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The 2021 “Social Security wage base” is increasing

If your small business is planning for payroll next year, be aware that the “Social Security wage base” is increasing. The Social Security Administration recently announced that the maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase from $137,700 in 2020 to $142,800 in 2021. For 2021, the FICA tax rate for both employers and […]

Understanding the passive activity loss rules

Are you wondering if the passive activity loss rules affect business ventures you’re engaged in — or might engage in? If the ventures are passive activities, the passive activity loss rules prevent you from deducting expenses that are generated by them in excess of their income. You can’t deduct the excess expenses (losses) against earned […]

What tax records can you throw away?

October 15 is the deadline for individual taxpayers who extended their 2019 tax returns. (The original April 15 filing deadline was extended this year to July 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) If you’re finally done filing last year’s return, you might wonder: Which tax records can you toss once you’re done? Now is a […]

The easiest way to survive an IRS audit is to get ready in advance

IRS audit rates are historically low, according to the latest data, but that’s little consolation if your return is among those selected to be examined. But with proper preparation and planning, you should fare well. In fiscal year 2019, the IRS audited approximately 0.4% of individuals. Businesses, large corporations and high-income individuals are more likely […]

Can investors who manage their own portfolios deduct related expenses?

In some cases, investors have significant related expenses, such as the cost of subscriptions to financial periodicals and clerical expenses. Are they tax deductible? Under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, these expenses aren’t deductible through 2025 if they’re considered expenses for the production of income. But they are deductible if they’re considered trade or […]

Business website costs: How to handle them for tax purposes

The business use of websites is widespread. But surprisingly, the IRS hasn’t yet issued formal guidance on when Internet website costs can be deducted. Fortunately, established rules that generally apply to the deductibility of business costs, and IRS guidance that applies to software costs, provide business taxpayers launching a website with some guidance as to […]