tech research

3 Ways to Fund Your Tech Company’s Research Activities

By | Innovation | No Comments

Research plays a vital role in the evolution and success of tech companies because it promotes sustainability. As such, your tech company’s research can give it a competitive edge in the market by helping you develop plans that spearhead innovations. That implies that creating solutions for future problems that you can predict becomes a possibility through research.

So, if you want to speed up the growth and evolution of your tech company by introducing innovations and breakthrough products in the market, investing in research activities for your tech firm is critical. It is a fact that tech entities grapple with the highest expenses for research, and the cost can amount to billions of dollars for large organizations.

On the other hand, research expenses can be minimal for small tech businesses, yet they are still vital for the success of such establishments. The competitive nature of the tech marketplace is one of the reasons why it is difficult for individuals to finance research initiatives. Here are some of the funding options you can consider for your tech company’s research activities.

Approach Angel Investors

One of the reasons why you should consider seeking funding for your tech firm’s research initiative from angel investors is that these individuals have a high net worth, and their annual income is also huge. Most angel investors are open to new ideas. They typically operate alone, but may also join with others to form a fund.

Before approaching an angel investor, you must put together a solid business plan and a great pitch. Capturing the attention of an angel investor with enthusiasm and promising data points about the current situation and future potential of your tech business is what will help you secure the funds you need for your research activities.

Angel investors fund your company in exchange for a return on investment. You also need to ensure that your finances are in order and that your management team is competent. The reason is that these are some of the factors which determine whether an angel investor will invest in your tech operations or not.

Additionally, the personality of the angel investor you choose should be in sync with yours. That way, the two of you will get along for the benefit of the initiative you need to finance. Giving an angel investor as much information as possible allows them to make an informed decision regarding investing in your research operations.

Consider Crowdfunding

Online crowdfunding sites help individuals finance inventions, businesses, and projects. They make this possible by bringing various people together who are ready to cooperate and support organizations or entrepreneurs to attain a particular goal. In that case, you need to research such sites to understand the projects they finance.

When seeking funds from crowdfunding websites to finance your research, you need to consider publicizing your initiative to friends and family. The support you get from such persons can spur other people to contribute to your cause. You also need to assess traffic, payment methods, social networking provisions, and fees before opting for a particular crowdfunding site.

Seek Assistance from The Government

The federal government can step in and fund your tech company’s research initiative depending on the nature of your invention. For example, if your research project focuses on a positive impact on the environment or saving energy, you can approach the Department of Energy for funding. Remember to research the requirements of the program you are pursuing to gain insight into the guidelines that government agencies have put in place.

Accessing federal funding for your tech company’s research activities implies that you will be in a position to compete favorably with large firms.

Winning the confidence of the investors or the agency you are seeking funding from is paramount if you do not want your project to stall. If you need more information on ways to fund your tech company’s research activities, contact us today.

research and development tax credit

R&D Tax Credits: An Added Benefit to the Next Relief Package?

By | Research and Development Tax Credit, Tax, Tax Credits | No Comments

A frequently overlooked tax deduction for businesses big and small is R&D tax credits. R&D stands for “Research & Development” for any business that managed such activities in the last year or prior years.

For some major business tax benefits, this is still one of the most significant. However, some changes to R&D taxes began in 2017. Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, companies could no longer deduct R&D costs in the same taxable year.

Further, the new law now demands companies write down these expenditures over the next five years. Now manufacturers, in particular, look to Congress’s relief bills to see if R&D credits become restored.

How Did a Business Qualify for R&D Tax Deductions?

To qualify for R&D tax deductions prior to the 2017 law, a company had to develop new products and processes, enhance those products, or improve their prototypes. Manufacturers clearly fall under this category, making them one of the most important sectors to benefit from R&D tax deductions.

Now with the new tax laws, they may begin to hurt exponentially. Prior, manufacturers and all who qualified could prove various records to qualify for this tax credit.

It usually involved presenting payroll records, expense detail, notes on all projects being developed, plus any employee testimony. While this probably sounds a bit cumbersome, it was more than worth it.

Besides, many small businesses could also claim the credit against their Alternative Minimum Tax. As the economy falters, though, analysts wonder what the R&D tax reductions mean for manufacturers and small businesses.

The Hope for R&D Tax Relief in a Relief Bill

U.S. Congress is still going through the process of passing a relief bill to help businesses struggling through COVID-19 closures. Many business analysts contend that R&D tax relief in a relief bill is a must to help manufacturers survive in volatile times.

Congress clearly did not see COVID-19 coming when they enacted the 2017 tax law changes. Now the need to carefully document their expenditures over the next five years is sure to create some big problems for manufacturers in an age of economic uncertainty.

As Bloomberg Tax points out, competitiveness in manufacturing could become affected by 2022, leading to those same manufacturers going overseas to find relief. Over in Europe, R&D tax credits continue without any cuts, making it a more attractive place to base operations.

Still, Congress might fix the R&D tax issue here since one particular bill is on the table. The problem is convincing Congress to include it in the relief bill everyone hopes becomes a reality.

A Proposed R&D Tax Bill

A rare bipartisan bill is out there waiting for passage related to R&D tax relief. Back in 2019, Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Ron Estes (R-Kan.) created a bill asking for the restoration of the original R&D tax law.

This bill seems to have become lost in the shuffle recently with various lobbyists pushing to include it in a future relief bill package. One major lobbying group is Intel. Sharon Heck, Intel’s CTO and Treasurer (and head of the R&D Coalition) is at the helm of getting this bill passed.

Last spring, Heck and the entire R&D Coalition sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to take action. Without some kind of passage soon, it could end up cutting 23,400 R&D jobs through 2022, leading to numerous ripple effects in the U.S. economy.

As with everything else, this is up in the air, though we continue to look in on it to update you with the latest tax information.

Contact us here at Incentax LLC to learn more about today’s most pressing tax issues.

startup tax tips credits advice

How to Calculate Your Startup Business Taxes

By | Tax, Tax Credits | No Comments

All tech startups face one common issue: paying taxes to the IRS. You are still trying to find your footing in the business world, and just when you think you couldn’t spend more money, the government steps in to remind you that you have a statutory obligation to pay taxes.

Keeping up with your tax obligations can be tedious, but any misstep can result in huge tax bills.  Here are the most common taxes you should always keep in mind.

Are Tech Companies Tax Exempt?

No. Tech companies are required to pay federal tax. For a company to be tax-exempt, the founders shouldn’t make any profits from it. These companies generally fall under religion, public social benefits, culture & arts, human services, or health organizations.

Even though tax-exempt companies don’t have to pay federal tax, they are still liable for local income & state tax, and all donations made to them are tax-deductible.

Which Types of Taxes Should Tech Companies Calculate?

The type of taxes you pay are mainly dependent on your business structure and not the industry. Tax obligations often change on an annual basis, so it’s important to keep yourself regularly informed.

As a business owner, you must start planning for the following taxes.

1.   Employment tax

If your startup already has employees, you will have to file employment taxes to the federal government.

These taxes include income taxes that you withhold from the employees and submit it to the IRS on their behalf, including; Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes, Additional Medicare Tax, Federal income tax, and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes.

2.   Income tax

These are taxes imposed by the government on individuals and businesses based on their income. According to the law, income taxes should be filed annually, so that one is able to determine their tax obligations.

Income taxes are calculated based on the structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporations). If your tech startup is a partnership, you won’t have to pay income taxes but will be required to file an information return.

3.   Excise tax

Excise tax is not mandatory for all businesses. It is only imposed on businesses that deal with manufacturing-specific goods (fuel, tobacco, alcohol, etc.) or those that use certain facilities and equipment or businesses. Most often, the excise tax translates as increased prices for the consumer. If you also sell tech products, find out if they are liable for excise tax and the forms you have to file.

