October 30, 2013
If you own a Limited Liability Company (LLC) that you are not actively managing, but you claim tax deductions, this blog post will be of interest to you. Close to 30 years ago, the IRS passive activity loss (PAL) rules (I.R.C. Section 469) were enacted to limit the degree to which money-losing LLCs could be used as tax shelters by their owners claiming losses—such as depreciation, interest, and other deductions. These rules created the passive income or loss category and they apply to all business activities, including real estate rental activity.
There are two types of passive income or losses including income earned from:
Essentially, the PAL rules are intended to prevent individuals from deducting passive losses (such as from rental activities) from their non-passive income. However, if you own or co-own an LLC on a part-time basis or have someone else manage it on your behalf, as long as you are active in the business you can claim any related losses against your non-passive income, if you meet the IRS definition of "material participation." The IRS defines “material participation” as being “involved in the operations of the activity on a basis which is regular, continuous, and substantial.” There are several tests that the IRS uses to define material participation in a business, based on your activity and the amount of time you spend working. Read about it in detail here.
Another point to keep in mind—the PAL rules state that passive losses from a business activity can only be used to offset passive income from other passive activities. Passive losses in excess of your passive income for the year are capped, but they can be carried forward and deducted in future years when and if you have passive income or if you sell or dispose of the activity that generated the suspended losses. For additional information about PAL tax regulations, please visit IRS.gov.
Many businesses use independent contractors to help keep their costs down. If you’re among them, make sure that these workers are properly classified for federal tax purposes. If the IRS reclassifies them as employees, it can be a costly error.
What do accountants do with themselves after tax season? Actually, the same thing they do during busy season: They work hard for their clients. The only difference is that instead of cranking out tax returns, they help clients work through other aspects of their financial health—including issues revealed during the yearly tax return process.
The premium tax credit (PTC) is a refundable credit that helps individuals and families pay for insurance obtained from a Health Insurance Marketplace (commonly known as an “Exchange”). A provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the credit.