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|Copyright© 2004-2012 Colin M. Cody, CPA and TraderStatus.com, LLC, All Rights Reserved.|
A sizeable number of our clients are residents of California. We usually communicate with clients via telephone and email. Documents are sent to us and back to clients using the U.S. Mail and via emailing PDF files, Excel files and so on. This makes access as easy and quick as with a CPA firm right down the street from where you live.
We find many California clients pleasantly surprised to see an email response to a question that they sent just before going to bed - is there waiting for them when they wake-up in the morning ...due to the three hour time difference between the West Coast and East Coast.
From time to time people get audited. When this happens the examination is handled from Connecticut via telephone and fax or the IRS audit file is transferred to a local Connecticut IRS office (which sometimes, if we're lucky, "gets lost in the shuffle" before it arrives). California even has a traveling team of State auditors who handle their East Coast audits.
Community Property States:
Per California's Franchise Tax Board, the following are some of the most important tax law changes to the 2010 Individual Income Tax Returns.
1. Net Operating Loss
For taxable years beginning in 2010 and 2011, California suspended the net operating loss (NOL) carryover deduction. Taxpayers may continue to compute and carryover NOLs during the suspension period. However, taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income of less than $300,000 or with disaster loss carryovers are not affected by the NOL suspension rules.
Also, California modified the NOL carryback provision. For more information, see form FTB 3805V, Net Operating Loss (NOL) Computation and NOL and Disaster Loss Limitations — Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.
2. Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Extended
California law conforms, with modifications, to federal mortgage forgiveness debt relief for discharges occurring on or after January 1, 2009. Federal law limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $2,000,000 ($1,000,000 for married filing separate).
California law limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $800,000 ($400,000 for married/RDP filing separate) and debt relief to $500,000 ($250,000 for married/RDP filing separate).
3. Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund Exclusion
California law conforms to federal law to exclude from income any amount received from the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund for the events at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on April 16, 2007.
4. Income Exclusion of Federal Energy Grants
California law conforms to federal law to exclude from income any federal energy grants provided in lieu of federal energy credits.
5. Charitable Contributions for 2010 Haiti Earthquake Disaster
California law conforms to federal law which allows a 2009 charitable contribution deduction for cash contributions made after January 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, for the relief of victims in areas affected by the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010.
6. Tax Computation for Certain Children with Investment Income
For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, California conforms to the provision age of children to 18 and under or a student under age 24 for elections made by parents reporting their child’s interest and dividends.
7. Income Exclusion for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Supplementary Payments
For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, California law allows an exclusion from gross income for IHSS supplementary payments received by IHSS providers.
8. New Home/First-Time Buyer Credit
To claim the New Home/First Time Buyer Credit of 2010 you must have received a Certificate of Allocation from the FTB. The credits were available if you purchased a qualified principal residence on or after May 1, 2010, and on or before December 31, 2010. Additionally, the New Home Credit is available if you purchase a qualified principal residence on or after January 1, 2011, and before August 1, 2011, pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before December 31, 2010. For more information, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for home credit or get FTB Pub. 3549, New Home/First-Time Buyer Credit.
9. Backup Withholding
Beginning on or after January 1, 2010, with certain limited exceptions, payers that are required to withhold and remit backup withholding to the IRS are also required to withhold and remit to the FTB. The California backup withholding rate is 7% of the payment. For California purposes, dividends, interests, and any financial institutions release of loan funds made in the normal course of business are exempt from backup withholding.
California July 26, 2005 - Personal Income Tax: Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Clarified Reporting Requirement
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have clarified that individuals who are subject to California's personal income tax must report all federal income tax adjustments to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) that increase the amount of tax due, without regard to whether the statute of limitations for mailing proposed deficiency assessments has expired. The bill was intended to be declaratory of existing law.
In his veto message, the Governor stated that he was unable to support the bill because it would change tax policy retroactively and would address an issue pending before the California Supreme Court (see Ordlock v. Franchise Tax Board, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, No. B169465, July 28, 2004, modified August 24, 2004; petition for review granted, California Supreme Court, No. S127649, December 1, 2004; TAXDAY, 2004/07/30, S.2). However, the Governor indicated that he was not opposed to the policy outlined in the bill and would be willing to consider a bill that applies the policy prospectively.
In Ordlock v. Franchise Tax Board, a California court of appeal held that a taxpayer was not required to notify the FTB of a federal change in a case where the general four-year statute of limitations had expired at the time of the final federal determination and, therefore, the taxpayer was not subject to a California deficiency assessment. According to the FTB, which sponsored the vetoed bill, the failure to enact the bill and a decision by the California Supreme Court to uphold Ordlock would encourage taxpayers who are audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to refrain from reporting the results to the FTB with the hope that the FTB will not be notified of the results by the IRS before the normal statute of limitations expires.
A.B. 1630, vetoed July 26, 2005; Veto Message, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, July 26, 2005; Bill Analysis, Senate Floor, June 13, 2005
CA website for LLC's including taxes & fees
What is the limited liability company fee? Limited liability companies are subject to a fee under the same circumstances that they become subject to the annual tax. The fee was based on the limited liability company’s annual "total income" from worldwide sources (until a law change became effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2007). Total income was not apportioned or allocated based on the operations in California. Total Income: Total income is defined as gross income plus cost of goods. The fee is deductible for both IRS purposes and for CA income tax purposes.
