August 31, 2021

What The New SALT Workaround Legislation Means for Taxpayers

On August 27, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill that will provide owners of partnerships or S corporations with a workaround to the federal $10,000 state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap applicable to individual taxpayers. This new law will provide a major break to Illinois taxpayers who were otherwise unable to…

August 2, 2021

PPP Update: SBA Launching Direct Loan Forgiveness Portal

Last week, the SBA announced plans to open a “PPP direct forgiveness” portal which will allow borrowers to apply for PPP loan forgiveness directly, eliminating the need to go through their lenders. The new portal, which opens this Wednesday, August 4, is limited to loans up to $150,000, only from participating lenders. The SBA will…

July 30, 2021

Key Consideration: The Tax Benefits of the Qualified Small Business Stock Gain Exclusion

Under Section 1202, the qualified small business stock (QSBS) gain exclusion provides significant tax benefits by allowing the exclusion of up to 100 percent of taxable gain from the sale of QSBS. If the Biden administration’s plan to increase long-term capital gains rates becomes a reality, qualifying for the QSBS gain exclusion is likely to…

June 22, 2021

What Business Entity Type Makes the Most Sense for My Business?

Adapted from a BDO Article When you’re starting a new venture, one of the most important decisions you make is which type of tax entity is best for your business. Oftentimes, founders must choose between C corporation, S corporation, or partnership. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that must be evaluated in terms of…

June 15, 2021

Retirement Alert: RMDs are Back in 2021

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) – the amount you must withdraw from certain retirement accounts when you reach a certain age – are back in 2021, after being waived in 2020. RMDs apply to 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (except Roth IRAs). The amount that must be withdrawn each year is calculated by dividing the balance…

April 29, 2021

RRF Alert: Urgent Advice for Restaurants Seeking Relief Grants

Starting this Monday, May 3, at 11:00am CDT, restaurants and other businesses that serve food and beverages can apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants. The SBA is STRONGLY recommending applications be made as soon as possible after the program is live. They suggest completing the sample draft application in advance so the response may…

April 27, 2021

COVID Relief News: Regarding Restaurants, Entertainment Venues, Vaccine-Related Sick Leave

As we head into May, a number of new COVID-19 relief efforts are slated to take effect shortly, including a pair of eagerly anticipated measures targeting two of the hardest hit sectors of the American economy: restaurants and live entertainment venues. Here’s the latest: Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) The SBA has posted sample application forms…

April 26, 2021

Federal and State Tax Filing Deadline Reminder: May 17 is Coming Up Fast!

With Tax Day – Monday, May 17th approaching, the deadline for filing your 2020 federal and state tax returns – is now less than three weeks away, it’s time for a final reminder from your friends at Weiss. Gather and submit your tax information to us ASAP. You can do so electronically via the Client…

April 14, 2021

IRS Provides Guidance on 100 Percent Deduction for Business Meals

Businesses now have some additional guidance on the recent temporary deduction increase of their restaurant food and beverage expenses. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 temporarily increased deductions for business meals at restaurants from 50 percent to 100 percent for 2021 and 2022. Businesses can claim 100 percent of their food…

March 26, 2021

COVID Relief Update: PPP Deadline Extended, EIDL Loan Ceiling Raised

There’s a feeling of cautious optimism on the COVID-19 front and for good reason. While vaccination rates rise and infections decline across the country, Congress continues to do its part to help the small business community put the pandemic in the rear view mirror. Their latest move is a big one. Yesterday, the Senate voted…

March 19, 2021

Federal and State Tax Filing Deadlines Extended to May 17

On Wednesday, the IRS and Treasury Department announced that the 2020 federal income tax filing due date for individual taxpayers has been extended from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021. Governor Pritzker followed suit yesterday, announcing that Illinois would extend its state income tax filing deadline to May 17 as well, and many other…

March 12, 2021

ARPA 2021: An Overview

On Thursday afternoon, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act 2021 (ARPA), the latest legislation aimed at providing economic and other relief from the COVID-19 pandemic that has haunted the country for the last year. The massive 628-page bill includes $1.9 trillion in funding for individuals, businesses, and state and local governments….

