Newsletters
Tax Alerts
April 10, 2021
Tax Briefing(s)

Independent Contractors Effective January 1, 2020


To our business clients:


To our business clients:


Standard Mileage Rates for 2021


BONUSES- Just a reminder - holiday bonuses are subject to all payroll taxes.


The IRS has an amnesty plan for employers to get independent contractors correctly classified as employees. CA however has severely increased penalties for misclassifying workers as independent contractors.  (See the following description).

So that the reporting for this fringe benefit is not so burdensome, the IRS allows employers to include the personal use of business-owned cars during November and December in the following year's W-2s. This means that W-2s for 2020 need to include the value of the personal use of the vehicles from

November 1, 2019 to October 31, 2020 and that this value can be calculated now. Those clients using computerized payroll systems which prepare W-2s will have to inform the system of this fringe benefit value which needs to be included in payroll before the end of December.


With certain key exceptions, employers must pay nonunion, non-exempt employees (who are not working an alternative workweek schedule) at least time and one-half pay for: *Hours worked in excess of eight hours in one day, *Hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one workweek, and *The first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in a given workweek.


All businesses are required to report independent contractors, to whom they will be issuing a 1099-MISC form, to the California Employment Development Department. The information provided will be forwarded to state and local child support agencies to help in their efforts to locate parents who are delinquent in their child support obligations.


California's state-run college saving program, Golden State Scholarshare Trust allows parents and others to put aside tax-deferred money for college.


The IRS and the Treasury Department have automatically extended the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year, from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.


On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Some of the tax-related provisions include the following:


The IRS needs to issue new rules and guidance to implement the American Rescue Plan, experts said on March 11 as President Joe Biden signed his COVID-19 relief measure.


Strengthening tax breaks to promote manufacturing received strong bipartisan support at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 16.


IRS Commissioner Charles "Chuck" Rettig told Congress on February 23 that the backlog of 20 million unopened pieces of mail is gone.


The Tax Court ruled that rewards dollars that a married couple acquired for using their American Express credit cards to purchase debit cards and money orders—but not to purchase gift cards—were included in the taxpayers’ income. The court stated that its holdings were based on the unique circumstances of the case.


The IRS Office of Chief Counsel has embarked on its most far-reaching Settlement Days program by declaring the month of March 2021 as National Settlement Month. This program builds upon the success achieved from last year's many settlement day events while being shifted to virtual format due to the pandemic. Virtual Settlement Day (VSD) events will be conducted across the country and will serve taxpayers in all 50 states and the District of Colombia.


An individual who owned a limited liability company (LLC) with her former spouse was not entitled to relief from joint and several liability under Code Sec. 6015(b). The taxpayer argued that she did not know or have reason to know of the understated tax when she signed and filed the joint return for the tax year at issue. Further, she claimed to be an unsophisticated taxpayer who could not have understood the extent to which receipts, expenses, depreciation, capital items, earnings and profits, deemed or actual dividend distributions, and the proper treatment of the LLC resulted in tax deficiencies. The taxpayer also asserted that she did not meaningfully participate in the functioning of the LLC other than to provide some bookkeeping and office work.


A married couple’s civil fraud penalty was not timely approved by the supervisor of an IRS Revenue Agent (RA) as required under Code Sec. 6751(b)(1). The taxpayers’ joint return was examined by the IRS, after which the RA had sent them a summons requiring their attendance at an in-person closing conference. The RA provided the taxpayers with a completed, signed Form 4549, Income Tax Examination Changes, reflecting a Code Sec. 6663(a) civil fraud penalty. The taxpayers declined to consent to the assessment of the civil fraud penalty or sign Form 872, Consent to Extend the Time to Assess Tax, to extend the limitations period.


Every year, Americans donate billions of dollars to charity. Many donations are in cash. Others take the form of clothing and household items. With all this money involved, it's inevitable that some abuses occur. The new Pension Protection Act cracks down on abuses by requiring that all donations of clothing and household items be in "good used condition or better.

Probably one of the more difficult decisions you will have to make as a consumer is whether to buy or lease your auto. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of buying vs. leasing a new car or truck before you get to the car dealership can ease the decision-making process and may alleviate unpleasant surprises later.