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Jan 5, 2018

Trump’s Tax Plan & “Pass-Through” Income

There is much to know with the new Trump tax plan and we encourage you to contact us for a fresh look at your situation from our Advanced Tax Consulting Group. We help many families and business owners across the country who are dealing with qualified business income and so we wanted to get out this short blog on the topic. There are a lot of details behind this new law on qualified business income and we stand ready to help you get a handle on it all.

There is a significant new tax deduction taking effect in 2018 under the new tax law. It should provide a substantial tax benefit to individuals with “qualified business income” from a partnership, S corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship. This income is sometimes referred to as “pass-through” income.

The deduction is 20% of your “qualified business income (QBI)” from a partnership, S corporation, or sole proprietorship, defined as the net amount of items of income, gain, deduction, and loss with respect to your trade or business. You must run the business within the U.S. to qualify, and specified investment-related items are not included, e.g., capital gains or losses, dividends, and interest income (unless the interest is properly allocable to the business).

The deduction is taken “below the line,” i.e., it reduces your taxable income but not your adjusted gross income. But it is available regardless of whether you itemize deductions or take the standard deduction. In general, the deduction cannot exceed 20% of the excess of your taxable income over net capital gain. If QBI is less than zero it is treated as a loss from a qualified business in the following year.

For taxpayers with taxable income above $157,500 ($315,000 for joint filers), an exclusion from QBI of income from “specified service” trades or businesses is phased in. These are trades or businesses involving the performance of services in the fields of health, law, consulting, athletics, financial or brokerage services, or where the principal asset is the reputation or skill of one or more employees or owners.

Additionally, for taxpayers with taxable income more than the above thresholds, a limitation on the amount of the deduction is phased in based either on wages paid or wages paid plus a capital element.

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