4.   Self-Employment tax

For employees, the employer withholds a certain amount of money from their paychecks for Medicare taxes and social security. As an entrepreneur, however, you have to pay these taxes on your own via self-employment taxes.

Only 92.35% of your net income is subjected to this tax, and to calculate this, you deduct all your expenses from your gross earnings. There are exemptions to this tax, but generally, all earnings from self-employment above $400 should be taxed.

The Schedule SE on Form 1040 can be used to calculate this tax.

5.   Estimated taxes

This tax is imposed on income that is not subject to withholding, including interest, alimony, rent, dividends, etc. If you have additional income from other sources, it is advisable to conduct a paycheck checkup regularly, to avoid being hit with hefty bills at the end of the year. 

Let Incentax Help You Stay On Top of Your Taxes

Understanding the complex rules and requirements for tax incentives can be difficult and you may need a professional tax incentives advisor to help you navigate these murky waters. We are here to guide you on how you can get the most out of your tax credits and incentives.

Contact us today for a consultation on how you can effectively use your startup’s tax credits!

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Does Your Business Qualify for the Disabled Access Credit

By | Tax Credits | No Comments

It’s important to be as thorough as you can while preparing your business for taxes since there could be credits available for your business that you haven’t considered before. A good example of this is the “Disabled Access Credit.” Here’s some information about how your businesses may be able to qualify for this credit.

What Is the Disabled Access Tax Credit?

This credit helps businesses that go out of their way to accommodate those with disabilities. There are a few credits that fall in this category, with the Disabled Tax Credit being the first.

This is a non-refundable credit available for small businesses. It comes into effect when a business has expenditures from providing easier access to employees who have disabilities. In order to eligible, your business must have earned $1 million or less during the year.

Alternatively, it could have no more than 30 full-time employees during the year past. You can take the credit for every single year that you have expenses for offering access. The applicable form is Form 8826.

Other similar credits include the Barrier Removal Tax Deduction that applies to businesses that remove transportation and architectural barriers that get in the way of the elderly or the disabled. Another is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides credits and incentives to hire disabled employees. All these credits are mentioned on the same page.

Details and Examples

The minimum amount for Disabled Access Credit is $250, with the maximum amount being $10,000. The credit can count for extra access options you add for both employees and customers who need extra help due to having visual disabilities.

It could apply if you add sign language interpreters to help the deaf. Perhaps the expense you have applies to your decision to buy special adaptive equipment to help improve access. It could work under the circumstances where you added braille, extra audio take, computer materials or even just spent extra on large print for those who had trouble seeing.

It could also count towards fees for consulting services as well, in the right circumstance.

So, a specific example would be if you added access bars in restrooms, created a ramp for wheelchairs, and widened some doors for easier wheelchair access.

It’s worth noting that there are other tax credits related to disability access that you may be eligible for as well if you run a home construction business specifically. In general, it’s important to check for every potential credit you can.

Getting Started

The specific provisions for getting this Disability Tax Credit, as well as many other credits available for businesses can be in constant flux, especially in times such as these.

This is exactly why it’s important to make sure that you get help in understanding and preparing your taxes in the exact right way to receive the credit. This particular credit has limits for each improvement you make, for example, making it so that maximizing the credit will work easier if you make many improvements rather than just one or two large ones.

Making different improvements across different types of access can be advantageous here since it will both make the best use of the credit, and be the most helpful to the widest range of people.

It’s also important to consult with experts in case there are particular nuances of the credit to keep in mind in terms of how it applies to your specific business.

For more information about getting this credit and possibly many others depending on your situation, please make sure you don’t hesitate to go ahead and contact us at Incentax LLC today.

business tax credits and deductions

All About Business Tax Credits and Tax Deductions

By | Tax Credits | No Comments

Are you looking to reduce your taxable income? Then you must leverage on your business tax credits and deductions. However, this is easier said than done.

In the U.S., some businesses fall behind their tax filings for various reasons. And they eventually pay huge penalties depending on how late they file them. So, as a savvy entrepreneur, you should file and pay your tax returns punctually.

Remember every business is liable for taxes for one key reason — taxes spur economic growth and development. It is through tax revenue that governments fund vital public investments and social for the larger society’s benefit.

But to maximize your tax savings, you should understand the differences between business tax credits and tax deductions.

Comparing Business Tax Credits and Tax Deductions

Business tax credits and tax deductions are the most rewarding elements of preparing tax returns. Both help to alleviate your business’ tax bill.  

So, when looking to offset your firm’s qualifying expenses, you can claim a tax credit or tax reduction, or both.

But how do business tax credits differ from tax deductions?

Business Tax Credit

A business tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the outstanding income tax.

A business tax credit directly lowers your tax liability by its stated amount. So, if your tax bill amounts to $25,000, a $2,000 tax credit would reduce it to $23,000.

Below are the three most common types of business tax credits:

Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit

Also known as the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, the Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit applies to businesses that successfully enroll in the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program).

To qualify for the SHOP, you must have less than 25 full-time employees receiving an average annual salary of up to $50,000. Additionally, you must provide no less than 50% of your full-time workers’ premium and offer coverage to your entire full-time workforce.

The Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit is refundable and counteracts up to 50% of your premium costs.

Disabled Access Credit

Have you ever spent on offering disabled individuals pertinent accommodations in your business? Well, you might qualify for the Disabled Access Credit.

Better still, if you meet the IRS’s definition of small businesses, you can also claim the Disabled Access Credit. But you must have other qualifying expenses like the removal of barriers to ease accessibility.

As a small business owner, you can claim up a maximum Disabled Access Credit of $5,000. This credit is worth half of your total eligible access expenses.

FMLA Tax Credit

In case you willingly offer your workforce paid family and medical leaves, you might qualify for the nonrefundable FMLA Tax Credit.  

You can claim at least 12.5% of FMLA Tax Credit if you foot 50% of your workers’ wages. If you bear 100% of their wages, you qualify for up to 25% of the FMLA Tax Credit.

Other common types of business tax credits include the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, New Employment Credit, Federal Empowerment Zone Tax Credit, and Research & Development Tax Credits.

Business Tax Deduction

A business tax deduction alleviates your total taxable income.

For instance, if your taxable income is $100,000, a $1,000 business tax deduction would reduce it to $99,000. But it will not reduce your tax bill by $1,000.

So, while a business tax credit reduces your tax bill directly, a business tax deduction reduces the amount upon which your tax bill is based.

Here are the most common business tax deductions:

Charitable Contribution Deduction

If you donate your business time, property, or funds to 501©(3) status organizations, consider claiming the Small Business Charitable Donations Deduction.

To claim the charitable contribution deductions, you must be eligible to donate to a qualifying nonprofit.

Business Mileage Deduction

Do you have to drive for business? Consider claiming the Business Mileage Deduction for the miles covered on business-related errands.

You can use the actual expense method or the standard mileage rate when claiming the Business Mileage Deduction.

Home Office Deduction

If you use a part of your home for business, you deserve the Home Office Tax Deduction.

To attain the Home Office Tax Deduction eligibility, you must regularly use a dedicated part of your home for business purposes. And your home must the main workplace.

Using the IRS’s simplified method, you can qualify for up to $1,500 in Home Office Deductions.

Which is better between a business tax credit and a tax deduction?

Alleviating your tax liability does not always entail an either-or decision. Luckily, you can claim both business tax credits and deductions to optimize your tax savings.

But here is the rub — you cannot claim both for the same expenses. Also, tax credits generally offer more significant tax relief than tax deductions.

Note: If you must decide between a tax credit and a tax deduction, first compute both to determine which gives you the highest tax savings.

