Small Business Saturday – Important Upcoming Compliance Deadlines for Your Business

Busy small business owners have many tasks on their plates: A significant one is staying on top of important tax and filing deadlines. These important dates may vary depending upon the business’ structure. Here are some of the most critical deadlines business owners may need to meet over the next few months.

Federal tax deadlines

  • September 16, 2019 is the extension deadline for partnerships and S corporations to file their income tax returns. It is also the deadline for third-quarter estimated tax payments if you are a self-employed individual or have substantial non-wage income.
  • October 15, 2019 is the extension deadline for C corporations, sole proprietors, and individuals to file income tax returns.
  • November 15, 2019 is the extension deadline for tax-exempt organizations to file income tax returns.
  • December 31, 2019 is the deadline for 401(k) contributions for yourself or your employees. For the contributions to count for 2019, the account must be created and funded by December 31st.
  • January 15, 2020 is the deadline for fourth-quarter estimated tax payments for self-employed individuals or those with substantial non-wage income.
  • January 30, 2020 is the deadline to file Form 1099-MISC if you have non-employee (independent contractor) compensation to report. However, for all other reported payments, the deadline is February 28, 2020, and if you file electronically, the deadline is March 30, 2020.

Note: State taxes are typically—though not always—due at the same time as federal taxes. A few states allow state tax returns to be filed a couple of weeks (or in the case of Louisiana, a month) later than the federal returns. It is essential to be aware of potentially different deadlines for state estimated tax payments as well.

State filing deadlines

It is important not to forget state annual or biennial filing requirements, though these deadlines will vary depending upon the state and your business structure. Most states—though not all—require either an annual or biennial report or statement to be filed, typically either on the anniversary of the date you formed your business or on a specific date mandated by state law. These types of reports are frequently required for business entities such as corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and limited partnerships. They are often accompanied by filing fees that must be paid by the same deadline. If you file your report late, there may be a late fee, and failing to file at all could result in the administrative dissolution of your company, as well as the loss of the liability shield provided by the business entity.

There may also be a state franchise tax imposed on business entities such as LLCs, limited partnerships, or corporations. This tax, which varies from state to state, is often due at the same time as the annual report—either on the anniversary date of the formation of the business or a date specified by state law. The due date may also vary depending upon the type of business entity.

Sales tax deadlines

The deadlines for filing and paying sales taxes vary depending upon the state (you must pay a sales tax in states in which your business has a tax nexus, that is, a sufficient connection or degree of business activity, which may include online sales) and often on the volume of your sales. They may be due monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending upon the state.

Local, state, and federal licenses and permits

If your business is required to obtain any licenses, permits, or certificates from the federal, state, or local government, they may need to be renewed periodically. The renewal requirements and deadlines for your licenses or permits will vary, and it is important not to let them expire. Failing to renew your licenses and permits could result in fines, notices, or even the closure of your business. 

Contact Us for Help

Many small business owners are completely immersed in the day-to-day operations of their businesses and have trouble finding the time to stay on top of the filing deadlines they must meet to avoid fines, penalties, interest, or worse. If you have questions about the deadlines applicable to your business, we can help.

Call us (228) 460-5243 or email us at info@perklawgroup.com to find our how your business planning attorney can help you.

Legal disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Your should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this article or on our website (www.perklawgroup.com) without seeking legal or professional advice.

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How Do Trusts Work in Your Estate Plan?

A trust can be a useful tool for passing on assets, allowing them to be held by a responsible trustee for beneficiaries. However, determining which type of trust is best for each family’s situation and setting them up so they work with an estate plan, can be complex. You’ll do better with the help of an estate planning attorney, says The Street in the article “How to Set Up a Trust Fund: What You Need to Know.”

Depending upon the assets, a trust can help avoid estate taxes that might make the transfer financially difficult for those receiving the assets. The amount of control that is available with a trust, is another reason why they are a popular estate planning tool.

First, make sure that you have enough assets to make using a trust productive. There are some tax complexities that arise with the use of trusts. Unless there is a fair amount of money involved, it may not be worth the expense. Once you’ve made that decision, it’s time to consider what type of trust is needed.

Revocable Trusts are trusts that can be changed. If you believe that you will live for a long time, you may want to use a revocable trust, so you can make changes to it, if necessary. Because of its flexibility, you can change beneficiaries, terminate the trust, or leave it as is. You have options. Once you die, the revocable trust becomes irrevocable and distributions and assets shift to the beneficiaries.

A revocable trust avoids probate for the trust, but will be counted as part of your “estate” for estate tax purposes. They are includable in your estate, because you maintain control over them during your lifetime.

