures, Advance Healthcare Directives, Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Management, and Advance Health Care Directives.

You can contact Rex Crandell’s offices in Walnut Creek and San Francisco, California
by calling; 1 (800) 464-6595;  or (925) 934 6320, Walnut Creek, California;  or  (415) 982-1110, San Francisco, California

or by e-mail at:    rexcrandell@astound.net

 

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We would be happy to hear from you.

 

Please contact our office if you have any questions.

 

Very truly yours,
/s/ Rex L. Crandell 
Rex L. Crandell. CPA, Esq.

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This newsletter is intended to provide generalized information that is appropriate in certain situations. It is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer. The contents of this newsletter should not be acted upon without specific professional guidance. Please call us if you have questions.

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I am sure you were wondering how a corporation dies and goes to heaven.  Now is your chance to satisfy your curiosity and find out.  The following information tells it like it is and how to do it.  See this report: HOW DO I LIQUIDATE OR DISSOLVE A CORPORATION SO THAT I PAY THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TAX?

So, you own a Corporation that is no longer needed and you want to close it down.

  • HOW DO I LIQUIDATE OR DISSOLVE A CORPORATION

  • SO THAT I PAY THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TAX?

 

 

   By Rex L. Crandell, CPA, Attorney

   The first issue to address information on reporting the liquidation from the C-Corporation’s perspective.

          When a corporation liquidates, the board of directors will vote and pass a documented corporate resolution to liquidate the corporation which will need to be confirmed in writing by the shareholders.  One person can have more than one title and should sign the documents for each title used.  For example:  #1 SHAREHOLDER, signs as a Director then   #1 SHAREHOLDER, signs as a shareholder.

      The corporation will prepare an IRS Form 966 to inform the IRS as to the upcoming liquidation.  The IRS Form 966 and related required form documentation is then filed with the IRS within thirty (30) days of the liquidation resolution.  The form filing should not wait until the C-Corporation tax returns are completed and submitted.  The IRS Form 966 should indicate that this is a complete liquidation (IRS Form 966, line 3) and that IRC§331 was the code section that the corporation will be liquidated (line 10).  See the IRS Form 966 for additional information and requirements.

        The corporation will treat the liquidation as a sale of all assets at their current Fair Market Value (hereafter referred to as FMV).  It is not permissible to report the asset transactions at their historical book values as indicated on the company’s Balance Sheet and Depreciation Schedule.  There should be a worksheet included in the corporate tax returns showing the sales transaction and the gain or loss between the FMV and book value for each asset.  Once the corporate tax returns are completed and ready to be submitted, it should include a copy of the IRS Form 966 that was already filed with the IRS.

        The transaction is taxable as a sale of assets by the C-corporation (IRS Form 1120).  The transaction is also treated as a sale of corporate stock by the shareholders IRS Form 1040.  This is the infamous double taxation that applies to C-Corporations.

   A C-Corporation distribution of retained earnings will be treated as a taxable dividend received by the shareholder.

   When a C Corporation liquidation is done by electing IRC §331 tax treatment, the payment of retained earnings to the shareholders is not considered a taxable dividend to the shareholder.  It is considered as an integral part of the presumed stock sale transaction.

   This is in contrast to an S-Corporation, because an S-Corporation’s retained earnings automatically flows through the S-Corporation to the shareholders as dividend regardless if the shareholder was paid the retained earnings in cash or if no distribution of cash took place.

  What should be the value of the Life Insurance policies?

       If you are unable to determine the FMV of assets, you can request the assistance of a professional appraiser or some other person with specialized skills to determine the current FMV.  An online search could be used to support the value of some assets.  In terms of the life insurance policies, since a willing buyer would pay at least the cash value of the policy, then the cash value would be the FMV less a nominal transaction and inconvenience fee to the hypothetical buyer.  If your insurance agent feels that the separate death benefit part of life insurance has a market value, then it should be used as the sales price.

   What should the shareholder’s basis be for the sales transaction?                    

      Shareholder basis is determined by considering the amount of money contributed to the corporation at the time the shares were acquired.  This is called outside basis in the hands of the shareholder.  This number may end up being different from the inside basis shown on the corporation’s balance sheet.  Then the evolving basis computation would include any additional funds that were contributed to the corporation or assets transferred to the corporation.  If the corporation had paid the shareholder an amount in excess of the retained earnings of the company, then it would have been considered a return of capital to reduce the stock basis.  If the shareholders have no way of calculating the shareholder’s basis, some people will end up reporting the basis on the corporation’s balance sheet as the closest reconstruction of data that is unavailable.

       The above basis calculation method is the way most stock basis computations are made.  However, if a shareholder received a stepped up basis under IRC §1014 because of the death of a spouse that was holding title in community property, then the starting point for the evolving basis computation will be the FMV of the stock as indicated on IRS Form 706 or other documentation.  From that point, increases or decreases could take place in the stock basis depending on the type of transactions discussed in “G” above.