Wouldn’t you like to relieve your business of tax liabilities?

Contact us today and our tax credit experts will take you through the baby steps towards attaining business tax compliance.

tax credits for non-profits

$9,600 in Payroll Tax Relief for Non-Profits with This WOTC Program

By | Tax Credits | No Comments

Do you know about Internal Revenue Service Forms 8850, 5584, and 5884C? If not, the odds are that your organization has been missing out on thousands of dollars in tax credit. Each year, employers claim about $1 billion in tax credits under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program. The great news is that your organization, whether it’s for-profit or non-profit, can be eligible for the WOTC.

Get WOTC-Qualified Groups on Board to Qualify 

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers who hire and retain individuals from certain target groups with significant barriers to employment. To be eligible for the WOTC, your company must employ individuals from the following target groups:

  • Veterans
  • Food stamp recipients
  • People with a felony on their record
  • Long-term unemployed
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Referrals
  • Designated Community Residents
  • Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program recipients
  • Supplemental Security Income recipients
  • Summer Youth employees (living in empowerment zones)

A great way to pre-screen candidates to see if they are WOTC-eligible is to include page one of the IRS Form 8850 in your job application process. Once the successful candidates join your company, you should review the completed 8850 pre-screening form to determine if the new hires belong to any of the WOTC-eligible target groups.

Complete Minimal Paperwork to Claim WOTC Benefits 

As an employer, you make the hiring decision and complete minimal paperwork to apply for the credit. You are required to complete the IRS Form 8850, Prerecorded Notice and Certification Request for the WOTC. You’re also required to file either Form 5584 (for-profit) or Form 5884-C (non-profit). Another form that you should complete is the ETA Form 9061.

After completing and signing these forms, submit them to your local State Workforce Agency (SWA). These forms should be submitted within 28 days of the new hires’ start date. You can then wait for SWA to make the final determination, which will indicate whether the new hires are certified as WOTC-eligible for any of the target groups. After the new hires are certified, you can file for the tax credit with the IRS.  

Earn Between $1,200 and $9,600 per Employee

Depending on the new employees’ target group and the number of hours they’ve worked in the first year, you can earn a tax credit of between $1,200 and $9,600 per employee. Your new employees must have worked at your company for over 120 hours in the first year for your company to receive the tax credit. Also, there’s no limit on the number of qualified hires you can claim.

If your new hire is a long-term TANF applicant, you may claim a tax credit equal to 40% of the new employee’s first-year wages, up to the maximum tax credit, if the new employee works over 400 hours. In the second year, you can claim a tax credit equal to 50% of the second-year wages.

If your new hire is classified under other WOTC-eligible target groups, you may claim a tax credit equal to 25% of the employee’s first-year wages, up to the maximum tax credit. If the employee works over 400 hours, you may claim a tax credit equal to 40% of the employee’s first-year wages, up to the maximum tax credit.  

Receive Your Tax Credits Hassle-Free with Incentax

To get the maximum tax credits that you deserve without any of the stress involved in the claim process, you’ll need an experienced and dependable expert by your side. Since our founding in 2011, we’ve been offering a diverse range of tax credit opportunities that benefit companies in various fields and industries. We’ve assisted hundreds of companies qualify for federal and state tax credits. Contact us today to find out how we can help your organization.

r&d payroll tax credit

R&D Payroll Tax Credit: A Startup’s Cash Flow King

By | Startup | No Comments

Startup companies across the world kick off operations under a limited budget. This is because it takes a considerable amount of time and effort for small companies to build up capital. 

Coupled with tough economic times and stiff competition from rival companies, startup companies strive to survive the pressure in order to stay afloat. In this case, success never comes along without setbacks and financial constraints. Therefore, it is necessary to roll out strategies that will help the company maintain effective cash flow.

 In other words, cash flow management is critical in the survival of a company. Mismanagement of cash flow can hurt a company’s financial health, leading to bankruptcy and even total collapse. 

How do you achieve your financial objectives? What measures have you put in place to sustain a healthy financial cash flow? The R&D payroll tax credit is a crucial cash management strategy that can significantly help your company save a considerable amount of money incurred in taxes.

Why the R&D Payroll Tax Credit?

The research & development payroll tax credit is an integral aspect of cash management that startup companies need to embrace. Typically, the credit helps your new company to offset payroll taxes. In this case, new companies and startups can apply for the R&D tax credit against taxes incurred on their payroll. 

The tax credit on payroll taxes is rolled out for five years. This helps startups to save a considerable amount of money.

A payroll tax credit reduces the monetary burden of your company through the reduction of income tax paid to the government. In some cases, eligible companies can claim up to $ 250,000 in payroll tax credit per year. This helps you offset a considerable amount of money that could have been inquired in paying taxes. 

Who Qualifies for the R&D Payroll Tax Credit?

To qualify for R&D payroll tax relief, companies are required to have less than $5 million in annual gross receipts to qualify for R&D tax relief. In cases where a business is new, gross receipts must be less than $5 million in limits within 12 months.

Under circumstances where an individual runs similar businesses sharing common ownership, R&D payroll taxes are calculated in a combined format to ascertain eligibility under this category.

The Internal Revenue Service  (IRS) has established the following guidelines about gross receipts in calculating payroll taxes:

  • All the cash received for services rendered
  • Revenue generated from investment and interest income
  • Total sales – referred to as allowances and net returns

Other activities that qualify for R & D payroll tax credit include:

1. Technical Uncertainty

Activities under this segment include efforts to improve a product or service. This may include inventions, software, and techniques. 

2. Experimentation

This includes processes meant to solve a particular technical uncertainty. Some aspects of the process are not limited to systematic trial and error, modeling, or any other method.

3. Technological Tasks

Experimentation relies on sciences. Some aspects of this category include engineering, computer science, and biology. The threshold also includes developing software for internal use.

These activities must be undertaken within the United States and not funded through alternative funding streams.

Unlock the Power of Tax Credits

The R&D payroll tax credit is integral for your new business. It will help you cut on costs inquired in paying taxes and help you grow. Contact us for help in filing for the tax credits you and your business are eligible for.

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How the WOTC Can Help When Hiring Long-Term Unemployed Workers

By | Tax Credits | No Comments

Most employers are looking to hire candidates with the best skills, experiences, and ability to match a job description. But unfortunately for job seekers, the longer they’re unemployed, the lower the odds they’ll get considered, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. A long gap in a resume has long been considered an obvious red flag.

However, did you know that hiring the long-term unemployed can also be a great opportunity for your company? According to Deloitte, hiring this often overlooked cohort can bring real value to your business. Evidence suggests that organizations that hire the long-term unemployed have a more loyal and reliable workforce with higher retention rates.

That’s not all. The federal government and state authorities have devised different incentive programs to address the thorny issue of long-term unemployment in the country. One of these incentive programs is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).

What is the WOTC?

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a provision of the Internal Revenue Code that allows organizations that hire persons from certain target groups who’ve consistently faced huge obstacles to employment. The long-term unemployed are among the WOTC-eligible target groups.

How Does the WOTC Work?

The amount of the WOTC is computed as a percentage of qualified wages paid to eligible employees during their first year of employment, up to a statutory maximum. As an employer, you may claim a tax credit equal to 40% of an eligible worker’s qualified wages if the worker has worked for at least 400 hours during their first year of employment, up to a statutory maximum.

If an eligible worker has worked for less than 400 hours, but for over 120 hours, you may claim a credit equal to 25% of the worker’s qualified wages. If the employee has worked for less than 120 hours, you may not claim the WOTC.