They are used to help manage assets as you age, or help you maintain control of assets, if you don’t believe the trustees are not ready to manage the funds.

Irrevocable Trusts cannot be changed once they have been implemented. If estate taxes are a concern, it’s likely you’ll consider this type of trust. The assets are given to the trust, thus removing them from your taxable estate.

Deciding whether to use an irrevocable trust is not always easy. You’ll need to be comfortable with giving up complete control of assets.

These are just two of many different types of trusts. There are trusts set up for distributions to pay college expenses, Special Needs Trusts for disabled individuals, charitable trusts for philanthropic purposes and more. Your estate planning attorney will be able to identify what trusts are most appropriate for your situation.

Here’s how to prepare for your meeting with an estate planning attorney:

List all of your assets. List everything you might want to place in a trust: including accounts, investments and real estate.

List beneficiaries. Include primary and secondary beneficiaries.

Map out the specifics. Who do you want to receive the assets? How much do you want to leave them? You should be as detailed as possible.

Choose a trustee. You’ll need to name someone you trust implicitly, who understands your financial situation and who will be able to stand up to any beneficiaries who might not like how you’ve structured your trust. It can be a professional, if there are no family members or friends who can handle this task.

Don’t forget to fund the trust. This last step is very important. The trust document does no good, if the trusts are not funded. You may do better letting your estate planning attorney handle this task, so that accounts are properly titled with assets and the trusts are properly registered with the IRS.

Creating a trust fund can be a complex task. However, with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, this strategy can yield a lifetime of benefits for you and your loved ones.

Call us (228) 460-5243 or email us at info@perklawgroup.com to find our how your estate planning attorney can help you.

Legal disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Your should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this article or on our website (www.perklawgroup.com) without seeking legal or professional advice.

Reference: The Street (July 22, 2019) “How to Set Up a Trust Fund: What You Need to Know”

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Estate Planning Hacks Create More Problems
Two Businesspeople Discussing About Solving Maze Over Wooden Desk In Office

Estate Planning Hacks Create More Problems

The estate planning attorney in this gentleman’s neighborhood isn’t worried about this rancher’s plan to avoid the “courtroom mumbo jumbo.” It’s not the first time someone thought they could make a short-cut work, and it won’t be the last. However, as described in the article “Estate planning workaround idea needs work” from My San Antonio, the problems this rancher will create for himself, his wife, and his children, will easily eclipse any savings in time or fees he thinks he may have avoided.

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Planning for Three Financial Phases of Retirement: Spending Down, Final Spending and Legacy

In pre-retirement earning years, all our attention is focused on accumulating assets. However, the information you need during the accumulation years is different than for the remaining years, according to a useful article from Financial Advisor titled “A Successful And Secure Retirement—Spend-Down Strategies: Part 1.”

The biggest difference in the strategies during the accumulation and withdrawal strategies, is that there’s a greater emphasis on long-term tax planning. Taxes are often the single biggest expense for investors. To make sure that you meet your goals, which includes having the IRS take the smallest piece of your assets, a plan must be created to focus on paying the least amount in taxes, while you are alive and even after you have passed.

The first phase of decumulation, which occurs at different times for different people (and for some people, never occurs) usually comes with a low tax rate. It often starts with retirement, when the paychecks are not coming in and, ideally, you are not yet drawing Social Security or pension benefits. This would allow your Social Security benefits to continue to grow and keep you in a low tax bracket.

The spend-down phase begins, when you start taking withdrawals from tax deferred retirement accounts. This typically starts the year you turn 70½ and start taking RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions). This is the time to be careful, since your tax rate will likely jump up from the amount it was when you were not yet taking RMDs or getting Social Security or pension benefits. The goal is to manage your retirement income, in order to minimize taxes.

The final-spending phase begins all too soon, especially when medical costs and long-term care costs increase dramatically. Given their tax deductibility, as things currently stand, this may provide another period with very low tax rates.

The legacy phase begins upon your death, or on the death of the surviving spouse. The goal is the tax efficient transfer of remaining wealth to heirs and charities and preparing heirs for the assets they will inherit. An estate plan should be in place long before this phase is reached, so that your assets are passed seamlessly to family members and charities.

As a person moves through these stages of post-retirement spending, there are many strategies that can be used to minimize tax liability and maximize the growth of assets. A balance must be found between spending, managing tax burdens and preparing for a legacy.

Speak with your estate planning attorney, who can help you navigate tax planning.

Reference: Financial Advisor (Jan. 21, 2019) “A Successful And Secure Retirement—Spend-Down Strategies: Part 1”

 

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