Whether on purpose or by mistake, taxpayers sometimes find themselves years behind on filing their tax returns. Sometimes people are lucky and decide on their own to file past due tax returns and move on with their life. Others have the decision made for them when an IRS agent knocks on their door. Regardless, when you are significantly behind on your tax return filings, you should seek professional help to ensure you can minimize penalties and, hopefully, reduce the taxes you need to pay. Continue reading “Didn’t File Tax Returns? The IRS Offers Solutions for Nonfilers”
Persons holding equity interests in a business can use a buy-sell agreement to ensure the continuity of the business and to solidify their expectations regarding the taxes, rights, and obligations of each party. The buy-sell agreement can dictate the method by which a person’s equity interest will be purchased. Buy-sell agreements can be used by nearly any type of entity, regardless of whether the entity is a corporation, LLC, or partnership.
The 2010 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty officially ended June 18, 2010. If you missed the deadline you may still be able to negotiate payments and reduce your penalties for past due taxes. For instance, you may be able to use a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement. Please contact my office for more information.
Pennsylvania has joined the parade of states that decided to use a tax amnesty for an immediate boost to their state’s revenue. The Pennsylvania tax amnesty begins on April 26, 2010 and ends June 18, 2010. Included in the taxes eligible for amnesty are the corporate income tax, the individual income tax, and the sales and use taxes. This can be an excellent opportunity for businesses and individuals located outside the state to become compliant with Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania tax amnesty relieves the taxpayer of all penalties and half the interest due… Continue reading “Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty 2010 Summary”
When forming a new LLC, many wonder whether it’s better to form it in their home state or form it in another, such as Delaware, Wyoming, or Nevada. For most, the best choice is to form it in their home state.
Some believe their business will receive special tax benefits by forming their LLC in an alternative state. But the reality is that many people are getting these ideas from friends, internet gurus, or tax plan promotors, many of whom are either unqualified or provide so many caveats they cannot be held responsible if they get you into trouble. Most state that the reasons for forming your entity outside your home state are for liability or tax purposes. While some businesses can benefit from the differing tax laws of other states, most small business owners receive no benefit and their forming the LLC in another state only creates financial and administrative burdens. Continue reading “Where Should You Form Your Entity?”
Choosing an entity for your business can be a difficult decision. There are many types of entities available, and you are not limited to forming an entity in your state. Further, the entity you choose does not necessarily determine how the entity will be taxed. For instance, you may choose to form a Maryland LLC but also choose to have it taxed as an s-corporation. The decision depends upon many factors including: the business purpose, the property to be owned, expectations to terminate or sell the business, the owner’s estate planning concerns, and, of course, taxes. There is no universal “best entity”, and choosing the proper entity requires every business to be individually analyzed.
Most states, including Maryland, provide you with the following popular state entity choices: the sole proprietorship, the general partnership, the limited liability company, and the corporation. Other entities for more specialized purposes also exist, such as the limited partnership and the professional association (a P.A. or P.C.).
Many companies discover they did not file required state tax returns, but they do not know how to address the issue. States understand that taxpayers often do not uncover income tax or sales tax filing obligations until a potentially large tax bill makes coming forward difficult, if not impossible. Most states provide voluntary disclosure programs to bring these reluctant, but otherwise law-abiding, taxpayers back into the flock. The voluntary disclosure programs forgive all but the most recent tax years and reduce or eliminate penalties and interest. Continue reading “Voluntary Disclosure Agreements”
All states are becoming more aggressive in locating non-filing businesses, particularly those operating largely outside their state. Unfortunately, many businesses first realize their filing obligation to another state when visited by the state’s auditor. An analysis of your company’s connections, or “nexus”, to the states it touches, directly and indirectly, will be beneficial regardless of whether your business is a start-up or established, expanding or contracting.
Each state’s laws for determining whether your company has a filing obligation vary, but all states are limited by the “minimum contacts” standards established under the U.S. Constitution. Adding to many companies’ confusion, there are separate standards applied for sales and use tax nexus and income tax nexus. For instance, a company with a representative in a state may not have an income tax filing obligation but may have a sales tax obligation. Continue reading “State Tax Nexus Reviews & Studies”
The third article in a series on the purchase and sale of a Maryland business. In this article I address basic tax concepts and issues relating to a business sale.
A major consideration when purchasing an existing Maryland business should be minimizing the tax burden. Certain transactions provide tax benefits to either the purchaser or the seller while providing a tax burden to the other. Therefore, tax consequences should be considered when determining the appropriate purchase price. The general rule is that the sale of a business is a taxable event; however, the parties may be able to structure the transaction using a tax-free reorganization. The IRS provides several forms of tax-free reorganizations, but to qualify the parties must meet numerous requirements. Since the IRS only allows tax-free reorganizations under limited circumstances, I will first discuss taxable transactions.
The Maryland Tax Amnesty for 2009 officially ended on October 30, 2009, but if you missed the deadline you may still be able to negotiate payments and reduce your penalties for past due taxes. For instance, you may be able to use a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement. Please contact my office for more information.
The 2009 Maryland Tax Amnesty bill was signed into law on May 7, 2009, but the Maryland Comptroller’s Office will need to consider certain policy issues regarding its implementation. One obvious question Maryland tax attorneys and tax accountants are asking is, “What if you file prior to the Maryland Tax Amnesty period?”
Updated: I now provide a new article summarizing the final Maryland tax amnesty bill being sent to the governor and some policy issues the Maryland Comptroller will likely consider given the bill’s delayed implementation date.