new tax law

You’re Still Getting a Bonus (Depreciation) in 2012

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Normally, when you buy long lived property, you can’t deduct the full cost of the property in the year you purchase it.  The purchase price is deducted over the expected life of the property.  In late 2010 through 2011, business owners were allowed to immediately deduct 100% of the cost of certain assets.  This was known as 100% bonus depreciation.  100% bonus depreciation ended on December 31, 2011.  Bonus depreciation is alive and well in 2012; however, it has been reduced to 50% from 100%.  50% bonus depreciation lasts through December 31, 2012.  It is extended to December 31, 2013 for property having a longer production period (discussed later).

What is Eligible Property?

To be eligible for bonus depreciation, the property must meet three criteria:

1.  The asset must be qualified property

  • The asset must have a recovery period of 20 years or less.  This includes most tangible personal property.  It excludes almost all real estate.
  • General purpose buildings used in agriculture, such as machine sheds and shops, are 20 year property and are eligible for bonus depreciation
  • Off the shelf software qualifies
  • Qualified leasehold improvement property qualifies

2.  The ORIGINAL use must commence after December 31, 2007

  • The asset must generally be NEW.  Used property doesn’t qualify.
  • New property initially used by a taxpayer for personal use and subsequently converted to business use meets the original use requirement
  • Expenditures to recondition or rebuild assets satisfies the original use requirement, but purchases of reconditioned or rebuilt assets do not qualify.  However, an asset that contains used parts will not be considered used if the cost of the used parts is 20% or less of the total cost.

3.  The asset must be acquired and placed in service on or before December 31, 2012

  • The placed in service requirement is extended to December 31, 2013 for property that has a longer production period and has an expected life of at least 10 years OR is commercial transportation property or certain aircraft.
  • A longer production period is defined as exceeding two years OR an estimated production period exceeding one year and a cost exceeding $1 million.
  • Only costs attributable to production before January 1, 2013 will qualify for this exception.

Qualified leasehold improvement property also qualifies for 50% bonus depreciation.  Qualified leasehold improvement property meets the following tests:

  • The improvement is to an interior of a building
  • The building is nonresidential
  • The improvement is made pursuant to a lease by either the lessee, sublessee, or by the lessor to property to be occupied by the lessee or sublessee
  • The improvement is placed in service more than three years after the date the building was first placed in service by any person
  • Leases between related parties do not qualify

Call us if you would like to discuss how this applies in your business.

 

Buzzkill Disclaimer:  This post contains general tax information that may or may not apply in your specific tax situation. Please consult a tax professional before relying on any information contained in this post.

Any tax advice contained in the body of this post was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions. Any information contained in this post does not fall under the guidelines of IRS Circular 230

 

Payroll Tax Cut Extended

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Quick Background on Payroll Taxes

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) imposes two taxes on employers, employees, and self-employed people.  One tax is the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI, commonly known as the Social Security tax).  The other tax is for Hospital Insurance (more commonly known as Medicare A).  The Social Security tax has been 6.2% and the Medicare tax has been 1.45%.  An employee pays the 6.2% Social Security Tax on her first $110,100 of wages (this wage base changes periodically), and pays the 1.45% Medicare Tax on all wages without limit.  The employer must match employees’ Social Security and Medicare Tax contributions.  Therefore, the employee pays a combined Social Security and Medicare tax rate of 7.65% of wages and the employer matches this 7.65% contribution for a combined FICA rate of 15.3%.

Self employed people pay both employer and employee portions of the tax on their self employment income.  The self-employment rate has been 15.3%.  There are two adjustments that self employed people make that are related to self employment tax:

  • The first adjustment is to multiply self-employment income by 0.9235. This adjustment basically allows the employer portion of FICA taxes to be deducted from self employment income.  Notice that the 0.9235 number is equal to 1 – 7.65%.  7.65% representing the employer portion of FICA

Example:  Joan has $100,000 of self employment income from her proprietorship.  She multiplies this income by 0.9235 and the product is $92,350, which is equal to her $100,000 self employment income less the employer portion of 7.65%.  The self employment tax rate of 15.3% is then multiplied by $92,350 to arrive at self employment tax of $14,129.

  • The second adjustment is a deduction equal to one-half of the self employment tax on the self employed person’s tax return.

On Joan’s personal tax return, she would be allowed an above the line deduction of $7,064.50 (one half of the $14,129 self employment tax).

What’s New

During 2011, the employee portion of Social Security was reduced to 4.2% from 6.2%.  The Social Security tax for self-employed individuals was 10.4% (6.2% employer portion plus 4.2% employee portion).  In December 2011, when Congress couldn’t agree on how to fund a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut, it passed the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 that provided a two month extension of the 4.2% employee Social Security rate.  On February 17, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.  This new law extended both the 4.2% Social Security employee portion and the 10.4% Social Security portion of self employment tax until December 31, 2012.

The maximum savings for 2012 will be $2,202 (2% of $110,100) per taxpayer.  If both spouses earn at least as much as the wage base, the maximum savings will be $4,404.

An additional change is made for the above the line deduction for self employment tax.  The deduction is normally one half of the self employment tax to reflect the half that represents the employer portion of the tax.  However, the employee portion of the Social Security tax is 4.2% while the employer portion of the Social Security tax is 6.2%.  Thus, the deduction for Social Security tax is now 59.6% [6.2% employer portion divided by combined employer and employee Social Security tax of 10.4%].  The deduction for the Medicare portion of the self employment tax remains at 50% since the 2% reduction applied only to the Social Security Tax.

Example:  It is now 2012 and Joan still has $100,000 in self employment income.  The first adjustment is still to multiply her $100,000 income by 0.9235.  The product of $92,350 is multiplied by the Social Security portion of self employment tax of 10.4% to arrive at $9,604.40.  The $92,350 is also multiplied by the Medicare portion of self employment tax of 2.9% to arrive at $2,678.15 for a total self employment tax of $12,282.55.  Notice that the self employment tax is less than the first example by $1,846.45.  This difference is due to the 2% reduction in the Social Security portion of self employment tax times the self employment income of $92,350.

To calculate Joan’s above the line deduction:

  • multiply the Social Security portion of self employment tax by 59.6% ($9.604.40 times 59.6% equals $5,724.22)
  • multiply the Medicare portion of self employment tax by 50% ($2,678.15 times 50% equals $1,339.08)
  • Joan’s total above the line deduction for self employment tax is $7,063.30.
Thus, Joan has to cut a check for $12,282.55 to cover self employment tax.  The $7,063.30 above the line deduction for self employment tax is multiplied by her individual tax rate to determine its value.  If Joan is in the 30% bracket, the $7,063.30 deduction will reduce her income taxes by $2,118.99.

Buzzkill Disclaimer: This post contains general tax information that may or may not apply in your specific tax situation. Please consult a tax professional before relying on any information contained in this post.

Any tax advice contained in the body of this post was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions. Any information contained in this post does not fall under the guidelines of IRS Circular 230.

 

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