Inevitably, with every new year comes new tax laws. In 2015, you’ll see big changes because of the Affordable Care Act. (The ACA is the biggest single change to the tax code in 20 years.) Besides the personal tax changes you need to plan for, employers with more than 80 employees (last year it was 50) will also get hit with higher penalties if they fail to offer the minimum essential health care coverage to their employees.
If you’re thinking, “Phew, this doesn’t affect anyone in my small office,” don’t breathe easy just yet. Here is a list of other tax changes that affect your business in 2015:
- Corporate tax reform is still being debated, but we might see some real change now that the Republicans are taking over Congress. The issue is not lowering the corporate tax rate (which is the highest rate among developed countries), but whether or not to eliminate tax loopholes corporations use to avoid paying taxes.
- If you’re planning to use the Section 179 deduction (which allows business owners to deduct the entire cost of certain assets, such as equipment and furniture, in the year of purchase rather than over a longer period of time), know that the deduction limit has dropped to $25,000.
- The work opportunity tax credit, which gave employers a tax credit for hiring veterans, has been eliminated, as has the energy tax incentive that gave a deduction for implementing green practices in your business. Those deductions included credits for improvements that benefited energy efficiency such as lighting, heating and cooling systems, insulation and windows.
- Business mileage deduction for 2015 has not been determined as of the posting of this blog, but a handy app, Mileagepad, makes it easy for businesses to be notified of the change and to keep track of business mileage by date of the trip.
- If you received any payments in virtual currency such as Bitcoin, make sure you include the fair market value of the currency with your annual income. Different calculations apply if you invest in virtual currency or receive it as compensation for services.
If you’ve always counted on certain tax breaks for your small business, make sure you’re never caught off guard by keeping on top of new legislation and choosing an accountant with expertise in your industry. Also remember to keep a record of everything. Many business tax deductions require substantial documentation, especially when it comes to business expenses such as meals, entertainment expenses, and use of a personal vehicle.
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