How to Qualify for the WOTC

While anyone who hasn’t been working for more than 27 weeks without success fits the description of a long-term unemployed individual, not everyone under that description is eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. For instance, you (as an employer) won’t get the tax credit if you hire the following groups of people:

  • Majority owners of your business
  • Former employees
  • Your relatives or dependents

Assuming that the long-term unemployed individuals that you’re hiring are eligible for the WOTC, there are several steps to take to ensure that your company qualifies for this tax credit. Firstly, you and the applicants must complete two forms during the hiring process and before the new hires start working. These two forms are the IRS Form 8850 and the Dept. of Labor Form 9061.

As soon as you hire a long-term unemployed worker, you’re required to submit the two forms of your state workforce agency for a determination on their eligibility for WOTC credit. You must submit the two forms no later than 28 calendar days after your new hire starts working. Failure to submit these forms as required will disqualify you from getting the tax credit.

Filing for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit

After receiving a letter from your state’s workforce agency confirming that your new employee is WOTC-eligible, your company becomes eligible for the tax credit. You can claim the tax credit by completing and submitting IRS Form 5884 with your business tax return.

But truth be told, figuring out your Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a complex and potentially painful process. Although there’s a lot of advice to be found online, each situation is unique. Even if you’re familiar with taxes, you might want to enlist some assistance from a tax credit expert.  

Get in Touch with Incentax Tax Credit Experts

Since 2011, Incentax has been helping companies in a wide range of fields and industries to qualify for State and Federal Tax Credits. Our dedicated Tax Credit Experts implement a proven, client-centric process to identify and maximize all available tax credits for our clients’ advantage.

If you have WOTC-eligible populations in your company and are interested in maximizing your tax savings, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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4 Key Tax Credits for Small Business Owners

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As a small business owner, it is important that you take advantage of all the tax credits available to your company in order to reduce your tax burden. Yet, you may find yourself asking a lot of questions about small business tax credits if you are not familiar with them and the plethora of tax credits that may be available to your business. To help you save money on your taxes this year, here is a look at what you need to know about tax credits including how you can find tax credits your business may qualify for.

What Is a Tax Credit?

While you likely already know that tax credits and deductions can be helpful in reducing the taxes you owe, you are not alone if you are unsure what the difference between the two is. A tax credit is a dollar amount that can be subtracted from the amount of taxes you owe. For instance, a $400 tax credit would reduce your owed taxes by $400. Alternatively, tax deductions reduce your business’s taxable income, which indirectly lowers your taxes owed. In other words, a $400 deduction would reduce your taxable income by $400, slightly reducing your taxes. Tax credits are then often seen as the superior tax break, as they can significantly reduce your tax burden. The great thing about tax credits is that you can use as many of these credits as you qualify for. Yet, how can you find relevant tax credits for you and your business? Keep reading for a look at 4 of the most common tax credits available to business owners. 

Earned Income Tax Credit

Has this been a bad year for your business? If so, you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This tax credit provides a tax break to people who are employed but earn a low to moderate-income. Just because you are a business owner, this does not mean that you can’t qualify for the EITC, as you are also self-employed. Many business owners who may be eligible for the EITC do not claim it because they believe that it only applies to their employees. However, depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for this tax credit, which can help to ease your overall tax burden. 

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to businesses that hire employees from certain target groups who have historically faced barriers to employment. Former veterans and long-term unemployment recipients are primary targets of the WOTC. Depending on the employee’s salary and the target group they come from, employers can claim up to $9,600 per employee they hire under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. 

Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums

One of the many provisions in The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) includes a small employer health insurance tax credit aimed at helping small businesses who provide their employees with health insurance. The credit is available to small businesses that pay at least half of the cost of their employees’ health insurance premiums. If you qualify, this tax credit is worth 50% of the amount you paid towards insurance premiums (however, it is reduced to 35% for tax-exempt businesses). In order to qualify for this premium, your business has to have fewer than 25 full-time employees, you must pay an average wage of less than $51,600 per year, and you must have purchased your company’s insurance plans through the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) program. 

Research and Development Tax Credit

In order to encourage domestic research and development, the Research and Development Tax Credit can help to significantly offset your company’s R&D costs. If you spent money developing a patent, building new software, working on a prototype for a new product, or on any other kind of research, you may qualify for this tax credit which can cover up to 20% of your R%D expenses. However, only certain kinds of research qualify, and determining your eligibility can be complicated, which makes it important that you work with a qualified tax professional who can help you make the most of this tax credit. 

Taking advantage of tax credits can be a great way to significantly reduce your company’s tax burden. However, with a multitude of tax credits available, it can be difficult to determine which ones your business qualifies for. Contact us to learn how Incentax’s streamlined process can help you to identify and maximize all the tax credits available to your business.

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How the Empowerment Zones Program Could Help Your Business

By | Tax Credits, Tax Incentives | No Comments

In 1993, Congress passed the Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities Act to alleviate poverty in certain regions across the country. The program targeted six strategic cities: New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, and Philadelphia-Camden. The goal was to uplift the lives of poor communities living in these regions.

The Empowerment Zones program, albeit ambitious, seems to have been forgotten. Here is a brief overview of the fundamental details of the EZ program and how it might apply to your business.

Qualification Requirements for Communities

The Empowerment Zones program was intended to rejuvenate strategic economic regions that were experiencing a decline in growth – Detroit is an excellent example. The program planned to incentivize the private sector to set up businesses in these locations and, by doing so, spur long-term economic growth.

The main requirement for a community to qualify for designation as an Empowerment Zone was a clear economic distress demonstration. Qualifying factors supporting economic distress included:

  • High unemployment levels
  • A poverty rate of at least 20%
  • A declining population rate
  • A clear pattern of divestment by existing businesses

Additionally, these communities had to clearly demonstrate the potential for economic development, which essentially is the program’s main goal. The government considered several factors when gauging these communities’ potential for economic improvement. The main consideration was a community’s capacity to build public-private partnerships. These communities were also required to help provide the necessary private and public resources to help support the economic rejuvenation efforts.

The Application Process

Communities that met the set qualifications were required to apply with the federal government. One of the application requirements was backing by the communities’ local and state governments. This was required to ensure that qualifying requirements received as much support as they needed.

Another important requirement was the submission of a strategic development plan based on the EZ program. The plan had to include the input and insight of all involved parties, including community members, businesses, NGOs, and government institutions. Finally, the communities had to provide a baseline of benchmark goals and measurements to gauge the program’s progress and achievements.

Requirements & Incentives for Businesses

The federal government planned to spur economic growth in these communities by offering tax incentives to businesses who were willing to set up shop there. For starters, businesses were offered a 20% wage credit for the first $15,000 paid in wages to an employee – the employee had to be a resident of the empowerment zone.

In addition to residents of the empowerment zones, businesses also had the option of hiring target employees in exchange for a 40% tax credit on each of these employees’ first-year wages totalling $6,000. Target employees were considered some of the more vulnerable members of the community, including at-risk youth, vocational rehabilitation referrals, SSI recipients, and food stamps recipients.

Businesses that contributed to physical developments in these communities also stood to benefit greatly from subsidized capital expenditures. Under the program’s Round III stipulations, capital expenditure on equipment erected on land parcels within these communities would depreciate by up to $35,000.  

Outcomes of the Federal Empowerment Zones Program

Results of the EZ program were mixed and largely inconclusive. However, there were more positive outcomes than negative ones. For example, five of the six empowerment zones realized an increase in jobs and a boom in minority-owned businesses. However, the incentives were more attractive to large organizations than small businesses. It should also be noted that the program coincided with an economic boom across the country.

Several other programs have been modeled after the Federal Empowerment Zones program of 1993 with the same intention. It is up to the communities and businesses to keep track of these programs and take advantage of whatever they have to offer.