Under the revised law, "total income from all sources derived from or attributable to" California will be calculated using existing rules that determine how sales (which also include services) are assigned between California and other states in arriving at a "sales factor" that is then used in allocating income to California. AB 198, however, prohibits the application of those existing rules that exclude certain receipts from the sales factor. Once a company's "total income" from California is determined, the following chart may be used to calculate the amount of the LLC fee:
AB 198 is effective immediately and applies to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2007.
There were two cases pending before the California Court of Appeals on the issue of whether the annual LLC fee, as a whole, is unconstitutional because it is discriminatory or unfairly apportioned. AB 198 creates a refund mechanism to be used by taxpayers should the LLC fee be finally adjudged to be unconstitutional. Any refund will be limited to the refund amount needed to remedy the discrimination or unfair apportionment.
CA website for S-Corps including taxes & fees
Limited Liability Companies Treated as S Corporations. A limited liability company that is classified as an association and taxable as a corporation for federal purposes may elect S corporation status. The LLC will also be treated as an S corporation for the state and must file Form 100S (California S Corporation Franchise or Income Tax Return). California and federal laws treat these companies as corporations subject to California corporation tax law.
CA website for C-Corps including taxes & fees
Limited Liability Companies Treated as C Corporations. A limited liability company that is classified as an association and taxable as a corporation for federal purposes must file Form 100 (California Corporation Franchise or Income Tax Return). California and federal laws treat these LLC's as corporations subject to California corporation tax law.Appeal of Estate of Marion Markus
A LLC that qualifies as an "investment partnership" allows non-residents of CA to bypass CA income taxes, rather the income from "qualifying investment securities" is generally sourced to their state of residence. But income from the LLC is generally considered business income subject to the CA $800 Annual Limited Liability Company Tax and for those LLCs with an "annual income greater than $249,999.99" the CA $900 to $11,790 Limited Liability Company Fee.
What is an investment club?
Certain partnerships are allowed to make an election to be excluded from the partnership provisions. These partnerships are often referred to as "investment clubs" because, in order to qualify, they generally have investment activities. They cannot be operating a trade or business.
Caution: Do not confuse investment clubs with investment partnerships. For more information about investment partnerships, please see the instructions for form 565.
Limited liability company annual tax: Limited liability companies may qualify and make an election under the investment club provisions. However, such an election does not exempt them from the limited liability company annual tax.
Limited liability companies must still file California
returns for tax years after making the election. However, they only need
to complete the entity information and pay any amounts due.
What Is an Investment Club?
Certain partnerships are allowed to make an election to be excluded from the partnership provisions. These partnerships are often referred to as "investment clubs" because, in order to qualify, they generally have investment activities. They cannot operate a trade or business.
Caution: Investment clubs and investment partnerships are not the same. For more information about investment partnerships, please see the instructions for form 565.
Limited partnership annual tax: Limited partnerships may qualify and make an election under the investment club provisions. However, such an election does not exempt them from the limited partnership annual tax.
Limited partnerships must still file California
returns for tax years after making the election. However, they only need
to complete the entity information and pay any amounts due.
CA Net Operating Losses (NOL)
differ from the IRS's NOL rules:
Starting with 2008 and through 2010 CA has a two-year suspension of the corporation franchise and income tax net operating loss (NOL) deduction, which would then be followed by a phased-in conformity to the federal NOL carryback and carryover periods; and enactment of a modified tax amnesty.
First Year Annual Tax Due Date:
This is a general summary from
a CA based tax pro:
California is not a very business friendly State. Consequently LLC's are not the choice here unless you can stay under the $250,000 to avoid the gross receipts tax. But the $800 annual tax fee is still due. They also have a totally separate LLC form to complete.
We just heard that Nissan is moving its operations out of California and going to Tennessee. So California lost another large employer. For years now, large employers like TRW Information Services (now Experion) some of SBC Pacific Bell and other well know large corporations having been moving all or part of their operations out of California due to the high cost of doing business. They can go to Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and of the other States and "cut" deals and reduce their operation costs, purchase property at less cost, less property tax, etc.
Do not forget the City Permit issue. They average probably about $125 annually depending on the city, but then some of the City's also have a sliding scale on Gross Receipts. I have a Retail Client that has over $6 Mil in Gross Receipts and his annual City License is around $1,600 per year and keeps going up. Another client that is a Service Business owner and spouse pays $137.50 for their permit, additional taxes due if they add an employee.
Taxpayers requiring more assistance in their PLANNING, design and set-up of their trading business and with the PREPARATION or the REVIEW of their tax filings are encouraged to contact us for personally tailored tax advice at our normal rates.
What's needed to get started
Tax Deduction Reminder
Your fees may be tax deductible as an investment expense under IRS Sections 67 and 212 as an Investor to the extent that miscellaneous itemized deductions exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. Alternatively they are fully tax deductible under Trader Status as a business expense by most corporations and trade or businesses under Section 162 of the IRS Code.
June 20, 2012
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