March 5, 2021

PPP Update: Big News for (Very) Small Businesses

In an effort to extend PPP benefits to self-employed individuals, gig workers and other non-employer businesses, the SBA last week announced a revised loan calculation formula that will mean larger forgivable loan amounts for many such applicants. Under the new rules, self-employed businesses who filed a Schedule C in 2019 or 2020 may now calculate…

January 21, 2021

COVID Relief Update: New 3580S Form Simplifies PPP Loan Forgiveness Process

In a further effort to streamline the PPP program for small businesses, the SBA has just released a revised 3508S form to be used to apply for forgiveness of PPP loans under $150,000. The revised form, which is linked below, removes the requirement to provide supporting documentation at the time of forgiveness of the qualified…

January 14, 2021

COVID Relief Update: Employment Retention Credit (ERC) Changes

Among the provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the COVID relief package signed into law last month, are key changes to the Employment Retention Credit. As the ERC offers significant benefits to so many of our small business clients, Weiss CPA and tax expert Jeremy Morgan put together the following “Top 10” list of points…

January 11, 2021

COVID Relief Update: New PPP Applications Released by SBA

This week, eligible small businesses can begin applying for new PPP loans funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the COVID relief package signed into law last month. Beginning Monday, January 11, companies eligible for “first draw” PPP loans – that is, those who qualified under the original CARES Act but did not receive a loan…

December 11, 2020

Webinar Recap: 2021 Illinois Business Forecast

On December 8, the Daily Herald Business Ledger hosted a webinar (co-sponsored by Weiss and Company LLP) highlighting the challenges facing Illinois businesses – particularly small businesses – as 2021 approaches. The webinar panel included Weiss partner Steve Goluch, who focused on taxation issues. He stressed that as 2020’s PPP program was “put out on…

November 23, 2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness Update: New Guidance on Deductibility of Expenses

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury and IRS issued new guidance to clarify the tax deductibility of business expenses that are paid for with PPP loans. These expenses include payroll costs, certain employee health benefits, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and interest on other debt. Revenue Ruling 2020-27 indicates that PPP loan recipients may not deduct these…

November 23, 2020

Q&A: Jim Hamilton Looks Back On – And Beyond – 2020

With a professional career spanning nearly three decades, including five years in the private sector, Weiss partner Jim Hamilton brings an exceptionally deep perspective on matters affecting tax planning, both short and long-term. He sat down recently to discuss how the firm has handled working in the pandemic and what individuals and businesses should be…

November 20, 2020

Last Minute Tax Tips for Individuals in 2020

With the holidays approaching and the end of the year in sight, individual taxpayers should take time to ensure they are reducing their tax obligations and preparing for next year. We anticipate that deadlines will return to their initial timetables, with April 15 as the deadline for individual tax returns, so taxpayers should have their…

November 19, 2020

Your Annual Tax Planning Guides

If there was ever a year where literally everyone – workers, business owners, investors, retirees, you name it – needs expert tax guidance, 2020 is it. As always, a good place to start is by reading our annual Tax Planning Letters. Prepared by one of the world’s largest and most influential public accounting networks, they…

November 19, 2020

IRS Introduces New Form 1099-NEC for Non-Employee Compensation

In a move of particular importance to employers who work with freelancers, contract workers and other non-employees, the IRS recently released the new Form 1099-NEC for tax year 2020. Beginning with tax year 2020, employers must use the new form to report non-employee compensation that meets the following four conditions: You made the payment to…

September 2, 2020

Employee Payroll Tax Deferral: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

On Friday, August 28, the IRS issued Notice 2020-65 for employers to provide guidance regarding the August 8 employee payroll tax deferral Executive Memorandum from President Trump, but questions remain. Below are the key points from the three page guidance: The employee tax deferral period begins September 1, 2020 and ends December 31, 2020. The…