Contact us today to help you learn more about federal empowerment zones, and how your business could benefit from this program.

covid-19 small business tax credits

4 COVID-19 Tax Credits and Tax Relief Programs for Small Business Owners

By | Tax Credits | No Comments

If you are like many business owners, then it is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you financially in addition to fundamentally changing the way you do business. Fortunately, in an effort to make things easier on businesses that are being affected by this global pandemic, the federal government has passed several coronavirus relief packages that provide financial assistance to businesses and families across the country.

However, what some business owners may not know is that these stimulus packages have created new tax credits and tax relief programs meant to help small business owners during this difficult time. To help ensure that you are taking full advantage of these programs, here is a look at what businesses need to know about COVID-19 small business tax credits and relief programs. 

Employee Retention Tax Credit

In order to help businesses that were hurt financially by the coronavirus pandemic, The Employee Retention Tax Credit provides businesses with a refundable tax credit equal to 50% of wages paid to an eligible employee up to $10,00 per employee. This tax credit is available to all employers regardless of size or tax-exempt status. Qualifying employers can include those that are fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19. Once an employer’s gross receipts go above 80% of a similar quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify for this tax credit.  

Payroll Tax Deferral Relief  

As part of the payroll tax deferral relief offered by the CARES Act, your business has the ability to defer the 6.2% employer portion of the Social Security tax owed on the first $137,700 of an employee’s 2020 wages paid during the deferral period (March 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020). You will then have to repay these deferred payroll taxes in two installments on December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022. This deferral is available to all employers regardless of the extent to which their business has been affected by COVID-19. It is important to note that this deferral program is unavailable to small businesses, sole proprietors, or self-employed individuals who receive forgiveness of SBA loans issued under the Payment Protection Program that was offered by the CARES Act. 

Retroactive Tax Relief

The CARES Act also provided certain tax relief measures that were retroactive, which can potentially make it beneficial for you to file an amended tax return for past years in order to recover taxes paid. For instance, one provision of the CARES Act significantly liberalizes rules for deducting net operating losses by allowing net operating losses that arise from 2018 to 2020 to be carried back five years. A net operating loss that arises this year can then be carried back to 2015, allowing you to claim refunds for taxes paid in carry-back years. Since tax rates were higher before 2018, net operating losses carried back to those years can result in significant tax refunds, helping provide you with crucial capital during this difficult time.  

Sick/Medical Leave Tax Credit

As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) signed into law in March, small businesses with fewer than 500 employees must provide limited paid leave benefits to employees affected by the coronavirus emergency. However, these small businesses have access to new tax credits to help pay for these benefits. The act requires that affected employers pay emergency sick leave of $511 per day for up to 10 days to employees in coronavirus quarantine or seeking a coronavirus diagnosis. An employee can also receive up to $200 per day for up to 10 days to care for a quarantined family member or a child whose school or child-care has been closed due to the pandemic. These required benefits are offset by a new tax credit that allows a small employer to collect 100% of qualified sick-leave and family-leave payments made by the employer as required by the law between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. 

Taking advantage of all available tax credits and tax relief programs can be crucial in helping your business to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. You should consider talking to an advisor who can help you to ensure that you are not missing any key tax credits that could help your business during this difficult time. Contact us to learn about how Incentax’s process can help you find tax credits that could help your business through this ongoing crisis.  

federal empowerment zones

What Are Federal Empowerment Zones?

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Federal Empowerment Zones (EZs) are areas within the United States that are economically depressed. Communities that had poverty rates of at least 20% coupled with high rates of unemployment were designated EZs. In addition to high poverty and unemployment rates, the qualified communities also exhibited a high rate of emigration.

History of Federal Empowerment Zones

The Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities Act of 1993 made EZs possible. It made incentives available to businesses through the tax code. The act provided bonding authority for infrastructure development. Infrastructure improvements were seen as crucial to business growth and revitalization. A generous grant program was also provided, ensuring that distressed communities had the funding they needed to stimulate their economies.

Since the early 1990s, developments have been through legislation amending the original act. National competitions were held which allowed qualifying communities to compete with each other to gain designation as Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Zones (ECs), and Renewal Communities (RCs). All of these designations were designed to aid the economies of highly distressed communities.

Qualifying communities showed extremely high unemployment, poverty, and emigration rates. These same communities had to have regrowth potential. The aid meted out to EZs, ECs, and RCs indirectly benefited businesses through funds spent on infrastructure improvements. Businesses were eligible for employment tax credits of up to $3,000 per employee. These incentives encouraged business owners to hire within the Empowerment Zone because only wages paid to employees living and working within the zone qualified for the credit. 

Baltimore, a well known Enterprise Zone, also qualified for Empowerment Zone status. Unfortunately, several studies have shown that the results of the program were ineffective. Baltimore has a history of being a highly distressed city. It was not alone in its inability to experience growth. The EZ and EC Act of 1993 had little effect on the overall economies of the cities it was trying to help. The program instituted by Bill Clinton to help economically depressed areas did little more than bolster funding reserves for existing social programs.

Should EZs and ECs Continue?

With the current stormy economic climate, many more cities will experience highly distressing conditions. Unemployment for roughly half of the U.S. is at or above 11% as of the summer of 2020. Large national stimulus packages have been rolled out. The global economy is projected to experience an unprecedented blanket recession. Does targeted funding work? 

The previous studies conducted by government and independent agencies weren’t promising. This model for economic reform won’t meet the demands of a post-pandemic nation. The evidence for the efficacy of the EZ and EC Act of 1993 was inconclusive.

Does Your Business Qualify for EZ or EC Credit?

The original legislation of 1993 was extended by additional legislation into subsequent years. It is important for businesses to do their due diligence when it comes to tax filings. Many eligible business owners did not claim the tax credits associated with Empowerment and Enterprise community designations simply because they didn’t know about them. 

The original EZ and EC Act of 1993 was extended multiple times. The most recent extension allows employers to claim WOTC for employees that were hired within the zone prior to tax year 2020 and also live in the qualifying area. Wage credits can be claimed retroactively dating back two years.

Capital gains tax exclusion on business sales within the zones as well as other tax incentives and bond privileges were part of the Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities Act of 1993 and its subsequent extensions.  Many local businesses were unaware of these tax privileges and did not take advantage of them.  Contact us for help in filing for the tax credits you and your business are eligible for.

tax credits real estate

4 Ways Your Real Estate Company Can Save on Taxes

By | Real Estate, Tax Credits | No Comments

For independent real estate agents, it can be difficult to find the time to manage your finances. For many real estate agents who run their own agency, taking care of your clients, and developing new leads, can eat into your time. You may find tax preparation moving down your priority list. However, you do not want to make the mistake of being surprised when tax season rolls around.

Taking the time to look at your finances now can help you to make sure that everything is in order and that you are taking advantage of all possible tax deductions available to you when April arrives. Finding the right tax deductions can help save your business thousands of dollars each year. To help get you started, here is a look at just a few ways that your real estate company can save money on taxes this year:

Commissions Paid

There are several tax deductions that you can take as a real estate agent. An important one to keep in mind is that you can deduct commissions that you have paid to employees or business partners. As a business owner, paying commissions is a cost of doing business, and the IRS generally considers commissions paid to be a fully deductible business expense.

This is an important deduction to remember to take as it can represent significant money saved or a lot of money left on the table if you do not take advantage of this deduction. When you go to fill out your tax paperwork, deductions for commissions paid would be placed on your Schedule C tax form on the 10th expense line.  

Marketing Expenses

As a small business owner and sole proprietor, it is likely that you invest a significant amount of money in marketing and advertising your business. Even with the advent of cost-effective marketing methods such as creating social media accounts for your business, it is likely that you still spend a large amount of money marketing your business and listings by purchasing signs, flyers, and advertisements in local papers. Many real estate agents also outsource their social media and content marketing to experts, which is an added expense.

