There’s both good news (for some) and bad news (for many) as we round the corner into December.
And I’m not talking about our culture, or politics, or sports, or anything like that.
I’m talking about TAXES.
I’ll start with the good news. This is applicable to some of my readers only, but it is nice news for Hampton Roads business owners in certain high tax states.
One of the difficult aspects of the TCJA was the “SALT” (state and local tax) deduction limitations. Specifically in high-tax states, this represented a difficult setback in what could be deducted.
Well, one semi-sneaky way around this limitation has just been tentatively approved by the IRS in Notice 2020-75: paying these taxes on behalf of the owner or partners through an S-corp or partnership (pass through entity), and enabling them to be counted as a business expense.
This workaround immediately came into effect in MD, LA, CT, NJ, OK, RI and WI. Four more states already have legislation on the dockets: AL, AR, MI and MN. And (perhaps not surprisingly), NY and CA — the two biggest states in this category — are expected to act quickly.
There is a rumor that this could be retroactive to 1/1/2018. But until we know for sure, we still need to get the final regulations from the IRS. They have promised we’d have them soon.
So that’s the good news.
The bad news is this:
The IRS recently ruled definitively that expenses paid for with PPP proceeds are NOT deductible.
This has been an open question, and it is STILL a bit of an open question … but what they clarified is that the timing of the forgiveness won’t affect the tax treatment of these expenses.
Essentially, if a Norfolk business “reasonably believes that a PPP loan will be forgiven in the future”, expenses related to the loan aren’t deductible whether or not the business has filed for forgiveness.
But also — if a business does NOT apply for forgiveness, or is denied, those expenses will be deductible.
It’s probably best to operate as if this is the settled answer, even though there are many (like the AICPA) who are advocating for a Congressional fix.
It’s worth a conversation for planning purposes if you need guidance.
And it’s also a signal that if your Hampton Roads business took a PPP loan, there isn’t any tax benefit to be gained by delaying the forgiveness process. So … it’s a good idea to start on that.
Either way, we’re here to help.
To more of what’s yours, in your pocket…
Virginia Accounting Services
Feel free to share this article with a Hampton Roads area (or beyond!) business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners.