By John Benedict
The last couple of years have been a whirlwind for everyone, especially small business owners. We’ve seen a lot of changes and wanted to provide you with a checklist to help you end the year on a strong note.
Here are five items you should review before we head into the New Year. Going through this checklist will help you minimize your tax burden and start 2023 off on the right foot.
1. Review IRS Elections (Especially if You Had a Net Operating Loss)
If you had a net operating loss (NOL) this year, double-check your IRS elections to ensure you made the correct ones. This is one of the most significant issues our CPAs see when they help small business owners file their taxes.
All these decisions affect how much money your business may owe in taxes. Talk with a CPA or financial professional about which elections may be right for you.
Additionally, how you structure your small business can make all the difference in the world when it comes to taxes. A tax professional can help you decide which entity type is the best for your business and help you apply before the deadline hits.
For example, let’s say you found out you could save more in taxes by structuring your business as an S corporation instead of an LLC. If you’re a new business, you have two months and 15 days from the day you file your articles of formation to file your S corp elections. So, if you filed your articles of formation on March 1, you have until May 16 to file your S corp election for it to take effect that same tax year.
2. Review Your Deductions
The CARES Act brought about major tax incentives to people who donate to charity in 2020 and 2021, but the provisions of this Act have not been extended to 2022. This means you can no longer write off up to $300 in cash donations from your tax return if you take the standard deduction. And itemized charitable deductions are once again capped at 60% of your adjusted gross income for cash donations made. If you were planning to take charitable deductions in 2022, be sure to review them carefully to make sure they meet new requirements.
There are still deductions available for basic business expenses and these can help reduce your taxable income significantly. Some common examples of business expenses include:
- Legal and professional fees
- Office expenses, including costs related to the business use of your home
- Business use of your vehicle
- Continuing professional education
- Memberships to professional organizations
Tax-deductible business expenses need to be ordinary and necessary to operate your business. Consult your tax professional for more details on qualified business expenses.
3. Review Depreciation
New depreciation rules have come into effect in recent years due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). These changes allow you to write off most depreciable assets “in the year they’re placed into service,” according to the IRS.
Common items you can write off for depreciation include computers, equipment, machinery, cell phones, buildings, office furniture, and vehicles, as well as intangible items like copyrights.
Make sure you keep a list of everything that counts as a depreciable expense. Doing so will help you lower your business’s taxable income.
4. Check Eligibility for Company Retirement Plans
There are several different tax-advantaged retirement plans available to small business owners, including the solo 401(k), the SEP IRA, and the SIMPLE IRA. A solo 401(k) is designed for businesses with only one employee, the business owner, whereas SEPs and SIMPLEs can be used for businesses with more employees, though SIMPLE IRAs are capped at 100 employees.
According to the IRS, an employee can participate in a SEP IRA if they:
- Are at least 21
- Have worked for the employer in at least 3 of the last 5 years
- Received at least $650 in 2022
Business owners can choose to be less restrictive than this and allow other employees to participate in a SEP, but you can’t be more restrictive than these IRS rules allow.
Review your SEP IRA eligibility requirements to ensure employees can participate in the program if you want them to.
Choosing to add an employer-sponsored retirement plan to your company can be a great way to take advantage of tax credits, including those for setting up a new plan and auto-enrolling employees. You may also be eligible for additional tax deductions by making qualified employer contributions on behalf of your employees. It’s important to review your options with a qualified financial professional before making a decision on a retirement plan as each plan type comes with its own unique benefits and drawbacks.
5. Review New Due Dates & Filing Methods for 1099s
Starting in 2020, any freelancers or contract workers who earned more than $600 from your company will receive Form 1099-NEC instead of 1099-MISC. NEC stands for “non-employment compensation”—and it’s only used for reporting independent contractor income.
1099-NEC forms are due on January 31. If this day falls on a weekend, they’re due the following business day.
How We Help
At J2 Capital Management, we specialize in helping high-net-worth individuals accumulate, preserve, and enjoy their wealth for years to come. If you need help tying up loose financial ends before the new year rolls around, we’re happy to help. Schedule a meeting online or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-641-4444.
About John Benedict
John Benedict is CEO, investment advisor representative, and portfolio manager at J2 Capital Management, a boutique financial advisory firm specializing in in-house custom financial planning, tax, estate, and investment management. With over 20 years of experience, John is passionate about helping clients navigate uncertain markets, reduce risk, and plan for a sound future. John combined his talents and passion in statistics and technical analysis to create J2’s tactical strategies, managing them since the beginning of the organization. He is known for being a visionary and continually looking for ways to improve J2’s services and strategies to better serve his clients. John graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in business administration and finance, and his thoughts on markets and technical analysis have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Investment News, and on Moneyshow.com. He was also a contributor to the book The StockTwits Edge: 40 Actionable Trade Set-Ups from Real Market Pros.
When he’s not working, you can find John boating or participating in water sports and spending time with his wife, Janine, and his three children, Jack, Alexis, and Saraphina. To learn more about John, connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also register for his latest webinar on What Makes J2 Capital Management Different From Other Financial Advisors.