Fortunately, marketing and advertising costs can also be deducted as a business expense. Even money spent developing your website and running digital ads on social media and Google can be deducted as marketing expenses. These deductions can be made on Line 8 of your Schedule C tax form.  

Fees, Licenses, and Memberships

A common expense for independent real estate agents is annual fees for things such as license renewals, professional association memberships, and multiple listing service (MLS) dues. Fortunately, many of these fees can be deducted as a cost of doing business. Money paid towards premiums for general business insurance and errors and omissions insurance are also both fully deductible business expenses as well.

It is important to keep track of everything that you spend maintaining your business and professional memberships. This will help ensure that you take advantage of all tax deductions available to you.  

Deduct Travel Expenses

Of course, unless you are lucky enough to have only local clients within a few miles of your home or office, it is likely that you do a lot of driving, and the miles can add up fast. This can mean spending more money fueling and maintaining your car than the average driver. Fortunately, you can deduct $0.575 per mile you drive for your business in 2020. You may also be able to deduct maintenance and repair costs for your vehicle as well. 

Keeping track of all the tax deductions and credits available to you as an independent real estate agent can quickly become overwhelming, and it is easy to forget a credit or deduction. Contact us to learn how Incentax’s streamlined process can help you to identify and maximize all the tax credits available to your real estate company. This can help to significantly reduce your tax liability.  

tax credits review

The 5 Most Overlooked Tax Credits

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According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), taxpayers who claimed deductions on their returns received a total of 747 billion dollars in write-offs. However, many Americans miss out on the opportunity to take home more money in the form of tax credits because they are not familiar with how they work. For instance, one in five people who qualified for Earned Income Tax Credit failed to claim it on their tax returns. 

For you to maximize your earnings, you must know which tax breaks and deductions you qualify for. Here we highlight the top five tax credits that are often overlooked. 

Earned Income Tax Credit

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit that is available to people who fall within a specified income threshold. Specifically, it is meant to supplement wages for low and moderate-income workers. It is also provided for people who have lost their jobs, worked fewer hours, or took a pay cut. Even if you previously did not qualify, you are eligible for a break if you meet all the qualifications. 

Basically, the EITC you receive depends on three main factors: your family size, income, and marital status. Worth noting here is that to receive this deduction, you have to file a tax return whether or not you owe taxes. Moreover, you can claim a refund going back three tax years if you were eligible all along but did not apply for it. 

Child and dependent care tax credit

Many Americans miss out on the child and dependent care tax credit due to a lack of knowledge on how it works. Typically, you can legally run up to 5000 dollars in a reimbursement account, which is exempted from normal taxes. However, if you spend more than this amount in a year, you are eligible for a tax credit of an extra 1000 dollars. This means that using the minimum 20 percent of the expenses, you can save at least 200 dollars in taxes.  

Student loan interest  

Student loans can be adjusted according to your income. Thus, if your income falls within a certain range, you do not have to pay a fixed amount every period. What is more, student loan deductions do not require an itemized deduction for you to claim them. 

There are basically three types of deduction you can claim in regard to student loan interests. First is The American Tax Opportunity Tax Credit, which is a tax deduction for college expenses for the first four years of education. The maximum annual credit here is 2,500 dollars a year. 

The second is The Lifetime Learning Credit, which is worth 2,000 per return, applies to individuals who are/were enrolled in an eligible institution. Lastly, The Tuition and Fees Deduction allows taxpayers to deduct up to 4,000 dollars from their income. Being aware of these tax break opportunities can save you a good amount in taxes. 

State sales tax  

Several states in the US have no income tax. They include Alaska, Tennessee, North Dakota, Washington, New Hampshire, Nevada, Wyoming, Texas, and Florida. If you live in one of these taxes, you are eligible for state sales tax. This law allows you to deduct expenditures such as house renovation costs, purchase of cars, boats, and planes, among others. To know what is deductible, you can use the IRS tables or keep a record of all your sales tax in a year and use it to claim these benefits. 

Reinvested dividends   

This is a subtraction that taxpayers miss and one that can end up saving them a lot of money in taxes: Essentially, if you have mutual funds dividend invested in shares, your tax basis increases, thus reducing the amount of capital gain when you decide to sell your shares. Failure to include the reinvested dividends means paying more taxes than you should.  

Being aware of how tax deductions and credits work can go a long way in saving you a substantial amount of money. This is even more true for business owners and startup founders. Incentax LLC can work with you to help you take advantage of the available federal and state tax credits for your business. Contact us to begin enjoying maximum returns with minimum inconveniences!  

tax credits technology company

3 Key Tax Credit Tips for Tech Companies

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Running a business is inseparable from paying taxes. As a tech entrepreneur, you must be aware of your tax obligations starting from City Hall up to the federal government.

To keep your taxes under control, you should understand which taxes your firm must pay, the amount of outstanding taxes, and the when to file.

A small mistake can lead to your tax bills go through the roof. But by planning well, taking advantage of available tax deductions, and preparing your tax returns diligently, you can significantly save on the amount of owed taxes. This is where tax credits come in.

A business tax credit is a particular tax incentive that reduces the amount of taxes a business owes the government.  Business tax credits are available to companies when filing their annual tax returns with the International Revenue Service.

Benefits of Business Tax Credits to Tech Companies

To understand the benefits of tax credits to tech companies, we should break down business tax credits further. Business tax credits occur in varied forms. Available business tax credits include research and experimentation, investment, welfare-to-work, and work opportunity, just to mention a few.

Businesses must claim these tax credits by filing the specific forms for that tax credit on the IRS Website. Alternatively, you can seek the help of a licensed tax professional or an accountant. Keep in mind that the applicable tax credit forms and the available credits change yearly. So, before you file your tax returns, you should consult with the IRS website.

The main advantage of business tax credits is that they reduce your tax obligations. Preferably, you should try using all the tax credits you qualify for to reduce the amount of taxes you will incur during tax time.

What is more, if your business exceeds its tax credits for the prevailing tax year, you can apply them to the already filed tax returns. Better still, if you have excess tax credits in the present tax year, you can carry them forward to the subsequent tax year.

To make the most out of your tech company’s business tax credits, do the following:

Understand Your Tax Responsibilities

As an entrepreneur, you should be cognizant of all the local, state, and federal income taxes you might incur.

Your chosen business entity and the number of employees inform your tax obligations. Also, you might incur other local and state taxes depending on your local or state taxing authority.

Identifying all your potential taxes your business will incur will help you plan adequately and increase your business’ bottom line.

Know When to Involve an Accountant

Setting up a general business ledger is among the crucial things to do when launching a tech startup. Despite your activity level, involve an experienced bookkeeper to maintain your accounting records properly.

Accurate accounting records will come in handy when you are filing your annual taxes or seeking outside funding.

In the case of higher-level business activity, consider hiring a full-time internal accountant.

Understand the Available Business Tax Credits

There are a plethora of tax credits available to tech companies. The most popular tax credit is the research and development tax credit. You can use this credit to settle federal payroll taxes. Furthermore, it can be converted into cash in various states.

Understand how you can use these credits to your advantage to reduce your tax responsibilities.  

Given the uncertain business future, an overwhelming amount of taxes can sink your business. By taking advantage of available business tax credits, you’ll be better able to your tech business afloat.

