Category: Business Entity Formation (Page 1 of 3)

Updates to IRS Tax Partnership Audit Rules

There are changes coming to any business operation that is currently taxed as a partnership in the United States. The concept of the “tax matters partner” is being done away with in favor of what is called a “partnership representative.” 

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Famous Last Words: “The Shorter the Better”

Over the years, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve sat with or been on the phone with a client and we went over the deal they were trying to close (or more often some part of the overall deal), where they said “We just need something short to memorialize this, preferably a one page agreement.”

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SEC’s Final Rules on Regulation Crowdfunding (Finally) @ Paper This Deal

So on October 30, 2015, the SEC adopted final rules which will, after the comment period is done (60) days and they are adopted, allow crowdfunding a/k/a Regulation Crowdfunding a/k/a Equity Crowdfunding in the United States.

At first glance the final rules appear similar to the previously issued versions, with individuals only authorized to invest a portion of their annual salary or net worth through crowdfunding each year.  See the press release here.

Portals which will offer the securities of companies offering same through Regulation Crowdfunding will be effective January 29, 2016 so hopefully a decent number of platforms will be available to start the party in early 2016.

The final rules will be effective 180 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The below is a brief summary in FAQ form covering the Regulation Crowdfunding rules.

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Partnership Taxation: Substantial Economic Effect @ Paper This Deal

Partnership taxation is a complex area of tax law. We’ll be walking through some of the issues you should be aware of.

The first is to ensure you are getting the deal you thought you were.  Partners (or LLC members where the LLC has multiple members and does not “check the box“) can agree on how to allocate the profit and losses of the business as they see fit in the agreement.  The allocations can be done in any manner the partners/members choose, provided that the allocations have “substantial economic effect.” See IRC 704(b); Treas. Reg. 1.704-1(b).

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S Corporations: Losing S-Corp Status Due to Passive Income

Owners of corporations elect S corporation taxation status for the pass through and other benefits the election provides. There are various things that can arise that would cause an S corporation to lose its election.  In this and following posts, I’ll walk through some of the most common.  The one I want to discuss now is the S corporation passive income restriction. 

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S Corporations: Electing to be taxed as an S Corporation

I’m going to be posting a number of posts on the ins and outs of electing and operating a corporation which elects to be taxed as a small business corporation (an “S Corp”) with the IRS.  There are many benefits to such an election, but there are also pitfalls that many owners run into that could jeopardize the election.

The first post in this series is simply how to make the election.

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Use your Retirement Plan to Fund your Startup @ Paper this Deal

First of all, I won’t advise anyone to withdraw their 401(k) funds early as the tax hit the IRS enacts is insane.  If you are thinking about doing that, please don’t, or at least don’t do so until you’ve spoken to your accountant.

This post will, however, detail how to use your qualified retirement plan or IRA to start a new, or buy an existing, business.  This name given to the process I’ll discuss is rollovers as business startups (“ROBS”).  The main gist is that an individual’s current retirement plan is rolled over into a newly established 401(k) plan sponsored by a startup company and then used to purchase the startup company’s stock.  The ROBS arrangement allows income taxes and penalties (see IRC Section 72(t))to be avoided because it is a rollover from one qualified plan to another.

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New York’s STARTUP-NY Program @ Paper This Deal

Starting at the beginning of 2014, New York’s STARTUP-NY Program went live.  Here is the official website for the initiative.  Its goals are laudable but its only available to a small niche of companies.  If your company qualifies, however, the benefits are rather nice.

In summary, the Program provides eligible companies with free office space (at certain locations) for a period of time and the employees of the company pay no state income tax on their income (at least for the first five years, with a small amount possibly paid in years 5 through ten).  The Program is attempting to lure out-of-state companies into New York, while encouraging sprouting of new startups that otherwise may not have started without these benefits.  Overall New York is looking to add more jobs in the state, and the more jobs now (even with tax breaks) the more taxes the state can collect in teh future. 

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Domestic International Sales Corporations @ Paper this Deal

If you export products for sale of any type and don’t know what an IC-DISC (or simply a DISC) is, or think it’s a round piece of plastic you put in your computer’s drive, then keep reading.  Any United States business with qualifying export sales can save a large amount of money with the use of a Interest Charge Domestic International Sales Corporation (referred to hereinafter as a “DISC”).

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Tax Treatment of S-Corp Payments to Shareholders @ Paper this Deal

Shareholders who are employed by a corporation which has elected to be taxed as an S-Corp wear two hats.  They are investors in the entity (they contributed capital to get their shares initially) and allowed to get a return on their capital, and they are employees who receive wages.  When an owner/employee of an S-Corp (or an LLC which is taxed as an S-Corp) is on a salary from the S-Corp, the wages payable are subject to employment taxes, and distributions made to the owner of the S-Corp are not subject to employment taxes.  Also if the S-Corp was loaned money by the shareholder, the S-Corp can make payments to repay the loan to the shareholder, and these payments will not be subject to the employment tax.  Misclassifying payments as distributions or loan repayments, when they really should be wages can lead to an audit from the IRS.

In a recent case from the United States Tax Court (Glass Blocks Unlimited, TC Memo, 2013-180),

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