Tag: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The New Tax Law’s Impact on Law Firms

New tax rules that apply to law firms are complicated

Lakeland Bank Breakfast presentation
Breakfast with Lakeland Bank: The Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Law Firms. Neil Gordon and Ottilia Stura from Lakeland Bank, with Maria Rollins and Jerry Shanker

KRS partner Jerry Shanker and I discussed the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on law firms at a Breakfast with Lakeland Bank on June 12.

From working with our law firm clients and associates, we realized that many firms are still scrambling to come to grips with the tax code changes and develop tax planning strategies around them. The attendees at our Lakeland Bank talk had similar concerns.

While many businesses stand to benefit from the tax code overhaul, when it comes to the Act’s impact on law firms and their partners and associates – it can get complicated.

These key provisions of the Act affect law firms and their members:

  • Reduction in individual and corporate income tax rates
  • $10,000 annual limit on deduction of state and local income taxes (SALT). This includes deduction for real estate taxes
  • No deduction for miscellaneous itemized deductions Increased standard deductions
  • Introduction of new Code Section 199A, which provides for a tax deduction of 20% of qualified business income, subject to limitations and exclusions

Free Guide for Law Firms

We’ve summarized several other key changes in the tax code that impact law firms in a downloadable guide, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – Considerations for Law Firms.”

TCJA Considerations for Attorneys
Law firms need to develop new tax planning strategies so they don’t pay more tax than necessary under the new tax laws.

If you are a managing partner or executive at your law firm, understanding the factors covered in the Guide will help you and your firm determine the best strategy for optimizing your firm’s and your partners’ tax positions. By downloading this guide, you will learn:

  • How the choice of business entity – C-Corp, S-Corp, or pass-throughs – is impacted by the updated code
  • New rules for specified service businesses
  • Changes that impact entertainment and fringe benefit expenses
  • Code Section 179 changes that impact expense deductions
  • New limitations on business interest and excess business loss
  • Key changes to Section 199A deductions that impact individual W-2 wage earners.

Download the Guide

We’ve got your back

At KRS, we’re working to help our clients understand and navigate the new tax law changes – and those affecting law firms are particularly complicated. Because each law firm’s and individuals’ taxable income and deductions are unique, each individual set of facts and circumstances must be reviewed.  We’re happy to help you with yours. Contact me at [email protected] or 201.655.7411 for an initial consultation.

The Importance of a ‘Paycheck Checkup’

The Importance of a Paycheck CheckupThe Internal Revenue Service is urging taxpayers to do a “paycheck checkup.”

To help understand the implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS unveiled several new features to navigate the issues affecting withholding in their paychecks. The effort includes a new series of plain language Tax Tips which detail the importance of reviewing withholding as soon as possible.

The new tax law could affect how much tax you should have your employer withhold from your paycheck. To help with this, taxpayers can use the IRS’ Withholding Calculator. The Withholding Calculator can help prevent you from having too little or too much tax withheld from their paycheck. Having too little tax withheld can mean an unexpected tax bill or potentially a penalty at tax time next year. With the average refund topping $2,800, some taxpayers might prefer less tax withheld up front and receive more in their paychecks.

Individuals can use the Withholding Calculator to estimate their 2018 income tax. The Withholding Calculator compares that estimate to your current tax withholding and can help you decide if you need to change your withholding with your employer.  When using the calculator, it’s helpful to have a completed 2017 tax return available.

Those who need to adjust their withholding must submit a new Form W-4 to their employer. If you need to adjust your withholding, doing so as quickly as possible means there’s more time for tax withholding to take place evenly during the rest of the year. If you wait until later in the year, it could have a bigger impact on each paycheck and your 2018 return.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction, removed personal exemptions, increased the child tax credit, limited or discontinued certain deductions, and changed the tax rates and brackets. Those who should especially check their withholding are:

  • Two-income families
  • People working two or more jobs or who only work for part of the year
  • People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit
  • People with older dependents, including children age 17 or older
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns
  • People with large tax refunds or large tax bills for 2017

We’ve got your back

At KRS, we’re working to help our clients understand and navigate these tax law changes. We strongly encourage all taxpayers to do a paycheck checkup to ensure they’re having the right amount of tax withheld for their unique personal situation. Contact managing partner Maria Rollins at [email protected] or 201.655.7411 for a complimentary initial consultation.

How Tax Reform Impacts Real Estate

How Tax Reform Impacts Real Estate

The Senate and House have passed similar tax reform plans, but the bill is not yet finalized. Legislators are still working to create a unified bill, and the real estate industry can expect significant changes under the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Key changes include:

Temporary 100% Bonus Depreciation

House Bill:

Modifies existing bonus depreciation rules under the “PATH Act” by increasing the rate to 100% through the end of 2022. It also makes bonus depreciation applicable to both new and used property, where it currently applies only to new property. The 100% bonus depreciation will not apply to real property trade or business (i.e., commercial and residential real estate).

Senate Bill:

Similar to the House bill, except the 100% bonus depreciation will apply only to new property and to real property trade or business.

Section 179 Expensing

House Bill:

The Section 179 expense limitations for 2018 will increase from $500,000 to $5 million while the phase-out limitations for assets placed in service will be increased from $2 million to $20 million.

Senate Bill:

The Section 179 expense limitations for 2018 will increase from $500,000 to $1 million while the phase-out limitations will increase from $2 million to $2.5 million. Qualified real property eligible for 179 expensing will be expanded to include improvements to certain buildings systems including roofs, HVAC, fire and alarm systems, and security systems.

Real Estate Recovery Periods

House Bill:

No changes to current depreciation recovery periods of 27.5 years for residential and 39 years for non-residential real property.

Senate Bill:

Nonresidential real and residential rental property depreciable lives would be shortened to 25 years.

Like-Kind (1031 Exchanges)

House bill:

1031 exchanges will continue for real property, but not for tangible personal property. CAUTION: The proposed rules will trigger 1245 recapture for tangible personal property.

Senate Bill:

Same as House bill.

An updated version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act must be approved by both the Senate and House before going to the president to be signed into law.

We’ve Got Your Back

At KRS, we’ve been tracking tax reform legislation closely and are ready to assist you in your tax planning and preparation when it is finally signed into law. Don’t lose sleep wondering what impact the tax changes will have on your real estate holdings. Contact me at 201.655.7411 or [email protected].

Update: Tax reform has now been passed into law. Stay up-to-date on how it impacts real estate investors by checking out the New Tax Law Explained! For Real Estate Investors.