Do you need help in filing your taxes? Contact us today to help you determine the available tax credits you qualify for. We will also advise you on how to cut your tax obligations for the benefit of your tech company. 

tax mistakes new business

5 Common Tax Mistakes Businesses Make

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Filing your taxes is an obligation that, as a business owner, you have to keep to be on the safe side of the law. Having said this, many business owners tend to make mistakes that lead to tax overpayments, penalties, or even audits from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Even worse, deliberate or intentional mistakes can compromise your business and your life as well.  

Getting your taxes under control can save you the trouble that results from the avoidable errors people make during the tax season. For a more in-depth insight, here are some common mistakes businesses need to be aware of vis-à-vis taxes. 

Incorrectly reporting income

Over-reporting or under-reporting your income can have negative consequences on your business. Sadly, this is a common mistake that mostly happens when balancing invoices and business payments. For instance, you may receive payments from clients and fail to record them in that pay period, which may cause a tax overlap. 

Although small errors are largely inevitable, it is advisable to keep records of your tax documents and every transaction you conduct. More importantly, keep your financial records updated at all times so that you have evidence in case there are discrepancies in the IRS records.  

Not separating your expenses   

More often, business owners fail to draw a line between business and pleasure expenditures. This usually leads to a failure to make correct deductions when filing taxes. For example, you can make deductions on fuel money spent while delivering a package to a customer. However, you cannot deduct the money used for activities that are not attached to your business. 

To avoid this common mistake, always ensure that you demarcate between business and personal spending. You can do this by keeping a record of both types of expenditures. Failure to do so can attract unnecessary attention from the IRS. 

Bending or breaking deduction rules

The concept of tax deductions is oftentimes confusing due to the technicalities involved. To minimize mistakes, the IRS has outlined how business owners should make deductions; specifically, it provides actual figures and limits to guide people when filing and submitting their taxes. 

Further, deductions vary based on multiple factors, such as whether your business is a startup, the size, and the nature of the activity (say insurance costs and medical fees). Being up to date with deduction rules is crucial in ensuring you make your tax deductions accordingly. 

Misclassifying employees and independent contractors

As a business owner with employees, you can be liable to penalties for failing to classify your employees. The IRS has issued clear tips to differentiate between permanent employees and contractors; for example, an individual becomes an employee if you dictate when, where, and how the person does a task while one becomes a contractor if they work under a different schedule, use their own tools, and are not eligible for defined benefits. 

Your business should also give every employee a W-2 form while contractors who get paid more than 600 dollars should receive a Form 1099-Misc. If you run a business as a self-employed individual, you should also learn how your taxes apply to avoid penalties. 

Filing your taxes late 

Although this common mistake is quite avoidable, many business owners find themselves locked out of the tax season because they failed to do their taxes on time. Failing to file your taxes within the window period provided can earn you penalty fees, which could put your business on the spot. Having a payment arrangement can save you from being penalized. You can even make quarterly payments to make your work less stressful.

As part of business financial management, minimizing room for tax errors can see you save a lot of money in the end. As long as you emphasize accuracy and accountability, you can be sure to avoid these and other mistakes many businesses make. 

At Incentax, we strive to help businesses maximize their tax credits for maximum returns. Please contact us for more on how we can help you maneuver.  

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4 Ways to Reduce Your New Company’s Tax Liability

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As the owner of a new small business, you will need to take several key steps to ensure your business’s success. One of the most important things that you should do from day one is properly manage your taxes, as not doing so could sink your business.

You will also need to find ways to reduce your tax liability, as doing so can help you to keep your hard-earned money, allowing you to continue to invest in your business. Fortunately, there are many tax-saving strategies that you can employ to reduce your company’s tax burden. Here are just a few steps that you can take to reduce your tax liability this year: 

Contribute to a Retirement Plan

Once your business is profitable, you can reduce your taxes by setting aside money in a retirement account. By placing money in a 401(k) or IRA, you can reap valuable tax benefits as you will get a deduction for your contributions.

For the 2020 tax year, the IRS allows you to put away up to $57,00 in total contributions for retirement into a one-participant 401(k) plan. Doing so gives you a way to prepare for your future while reducing your current tax liability.  

Structure Your Business The Right Way

In order to reduce your tax liability, it is critical to structure your company the right way, as structuring your business improperly could cost you greatly come tax season. For instance, if you have a closely held company where income passes through you as the business owner, then it is likely that you have established your company as an LLC or an S corporation.

While this may be the right choice in some circumstances, depending on your income bracket you may actually benefit by changing your company’s structure to a C corporation.  It can be beneficial to seek professional help when structuring your business in order to ensure that you choose the best option for your company.     

Consider Expanding Benefits Instead of Giving Raises

As your business grows, you may be inclined to give your employees raises to show your appreciation for their hard work as well as to incentivize them to keep working at your company. However, this may not always be the best option for tax purposes. A better option may be to compensate employees by increasing your contribution to their health insurance costs instead of giving them the same amount of money in the form of a raise.

If you gave your employees a salary increase, each employee would have to pay taxes on those wages, and you, as the employer, would have to pay the employer share of the FICA and Medicare taxes on this additional income as well. Instead of giving employees a $400 raise, it may be better for you to offer to contribute $400 more to their medical insurance. This not only prevents you and your employees from having to pay additional taxes, but also, in many instances employer contributions to employee benefits are tax-deductible as a business expense, helping you to save money. 

Find The Right Advisor to Help You Maximize Tax Credits

Of course, a great way to ensure that you are doing everything that you can to reduce your tax liability would be to talk to an advisor that can help you to take advantage of available tax credits. The government offers various tax credits at the state and federal levels for businesses of all types. However, it can be difficult to sort through all of the tax credits available to your business on your own.

Working with a tax credit expert helps ensure that you are doing everything that you can to reduce your tax liability. 

Contact us to learn how Incentax’s streamlined process can help you to identify and maximize all of the tax credits available to your business, as this could significantly reduce your tax liability.  

virtual office compliance

4 Ways to Stay Compliant When Transitioning to a Remote Office

By | Startup, Tax, Tax Credits | No Comments

From solopreneurs to corporations, the concept of a virtual office has been enjoying widespread adoption since Executive Suites pioneered it in 1994. Initially, virtual offices would provide an address. Today, however, premium services include everything from reception services to mail scanning and the use of conference rooms.

The increasing popularity of virtual offices partly results from their low cost. In California, for example, virtual offices can cost as low as $50 per month. But the growing use of remote offices comes with growing implications. With new legal precedents to govern virtual offices, how do you remain compliant? Here are four ways to stay compliant when transitioning to a remote office:

1.Check Work-from-Home Laws

Using a virtual or a remote office means that you will be working from home. In a practical scenario, some of your clients may need to meet you at your house for meetings, if you aren’t renting a workspace or meeting in public places. This implies that the law allows you to carry out business-related activities at your home.

To avoid legal issues, you must determine if:

  • Your type of business qualifies for work from home.
  • Local zoning laws require you to get permits before commencing business.
  • Parking restrictions limit the number of clients who can park at your home.

The law makes it easier for some businesses to operate from home. Practices such as accounting and software engineering can easily transition to remote offices. However, masseurs and hairstylists may have issues as they meet their clients physically and regularly. Before transitioning to a remote office, therefore, you should ensure that your home has the legal capacity to host your specific business operations.

2. Comply with Tax Laws

As far as tax implications go, remote offices do not relieve you tax burdens or the obligation to report tax. This means that you will have to pay tax just like other businesses that operate on-premises. 

Starting with tax deductions, working from home can result in a lesser tax burden. But the law stipulates that you qualify for deductions if the dedicated home office strictly serves work purposes. To put it into perspective, working from the place you enjoy a TV show disqualifies you from deductions.

While checking tax laws, examine legal precedents too. A highlight was the Telebright Corporation, Inc. case. The court ruled that the company incorporated in Delaware had to file corporation taxes with New Jersey since they had a New Jersey-based employee working from home.

