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September 8, 2022

End-of-Year Tax Planning Ideas for Small Business Owners

As we approach the last few months of the calendar year, it’s time to start thinking about ways to reduce your small business taxes. 

Deferring income and accelerating deductions to minimize taxes—the standard year-end approach—will likely give your business the best results. This also applies to bunching deductible expenses into this year and next to minimize their tax value. 

That said, those expecting to be in a higher tax bracket may get better results with an opposite strategy—for example, pulling income into the current year to be taxed at lower rates, while deferring deductible expenses until next year to offset higher-taxed income. 

Some additional ideas include: 

QBI deduction

Non-corporation taxpayers may be entitled to a qualified business income (QBI) deduction of up to 20%. If taxable income is higher than $340,100 for married couples filing jointly, or half that amount for others, the deduction may be limited (and phased in) based on: 

  • Whether the taxpayer is involved in a service-type business such as law, health, or consulting
  • The amount of W-2 wages paid by the business 
  • The unadjusted basis of qualified property held by the business, such as machinery and equipment

By deferring income, accelerating deductions to keep income under the thresholds, or increasing W-2 wages before the end of the year, taxpayers may be abe to to keep some or all of the QBI deduction. 

Cash vs. accrual accounting

Taxpayers must satisfy a gross receipts test in order to qualify as a small business. For 2022, this means that average annual gross receipts can’t exceed $27 million during a three-year testing period—ot that long ago, that amount was only $5 million. 

Compared to previous years, more small businesses are now able to use the cash accounting method for federal tax purposes, rather than accrual accounting. Cash method taxpayers may find that by holding off billings until next year, paying bills early, or making select prepayments, it is easier to defer income. 

Section 179 deduction

As a small business taxpayer, you may want to consider making expenditures that qualify for the Section 179 expensing option. Expensing is typically available for depreciable property—other than buildings—including equipment, off-the-shelf computer software, interior building improvements, HVAC, and security systems. 

For 2022, the expensing limit is $1.08 million with an investment ceiling of $2.7 million. This means that many small and medium-sized businesses will be able to deduct most or all of their expenditures for machinery and equipment—and that deduction isn’t prorated for the amount of time an asset is in service. If you place eligible property in service by the end of 2022, you can claim a full deduction for the year. 

Bonus depreciation

If qualified improvement property, machinery, and equipment is purchased and placed in service this year, businesses can generally claim a 100% bonus first-year depreciation deduction. 

As with the Section 179 deduction, this full write-off is an option regardless of how long those qualifying assets are in service in 2022. 

Develop a year-end tax plan with us

Tax rules can be complex, so it’s best to consult with a professional before acting. Contact us to work with an experienced tax professional to develop the best tax-saving strategies for your business.

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