May 7, 2020

IRS FAQ regarding pandemic-related relief for retirement plans and IRAs

A key section of the CARES Act is devoted to special provisions for retirement plans and IRAs, particularly regarding distribution options, rollover rules, and early withdrawal penalties. New IRS guidance about these provisions is expected shortly and will be covered here in our Coronavirus News & Information Center. In the meantime, we’ve included a link…

April 15, 2020

CARES Act Rebate Check Update: “Get My Payment” Website Portal Now Open

Today marks the debut of the IRS’s much-anticipated “Get My Payment” portal, designed to expedite delivery of CARES Act rebate checks to all eligible taxpayers. The IRS is encouraging everyone to visit the site and verify contact and taxpayer information from their 2018 or 2019 federal tax returns. It’s especially important for taxpayers who do…

April 10, 2020

IRS Issues New Extensions for Tax Filing, Payments

Late Thursday, the IRS issued Notice 2020-23 detailing the extension of numerous tax deadlines covering individuals, estates, corporations and others. The new extension covers a variety of tax form filings and payment obligations that are due between April 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020, including estimated tax payments due June 15 (now due July 15th)…

April 10, 2020

CARES Act Rebate Checks: IRS Update

As you’re no doubt aware, the IRS has committed to begin issuing the CARES Act economic impact payments – also referred to as stimulus payments or rebate checks – within the next few weeks. While payment is automatic for most taxpayers, the agency recently updated its website with special tools designed to help speed up…

April 6, 2020

CARES Act Rebate Checks: What Every Taxpayer Needs to Know

Last week, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that distribution of economic impact payments detailed in The CARES Act would begin in the next three weeks, and that payment would be automatic, with no action required for most people. The following Q&A, which is reprinted from the IRS website, provides important details…

April 1, 2020

Tax Relief & The CARES Act: An In-Depth Look

First things first. As the coronavirus crisis deepens, we hope that you are safely sheltering in place and doing all you can to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community healthy and safe. If you’re like most Americans, taxes are probably the furthest thing from your mind right now. Yet recent tax changes designed…

March 28, 2020

The CARES Act: An Overview

Yesterday, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) into law after unanimous approval by the Senate and voice vote passage in the House. At 883 pages and $2.2 trillion, it is the largest relief bill in U.S. history and goes to extraordinary lengths to provide relief for taxpayers and businesses…

March 25, 2020

Illinois Extends 2019 Tax Filing Deadline to July 15

Illinois announced today that the 2019 income tax filing and payment deadlines for all taxpayers who file and pay their Illinois income taxes on April 15, 2020, are automatically extended until July 15, 2020. This relief applies to all individual returns, trusts, and corporations, and because it is automatic, taxpayers do not need to file…

March 20, 2020

UPDATED Message Regarding 2019 Tax Deadlines

UPDATE: On Friday, March 20, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the IRS will move the federal income tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020. The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief for individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Key points are summarized below, along with…

March 19, 2020

New IDES Guidance About Emergency Unemployment Benefits

March 19 – The IDES has issued new guidance covering emergency benefits for workers whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. The guidance includes important information for employers and employees alike. For example, under emergency rules recently adopted by the IDES, individuals temporarily laid off because their workplaces closed may be entitled to benefits. To access…

December 19, 2019

SECURE Act for Retirement Plans Included in Year-End Tax Legislation

With so much happening in Washington D.C. as 2019 draws to a close, we want to draw your attention to a news item of significance to all of us. Among the provisions contained in Congress’s year-end appropriations bill is the SECURE Act – short for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” – which will…

December 9, 2019

Your Annual Tax Planning Guides

2019 marks the second year since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the first in which nearly all of its terms have taken effect. Once again that means big changes to income tax preparations and planning for both individuals and businesses, and it’s more important than ever to understand how those…

