Home News French L. Taylor explains the Section 199A tax deduction

French L. Taylor explains the Section 199A tax deduction

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After the global pandemic, many small businesses in the U.S. need relief. French L. Taylor is helping to provide a much-deserved (tax) break.

The federal tax specialist is an expert in tax accounting methods, specifically in Section 199A deductions.

Signed into law at the end of 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), this deduction was just one piece of a larger tax reform platform. Wanting to better mirror corporate rates, Congress added this new legislation to the existing tax code. Available until 2025, it can result in major savings for small businesses and real estate investors.

Section 199A offers a qualified business income (QBI) deduction. QBI refers to the net amount of income, gain, loss, or deduction associated with a qualified domestic business or trade. For owners of more than one business, QBI incorporates total income and carries over from year to year. This includes only taxable income and excludes performing services. In short, these companies can deduct approximately 20% of their income. The maximum deduction is calculated based on an owner’s QBI or their taxable income excluding any net capital gains, whichever is less.

Determining whether a specific business qualifies is a necessary first step. Although tax laws can be ambiguous, French L. Taylor points out there is no wiggle room when defining who is eligible for Section 199A. Sole proprietorships, S corporations, partnerships, and LLC are named as qualified businesses. Non-corporate taxpayers, like estates or trusts, are also listed. Most importantly, Section 199A only applies to domestic income. The business must be located and taxed within the U.S. Any qualifying deductions must originate from income that is generated domestically.

Many specialized service trades find their deductions limited or eliminated entirely. Known as a Specified Service Trade or Business (SSTB), this involves industries where a service is performed. This extends to law, health, accounting, and other financial practices. However, it also includes athletics and the arts. As a general rule, any trade or business is excluded from Section 199A if its primary asset is at least one employee’s skill or reputation.

Wage and Qualified Property (WQP) is another potential limitation. In 2020, individuals with taxable income less than $163,000 do not qualify for Section 199A. For married individuals who file jointly, this threshold is $326,600. Anyone wishing to claim these deductions must be above this minimum income. Although this is the baseline, higher-income taxpayers will see their prospective deduction “phased out.”

Although Section 199A was designed to help small businesses, it can get complicated fast. French L. Taylor and other federal tax experts can help navigate any issues and secure deductions for qualifying domestic companies that need it most.