      The shareholders will report the complete liquidation of their shares considering the transaction as a sale of stock for the value of the compensation, funds, assets received from the corporation.  The basis used for the sale cost basis will be the shareholder’s basis in the stock.

         The gain or loss of the sale of stock will then be reported on the shareholder’s annual IRS Form 1040 in the usual manner. IRS Form 1040, Schedule D after IRS Form 8949.  However, you should also consider the beneficial tax treatment under IRC §1202 Qualified Small Business Stock.  If the C-Corporation meets all of the requirements to be properly classified as Qualified Small Business stock, then you can claim the IRC §1202 exclusion of half of the gain on the sale of the shares.

      The shareholder’s individual income tax return should show a worksheet indicating how the gain or loss on the sale of the corporation was computed.  In addition, it is suggested that you also include a copy of the same IRS Form 966 that was filed by the corporation.

    DISSOLVE THE CORPORATE ENTITY WITH THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.

   You will need to petition the state to get the formal dissolution resolved at the state of California level to avoid paying the annual $800+ minimum franchise tax and to avoid the requirement to continue to file annual corporate tax returns for federal and California.

   CONCLUSION

   A liquidation of a corporation is treated as a sale of stock.  This factor should not be ignored by the liquidating corporation or the owner/shareholders of the corporate entity.  If the corporation never issued actual stock certificates to the owners of the corporation, it does not affect the taxability of the transaction.  True ownership is the determining factor and not the tangible paper called a stock certificate.

   You should distribute all the assets and pay off all liabilities before you dissolve the corporate entity and before filing your final federal and California corporate tax returns.

  I hope I was able to address and resolve all of your questions and concerns.  If there is any additional information that is needed or any additional concerns that I have not addressed, please you’re your questions and service requests to our office for evaluation.

   Very truly yours,

   Rex L. Crandell
Rex L. Crandell

Enrolled to Represent Taxpayers before the IRS
Enrolled to practice in the United States Tax Court
The Law Office of Rex Crandell
The Office of Rex Crandell, CPA, Inc.

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USA ~ EAGLE & FLAG Mov Gif 04FEB14

A MESSAGE FROM REX CRANDELL’S TAX OFFICE:

Our firm provides income tax preparation and planning services for individuals, families, C Corporations, S Corporations, LLC Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, domestic partners, for income and deductions generated in California, the United States, and assist taxpayers internationally comply with the USA income tax reporting requirements. Rex Crandell, Esq. also provides services in the area of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Probate Procedures, Advance Healthcare Directives, Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Management, and Advance Health Care Directives.

You can contact Rex Crandell’s offices in Walnut Creek and San Francisco, California
by calling; 1 (800) 464-6595;
or (925) 934 6320, Walnut Creek, California;  or  (415) 982-1110, San Francisco, California

or by e-mail at:    rexcrandell@astound.net

http://www.rexcrandell.com/

http://www.taxrexcrandell.com/

We would be happy to hear from you.

…FROM REX CRANDELL’s OFFICE…

Please contact our office if you have any questions.

Very truly yours,
/s/ Rex L. Crandell
Rex L. Crandell. CPA, Esq.

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FROM:

Rex L. Crandell Firm

Walnut Creek Office (For UPS/FedEx/OR if Signature Req’d Documents)

3000 Citrus Circle

Suite 207 – West Wing [ Click For MAP TO OUR OFFICE]

(925) 934-6320
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San Francisco Office

425 Market Street

22nd Floor [ Click For MAP TO OUR OFFICE]

(800) 464-6595
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E-Mail: mailto:rexcrandell@astound.net

Internet: http://www.rexcrandell.com

Internet 2nd Web http://taxrexcrandell.com
Internet 3rd Web http://estateplanningreport.wordpress.com


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Skype Address rex.crandell
Fax: (925) 934-6325
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All U.S. Mail items [Except if Signature is required]:
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Walnut Creek, California 94598-9305 United States of America
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IT'S TAX TIME. BETTER GET YOUR PAPERS AND FILES READY EARLY. IT’S TAX TIME. BETTER GET YOUR PAPERS AND FILES READY.
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This newsletter is intended to provide generalized information that is appropriate in certain situations. It is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer. The contents of this newsletter should not be acted upon without specific professional guidance. Please call us if you have questions.

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DISCLAIMER: The sponsors and editors of this privately owned website are not goverment employees and do not represent nor speak for any governmental agency.

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Any accounting, business, legal or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, nor a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. If desired, we would be pleased to perform the requisite research and provide you with a detailed written analysis. Such an engagement may be the subject of a separate engagement letter that would define the scope and limits of the desired consultation services.
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CALIFORNIA FTB ‘READY TAX RETURN’ IS FREE,
ONLINE & HOW MARVELOUs.
(AND A WONDERFUL WAY TO MISS TAX DEDUCTIONS SO YOU CAN PAY TOO MUCH TAX, WHICH IS ALSO EASY AND FREE BUT ACTUALLY COST YOU A LOT IN EXTRA TAX UNDER THE BANNER OF ‘FREE’. SO IT IS NOT REALLY FREE.)