December 3, 2019

Last Minute Tax Tips for 2019

With the calendar closing in on 2020 and April 15 right around the corner, here’s a quick list of things for individual taxpayers to address before 2019 ends: Check your FSA balance. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care expenses, you need to incur qualifying expenses by December 31 to use…

December 2, 2019

Tax Planning in the Age of the TCJA

It’s been nearly two years since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, and it continues to alter the landscape for taxpayers at all income levels. We can expect further changes in the years to come, with many TCJA provisions changing from year to year and a Presidential election on tap for…

November 19, 2019

Clock is ticking on end-of-year tax breaks for small businesses

As we count down toward the end of yet another year, it’s a good time for our business clients to consider the year-end tax breaks available on certain purchases and expenses. This year’s opportunities are among the most generous in recent memory, thanks in part to changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act…

October 3, 2019

Illinois Tax Amensty Laws – Industry Alert

Illinois enacted two tax amnesty laws – one covering taxes administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue, and the other covering franchise taxes and license fees administered by the Illinois Secretary of State. These acts provide taxpayers the opportunity to pay outstanding tax liabilities and receive penalty AND interest forgiveness on taxes paid in full during the…

September 18, 2019

IRS: Keep an Eye Out for Tax Scams

The IRS is urging taxpayers to be on the lookout for evolving phishing emails and telephone scams. This year, the agency has seen signs of two new variations of tax-related scams. One involves Social Security numbers related to tax issues, and another threatens people with a tax bill from a fictional government agency. Here are…

September 16, 2019

Reporting Cryptocurrency Income to IRS

Many Weiss & Company LLP clients have questions about how or whether to report gains and losses from cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. These virtual currencies, which operate without a central bank or administrator, have become popular both as payment methods and as investments because they are decentralized, anonymous, and not tied to any government or institution….

June 24, 2019

The Uncertain Future of Illinois Income Taxes

Where we stand today – Income Taxes Individual, Trusts, and Estates Illinois maintains a flat income tax rate of 4.95% for individuals, trusts, and estates, regardless of how much or how little income is earned. Businesses Illinois C corporations are subject to an income tax rate of 7%. S corporations and partnerships (“pass-through entities”) are…

March 26, 2019

The Argument for Using a CPA Firm to Handle Your Taxes

“Why should I use a CPA firm for my taxes?” We hear that question a lot this time of year, especially this year, in the wake of all the changes triggered by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We hear it from taxpayers of all ages, at every income level. But the truth is, there’s…

March 12, 2019

Eight Tax Planning Opportunities For Businesses In 2019

More than a year after sweeping federal and state tax reform were enacted, businesses of all sizes are still working to understand the changes. Though additional guidance and regulations have been issued nearly every month, it seems change is the new normal. Strategic tax planning now is key to lowering businesses’ total tax liability. At…

January 30, 2019

Important Tax Related Filing Dates for 2019

Depending on what tax related documents you need to file, here are several key tax dates to pay attention to over the course of 2019. If you care for additional detail, visit the IRS Federal Tax Calendar or give our tax team a call (Jim Hamilton – 847.441.8800). We would be happy to walk you…

January 30, 2019

New Tax Rules: Using Your Car for Business

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, several new rules went into effect regarding the Section 179 expense deduction that improve your opportunity to take a more immediate and or larger deduction on cars used for business purposes. Below are five rules you should know. For further information and guidance on these rules,…

January 30, 2019

Understanding the New 20 Percent Deduction for Pass-through Businesses

The IRS recently issued its final regulations on the new 20 percent deduction for Qualified Business Income (QBI) for pass-through businesses (Section 199A). This new deduction was added as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The final regulations are 247 pages long, and because this is a new deduction, there are…

January 29, 2019

Tax Reform Q and A with Jim Hamilton

Jim L. Hamilton, CPA, has spent 21 years with Weiss & Company LLP as a tax partner who leads the firm’s Tax Planning & Compliance Department, he has seen his share of tax reform laws over the years and is working with his staff to help his clients interpret the new rules. He sat down…