3. Track the Finances

Transitioning to a virtual office demands more considerable attention to detail when it comes to money. All incomes and expenses must be recorded appropriately. A sequential filing system works best to preserve invoices and keep a clean record.

Failure to keep track of finances undermines your efforts of complying with tax laws, making you and your business vulnerable to fines. To ease the paperwork involved, you can use accounting software.

4.Hire a Tax Credit Expert

Every year, companies end up burning the midnight oil to meet tax filing deadlines. This is the time when you probably wade through tax records and fill out your tax return. It is, without a doubt, a daunting task — one that is not only frustrating but also time-consuming. 

The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Tax credit experts are there to help you keep up with the tax code, and their expertise can help you to ensure that you get all the credits and deductions that you’re eligible to receive. 

Let Incentax Help You Comply

Incentax provides your business with many solutions bundled in one package. We offer a range of tax credits to help your company ease its tax burden, advice on tax deductions, and provide secure networks for remote teams’ collaboration while ensuring your business remains compliant with set laws.

Is your virtual office business struggling with tax and communication issues? Contact us today.

real estate cost segregation

3 Things You Should Know About Cost Segregation for Real Estate

By | Tax | No Comments

For many years, accounting firms have relied on cost segregation as a tool to preserve capital and help their clients benefit from massive tax relief. Through accelerated depreciation, reclassification of assets, and write-downs, a business can reduce their tax burden significantly and free up cash. 

Despite the effectiveness of cost segregation in the past, new tax reforms that went into effect on January 1st, 2018, make cost segregation more beneficial by offering additional depreciation classification, and a rate of up to 100% for new and acquired properties up from 50%. 

But cost segregation for real estate is not for everyone or every business. There are a few things you need to know to help you make the most out of cost segregation. 

1. It is not for all properties 

The benefits of cost segregation are limited to specific properties and beneficiaries. To qualify for cost segregation, the property in question needs to meet the following criteria: 

  • The property should be an investment property. 
  • Permanent residentials that don’t depreciate because of the ownership structure are also considered. 

Additional requirements for properties or companies to qualify for cost segregation include: 

  • Companies that have recently constructed, purchased, or are planning to buy or construct a building.
  • Company-owned or leased buildings that have been recently renovated.
  • The construction, renovation, or purchase cost of the building in question should have cost $300,000 or more.

If the property meets the above criteria, cost segregation could help the company make substantial savings from tax deductions and instantly improve cash flow. 

In addition to the criteria, the application for cost segregation must meet the rigorous application and requirement procedures of the IRS.

2. The cost is not straightforward 

Most companies that have applied for cost segregation have quickly realized the process is not as straightforward as it looks. 

A cost segregation study is not inexpensive, even for an average study. Before jumping in feet first, the expected savings must significantly outweigh the cost of the study

A cost segregation study starts anywhere around $10,000 and could cost as much as $25,000 for a well-done study and a written report. 

Even with the budget, not all properties qualify because the study is only one step of the process. To give yourself the best chance of success, you have to ensure you check on all the right boxes. Some requirements include: 

  • Either you, your spouse of the both of you are real estate professionals.
  • Your W-2 income falls below $150,000.
  • You’re selling the property.

Other than the typical costs, additional charges depend on the location of the building, whether the building is new or existing, and the nature of the property.

There are also other charges that you might incur down the road. To ensure the trouble is worth your while, it’s necessary to involve your accountant to make sure you can qualify for cost segregation before you start the application process.

3. Cost segregation application doesn’t follow the calendar year 

Unlike other tax processes, cost segregation doesn’t have to be determined by December 31st. You can do it in March or April of the prior tax year. 

It can be done at any time of ownership, even by the current owners, which means time is not a limitation, and you can start enjoying the tax deduction at any time. You can also extend the study to other rental properties in your portfolio.

Using the savings you accumulate on one property, you can offset the other properties, or even offset your active W-2 income taxes. 

Even though you’re not pressed for time, you can make more savings by requesting for a cost segregation study the year the property is placed in service by the current taxpayer.

Making the most out of cost segregation requires a strategic approach with the help of an expert who understands the process. If you would like to know if you qualify for a cost segregation study and learn more about this monumental tax-saving opportunity, get in touch today. 

construction business tax credits

4 Tax Credits Your Home Construction Business May Be Eligible For

By | Tax Credits | No Comments

Home construction businesses often reduce their tax burden by depreciating fixed assets (such as vehicles, machinery, and equipment), writing off expenses, and leveraging tax credits. A lot of tax credits go overlooked, leading to smaller home construction businesses spending more money on taxes each year.  

State and federal tax credits reduce tax demands and allow businesses to maintain higher cash flow. 

Tax credits and incentives that your business may be eligible for include:

1. Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is offered on the federal level and provides employers that hire workers in targeted groups with a tax credit. If you hire employees in the following categories, your business may be eligible for this credit: 

  • Veteran 
  • Ex-felon 
  • SNAP benefit recipient 
  • SSI recipient 
  • Long-term unemployed recipient 
  • IV-A recipient 
  • Long-term family assistant recipient 
  • Others 

The federal government outlines all of the targeted groups that may be eligible under the credit. Eligibility will also depend on the hiring dates and the qualified status of the employee. 

Tax credits range from $2,400 for a qualified employee to $9,600 for a veteran who is qualified. 

If your company is considering hiring a veteran, the tax credit is another reason to hire from this group.

2. R&D Tax Credit

Construction companies can offset research and development (R&D) costs with the R&D tax incentive. Construction businesses that qualify for these incentives often don’t leverage them because they believe they’re only available to big businesses. 

The R&D incentive is a dollar-to-dollar reduction and can be used to offset costs such as: 

  • Hiring and paying employees involved in R&D 
  • Supplies that were part of the process 
  • Contract costs, up to 65%, paid to others that were doing research 

Qualifying for these credits requires a business to meet certain requirements. A business may be eligible for this tax credit if they were involved in: 

  • Creating or improving efficiency and reliability 
  • Designing of systems, such as plumbing or HVAC, for new usage or better efficiency 
  • Experimenting with materials or alternatives to create new infrastructure 
  • Improving or designing of green buildings 
  • Engineering and design that is unique 

Home construction businesses can benefit from R&D tax credits for a lot of activities, including exploring new construction techniques, improving safety or quality, and building or improving equipment.

3. 45L Green Building Incentive

The 45L Green Building Incentive, or New Energy Efficient Home Credit, allows for contractors to receive a $1,000 to $2,000. The credit applies to homes that are up to three stories and varies depending on a few factors. 

  • If heating and cooling consumption are 50% below comparable buildings, a tax credit of $2,000 is available. 
  • Manufactured homes that do not meet the 50% mark may be eligible for a $1,000 credit if it meets Energy Star Labeled Home requirements, FMHCSS requirements and has heating and cooling reductions of 30% versus comparable homes. 

The New Energy Efficient Home Credit is one that home construction businesses may be eligible to receive when focusing on energy-efficient homes.

4. Disabled Access Credit

Businesses that are accommodating of people with disabilities may be eligible for the Disabled Access Credit. Businesses will need to earn $1 million or less and have less than 30 full-time employees to be eligible. 

The IRS credit is 50% of the eligible expenses between $250 and $10,250. 

There’s also the Barrier Removal Tax Deduction, which allows for up to $15,000 a year in deductions for expenses relating to common barriers relating to people with disabilities, such as architectural and transportation. Removing barriers for the elderly or persons with disabilities to allow access to your business falls under this deduction. 

Construction businesses can leverage and combine all of these tax credits to reduce their annual tax burden. 

Contact us today to see what tax credits your business may be missing. 

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