Held in January 2024, our 2023 wrap-up and 2024 financial planning webinar covered a number of key topics to ensure that our clients are well informed and equipped for the year ahead.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the session:
New tax credits for energy efficiency
Homeowners eyeing energy-efficient upgrades, such as air-conditioning enhancements or window replacements, can leverage new tax credits. Business owners need to be mindful of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) limits as they may impact eligibility for these credits.
1099s in 2024
Changes in 1099 reporting thresholds bring a shift to electronic filing, with a new threshold of $5,000. Choosing between 1099 NEC and 1099 Misc forms hinges on the nature of payments—whether for services, rent, or miscellaneous categories. The move to electronic filing signals a departure from traditional paper-based methods.
Need help filing 1099s? Act now!
Quarterly estimated tax payments
The complexity surrounding quarterly estimated tax payments means that it’s important to understand safe harbor rules. Whether basing payments on 90% of the current year’s tax or 100-110% of the previous year’s tax, you must align your strategies with safe harbor rules to ensure a smoother tax journey.
Reimbursement of business expenses
Business owners must ensure they’re reimbursed for any business expenses before year-end, as deducting business expenses on personal returns is no longer viable. The type of business structure and having an accountable plan are critical components for reimbursement. Single-member LLCs and Sole Proprietors are not required to have an accountable plan for reimbursement.
If you use your vehicle for business more than 50% of the time, you have the option to look at either the standard mileage rate (65.5 cents per mile in 2023; 67 cents per mile in 2024) or the actual expense method. When it comes to choosing between the standard mileage rate and actual expenses, there are a number of factors you need to consider. If you choose actual expenses, you benefit from deducting the costs of the vehicle through depreciation, along with other running costs to maintain your vehicle. The most beneficial option likely depends on how much business mileage you’re logging—claiming actual expenses requires that the more than 50% of the miles on the vehicle each year are business related.
Depreciation and cost segregation
For businesses eyeing major purchases, understanding the phase-out of bonus depreciation is crucial. While thresholds are increasing, bonus depreciation decreased to 80% in 2023 (60% in 2024), prompting businesses to evaluate the timing of major purchases for optimal tax benefits. For real estate investors, it’s also advisable to understand cost segregation as a potential tax-saving windfall. If you are planning a significant capital investment for your business within the next few years, we advise you to work with a tax professional to determine the optimal timing.
Passive activity losses (PAL)
Understanding passive activity losses and their offset potential against other income sources is vital for proactive tax planning. Working through tests and questions ensures you can make the most of potential losses. Again, we strongly recommend consulting your tax advisor to ensure you’re following the complex rules related to PAL. Despite the friendly acronym, PAL can bite back if you don’t pass the eligibility test.
You may also be interested in: Tax planning opportunities when you’re in a pinch
Gift and estate tax exemption
The limits for 2023 and 2024 are as follows:
- 2023 Gift Tax Annual Exclusion – $17,000
- 2024 Gift Tax Annual Exclusion – $18,000
- 2023 Gift and Estate Tax Exemption – $12.92 million
- 2024 Gift and Estate Tax Exemption – $13.6 million
Keep an eye on estate tax exemption rules. Under the current tax law, these amounts are set to sunset after 2025, bringing the estate tax exemption back to $6.2 million ($12.4 million per married couple) in 2026. We highly recommend reviewing your estate plan within the next year—particularly if you’re a business owner. Meet with your CPA and estate planning attorney to discuss what you need to do now to mitigate tax impact on your estate.
S-Corp vs. LLC
Choosing between S-Corp and LLC structures involves nuanced decision-making, considering taxation, ownership, management, compliance, and the nature of the investment. Existing businesses are encouraged to reassess their structures for alignment with current business realities—particularly if your business has changed significantly since you established it many years ago.
You may also be interested in: Tax implications of business legal structures
Retirement contribution limits
Retirement savings contribution limits for 401(k)s and IRAs have increased alongside inflation for 2024. Find the latest retirement contribution limits here.
Cloud or bust
Intuit, the owner of QuickBooks, has announced a significant shift in their accounting software offerings. Starting July 30, 2024, they will cease selling new desktop subscriptions. While ongoing support for the 2024 version will continue, the discontinuation of support for QuickBooks Desktop 2021 echoes the typical yearly pattern for older versions.
Users are advised to either upgrade to the 2024 version for continued support or consider transitioning to QuickBooks Online, which is a seamless accounting software alternative.
The implication is clear: the future of desktop products appears uncertain as providers steer users towards a more cloud-centric platform.
FSA offers AI-powered advisory services
We are thrilled to introduce an exciting enhancement to our client advisory services. In response to the evolving needs of today’s consumers, we understand the importance of moving beyond one-size-fits-all financial advice. Our new offering leverages the power of AI and data analytics to provide personalized financial advice and predictions tailored to your unique needs and business goals.
Starting your business on the right track in 2024 has never been easier with this powerful tool, and many of our clients are already expressing interest and signing up for this service. If you’re one of them, reach out to us soon.
Team FSA is here for you in 2024 and beyond
We hope these insights guide you towards well-informed and strategic financial decisions throughout the year. Stay tuned for more updates and proactive planning to make the most of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
If you have questions, please get in touch and let us see how we can help you accomplish your financial goals.