Last week was Small Business Week, which recognizes the important contributions of our country’s entrepreneurs. It was also an opportunity for the IRS to highlight some key deductions and credits that can benefit small business taxpayers. Here are a handful that can make a huge difference come tax time.
Qualified Business Income Deduction
Owners of businesses operated through sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, trusts and estates may be eligible for a qualified business income deduction, also called the section 199A deduction. Some trusts and estates may also claim the deduction directly. The deduction allows them to deduct up to 20 percent of their qualified business income, plus 20 percent of qualified real estate investment trust dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership income.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, losses from a trade or business are now limited to $250,000 or $500,000 for a joint return. This includes activities reported on Schedule C by a self-employed individual and farming activities reported on Schedule F. It also includes being an employee and certain activities reported on Schedule E. Excess business losses that are no longer allowed are treated as a net operating loss (NOL) and carried forward to the following tax year.
Business expenses are usually deductible if the business operates to make a profit. To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that’s common and accepted in the trade or business. A necessary expense is one that’s helpful and appropriate for the trade or business. An expense doesn’t have to be indispensable to be considered necessary. Business expenses include things like business use of a home or car, rent, business meals, and others.
General Business Credits
The general business credit includes about two dozen tax credits for a variety of businesses and business activities. Often, a taxpayer who qualifies for one or more of these credits but is unable to use them for a given tax year can carry them back to a prior year or forward to future years. See Form 3800 and its instructions for details.
Click here to see the IRS’s full list of helpful deductions and credits for small businesses.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).