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Tax Alerts
February 26, 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 has issued guidance clarifying that taxpayers receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) may deduct their business expenses, even if their PPP loans are forgiven. The IRS previously issued Notice 2020-32 and Rev. Rul. 2020-27, which stated that taxpayers who received PPP loans and had those loans forgiven would not be able to claim business deductions for their otherwise deductible business expenses.


The IRS has waived the requirement to file Form 1099 series information returns or furnish payee statements for certain COVID-related relief that is excluded from gross income.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain employers and employees who use the automobile lease valuation rule to determine the value of an employee’s personal use of an employer-provided automobile may switch to the vehicle cents-per-mile method.


Estimated tax underpayment penalties under Code Sec. 6654 are waived for certain excess business loss-related payments for tax years beginning in 2019. The relief is available to individuals, as well as trusts and estates that are treated as individuals for estimated tax payment penalty purposes.


The IRS has extended the time period during which employers must withhold and pay the employee portion of Social Security tax that employers elected to defer on wages paid from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.


The IRS has issued guidance that provides partnerships with relief from certain penalties for the inclusion of incorrect information in reporting their partners’ beginning capital account balances on the 2020 Schedules K-1 (Forms 1065 and 8865). The IRS has also provided relief from accuracy-related penalties for any tax year for the portion of an imputed underpayment attributable to the inclusion of incorrect information in a partner’s beginning capital account balance reported by a partnership for the 2020 tax year.


Final regulations provide guidance related to the limitation on the deduction for employee compensation in excess of $1 million.


The IRS has issued final regulations providing additional guidance on the limitation on the deduction for business interest under Code Sec. 163(j). The regulations finalize various portions of the proposed regulations issued in 2020 with few modifications. They address the application of the limit in the context of calculating adjusted taxable income (ATI) with respect to depreciation, amortization, and depletion. The regulations also finalize rules on the definitions of real property development and redevelopment, as well as application to passthrough entities, regulated investment companies (RICs), and controlled foreign corporations.


The IRS has released final regulations that address the changes made to Code Sec. 162(f) by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97), concerning the deduction of certain fines, penalties, and other amounts. The final regulations also provide guidance relating to the information reporting requirements for fines and penalties under Code Sec. 6050X.


The IRS has provided a safe harbor allowing a trade or business that manages or operates a qualified residential living facility to be treated as a "real property trade or business" solely for purposes of qualifying to make the Code Sec. 163(j)(7)(B) election. This guidance formalizes the proposed safe harbor issued in Notice 2020-59, I.R.B. 2020-34, 782. Taxpayers may apply the rules to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.


The IRS has released final regulations addressing the post-2017 simplified accounting rules for small businesses. The final regulations adopt and modify proposed regulations released in August 2020.


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.