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FTB~JPEG~READY TAX RETURN~FROM 1099 INFO~LOOSE YOUR DEDUCTIONS~& IT IS FREE rlc 12 03 13_JPEG

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The program presented by the California State Franchise Tax Board looks so slick and easy. The cute gal tells you how easy it is to file your tax returns from the IRS Forms that are turned in by third party vendors on transactions they had with the tax payer during the year.

What is include is mostly income items because third party vendors are not usually required to give IRS Form 1099 type information to the government so that you get the proper deductions so you pay the proper tax after subtracting your deductions. They would include, but are not limited to the following: IRS Forms 1099 for interest income, dividend income, stock sales, real estate sales, and miscellaneous income from personal services. It would include the IRS Forms W-2 for wages you earned during the year and this one is so very obvious. It would also include the IRS Forms 1098 which are the bank and mortgage company reports on how much interest you paid on your home mortgage during the year and is an itemized deduction. The IRS Forms 1098 frequently do not show the amount of property tax you paid on your personal residence or on a rental property, so something is likely missing from your deductions.

 The problem is that the cute FTB spokesperson fails to tell the public about any of the pitfalls in the program.

  •   Does it also file your Federal IRS Tax returns at the same time? No.
  •   Does it make sure that your Federal IRS Tax returns match the same information on the CA FTB tax returns? No.
  •    Is it likely to encourage people not to be detailed and focused so that they do not miss any valid tax deductions that would reduce their tax liability? No.
  •   Does it offer helpful checklists so that you pay the lowest possible income taxes? No.
  •    Is it really free if you end up paying more tax than you need to pay by helping to omit tax deductions that you are entitled to claim? No.
  •   Does is say you have to come to the free & easy website with your federal income tax returns already completed so you can transfer your federal adjusted gross income on to the starting point of the state tax forms? No.
  •   Does it advise you that the accuracy of IRS Forms 1099 and other third party vendor reports may not be accurate and completely posted to your tax file information already in the FTB’s file because the FTB frequently gets most of its IRS Form 1099 information from the IRS and the IRS records are not normally reliable until September each year for the prior year data. This is long after the close of the tax year when the state tax filing due date is April 15? No.
  •   Does the nice spokesperson actually tell the consumers about the very limited types of taxpayers who would benefit from this free service meaning those with only W-2 wages and no deductions so essentially they would be filing a short form in the first place? No.
  •   Does the promotion say that Income Tax Forms have always been free from the government so why is being free on the internet any type of novel event or marvelous opportunity? No.
  •    With all the possible pitfalls in the program does it appear that adequate consumer warnings are included to keep the program offering from possibly being misleading to the intended users of the service? No.
  •    Is getting the program password, qualifying criteria, waiting for approval to the program so you can participate in the free and easy service sound easier than just getting a free and easy Short Form FTB 540-EZ, filling it out without a password, without an internet connections and paying a whopping 46 cent plus the cost of an envelop make the program a valuable improvement in meeting your tax reporting and taxpaying obligations? No.
  •    Would the State FTB obtain a benefit by increased tax ‘revenue’ if the taxpayer went to tax professional, show charged a fee that was less than the tax saved for the service and reduced the taxpayers overall cost on the entire transaction?  No.

So the program might have been designed for people who primarily have super simple tax returns in the first place where all their income comes mostly from wages, have low income, qualify for the program, and have nothing to deduct. I will not come to that conclusion for you. I am only evaluating the situation and will leave it up to your own judgment and your own conclusions for you to decide if the program would be a benefit for you or not.

You can see the following video on the program to help you in your evaluation process.

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These are the facts.  You can decide for yourself.
No tax or other professional services or recommendations are being offered in this news story.

FROM:
Rex L. Crandell Firm
Walnut Creek Office (For UPS/FedEx/OR if Signature Req’d Documents)
3000 Citrus Circle
Suite 207 – West Wing         [ Click For MAP TO OUR OFFICE]
(925) 934-6320
————————-
San Francisco Office
425 Market Street
22nd Floor                               [  Click For MAP TO OUR OFFICE]

(800) 464-6595
 ————————————————-
E-Mail:            mailto:rexcrandell@astound.net
Internet:           http://www.rexcrandell.com
Internet:           http://www.taxrexcrandell.com
Fax:                           (925) 934-6325
 ————————————————-
All U.S. Mail items [Except if Signature is required]:
P.O. Box 30305- Dept.  Tax News Online
Walnut Creek, California 94598-9305 United States of America
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You can ignore any possible advertisements beyond this line.
They are not controlled by the authors of this news story.

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