Category Archives: General

03.13 2021

Unemployment Compensation

What is Unemployment Compensation?

Unemployment compensation is a temporary income paid by the state to unemployed workers who have lost their jobs due to layoffs or retrenchment.

  • In Washington state, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $844. The minimum is $201.

How to apply for it?

The fastest way to apply Unemployment is online. Because of COVID-19, applying by phone has very long wait times. The Employment Security Department provides a helpful checklist for the application of Unemployment Compensation. It will tell you your eligibility and documents needed to apply.

For more information, visit the Employment Security Department website and review their checklist.

How to report and pay taxes?

If you received unemployment compensation during the year, you will need to report it on your tax return in gross income.

You may be may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments, or Can choose to have federal income tax withheld from your unemployment compensation. Refer to Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request and Tax Withholding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

02.28 2021

Get Ready for Tax Season & Use IRS Online Account

Tax season is everyone’s least favorite time of the year. Many business owners and individuals feel anxiety of the filing tax return on time. Do not worry! You can easily file your tax return through IRS online account.


According to IRS, taxpayers can access their personal and business tax information through an individual online account.

With an Online Account, taxpayers can view and check:
• The amount they owe, updated for the current calendar day
• Their balance details by year
• Their payment history and any scheduled or pending payments
• Key information from their most recent tax return
• Details about their payment plan, if they have one
• Digital copies of select notices or letters from the IRS (under the Message Center tab)
• Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)


Using this resources will help taxpayers accurately calculate any Credit they may be eligible for on their 2020 tax return too.
Additionally, taxpayers can:
• Make an online payment
• See payment plan options and request a plan via Online Payment Agreement
• Access their tax records via Get Transcript


If you do not have an account, create online account and let’s finish up your 2020 tax return.

The Deduction for Qualified Business Income

The primary goal for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) reform bill was to lower the Federal Income tax rate for C corporations. It reduced the corporate income tax rate to 21 percent, and Congress included a new bill called the Qualified Business Deduction (QBI) -IRC Section 199 , which applies to non-corporate taxpayers.

At the most basic level, Section 199A permits an individual to deduct 20 percent of his/her qualified business income generated through a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or S corporation. The deduction for qualified business income is the lesser of:

  1. 20 % of QBI
  2. 20 % of modified taxable income

In order to understand how to apply this deduction to your personal taxes, we have defined some important terms below.

Definition of Qualified Business Income (QBI)
QBI is defined as the ordinary income less ordinary deductions a taxpayer earns from “qualified trade or business” conducted. *Each partnership or S corporation can include the distributive share of interest held by the taxpayer.

QBI does not include some income from investment:
– Capital gains or losses
– Dividends
– Interest income
– Certain other investment items

Definition of Qualified Trade or Business (QTB)
In general, QTB includes any trade or business other than providing services as an employee. Sole proprietors, non-corporate owners of S corporations, Partnerships, and LLCs, and independent contractors are covered by this deduction.

If you’d like to learn more about this deduction, visit the IRS website: Qualified Business Income Deduction

What is the Standard Deduction vs. Itemized Deduction?

Taxpayers have two deduction options: a Standard Deduction or Itemized Deduction. They can either claim the standard deduction or itemized deduction to lower their taxable income. *Taxpayers can do both. Many them might have a question which is better to take for their tax return. Let’s start understanding the difference between Standard Deduction and Itemized Deduction. 

Standard Deduction

The standard deductions is a fixed amount that lower the income individuals taxed on. Congress sets the amount of the standard deduction each year. In 2020 standard deduction is:

FIling Status 2020 Tax Year2021 Tax Year
Single$12,400$12,550
Married, filing Separately$12,400$12,550
Married, filing jointly$24,800$24,800
Head of Household$18,650$18,800
*Standard Deduction increases if taxpayer is age 65 or older, or blind.

Claiming the standard deduction makes the taxpayer’s process much easier and quicker, which is one of reason that most taxpayers claim the standard deduction instead of itemized deduction.

Itemized Deduction

On the other hand, Itemized deductions have a list of eligible expenses and taxpayer can take for various expenses they incurred during the tax year. It sometimes exceed the standard deduction, which means that itemizing allows taxpayers to reduce their taxable income. Most common itemizing expenses:

  • Medical expenses
  • Charitable contributions
  • Mortgage interest
  • Property Taxes
  • Student loan interest
  • Child and dependent care tax credit
  • American Opportunity tax credit
  • State and local taxes
  • Gambling losses
  • IRA contributions
  • 401 (k) contribution
  • Educator expenses

And, more deductions available.

Which to take?

If your standard deduction is less than itemized deduction, you should itemized to reduce your taxable income.

More information available at IRS-Itemized Deduction and IRS-Standard Deduction

01.18 2021

Second PPP Loan

New COVID relief bill, Paycheck Protection Program passed congress on December 22. A second PPP Loan will be available. Here is a guidance you need to know.

Who is eligible for a second PPP loan?

Similar to the initial PPP loan, eligible small businesses may include:

Small businesses, Non-profit organizations, Sole proprietors, self-employed individuals or independent contractors

Addition to this, applicants must also meet the following

  • Businesses were in operation prior to February 15, 2020.
  • Businesses has a loss in revenue in 2020, which must be proved a 25 % or more reduction in gross receipts from any quarter in 2020 relative to the same quarter in 2019.
  • Businesses may not have more than 300 employees.
  • Businesses have used up or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan

SBA will provide further guidance such as application processes and required documentations. For the time being, let’s talk learn about any changes made and how those changes could affect you.

PPP Eligible expense list are added

  • Operational expenses

Payments for software, cloud computing, accounting needs and other human resources

  • Supplier costs

Expenditures any purchase order, or order for goods made prior to getting a PPP Loan essential to operate

  • Property damage costs

Property damage costs due to public disturbances that occurred during 2020, which are not covered by insurance

  • Worker protection expenses

Any personal protection equipment or property improvements and adaptive investments to help a borrower comply with COVID-19 related safety guidance during the period from March 1, 2020 onwards.

PPP expenses are tax deductible

Any expenses covered by a PPP loan can be claimed as tax deductible. The forgiven amount of PPP loans will not be included in taxable income.

12.29 2020

Form 1099-MISC

What is Form 1099-MISC?

Form 1099-MISC is to report payments made in course of a trade or business to non-employee. Although the 1099MISC is still in use, contractor payments made in 2020 and beyond will be reported on the new form 1099-NEC.

Form 1099-Misc and Instructions

 

 

 

  • Rents (Box 1)

Enter amounts of $600 or more for all types of rents

 

  • Other Income (Box 3)

Enter other income of $600 or more required to be reported on Form 1099-MISC that is not reportable in one of the other boxes on the for

 

  • Gross Proceeds Paid to an Attorney (Box 10)

Enter gross proceeds of $600 or more paid to an attorney in connection with legal services (regardless of whether the services are performed for the payer)

 

  • Fishing Boat Proceeds (Box 5)

Enter the individual’s share of all proceeds from the sale of a catch or the FMV of a distribution in kind to each crew member of fishing boats with normally fewer than 10 crew members. A fishing boat has normally fewer than 10 crew members if the average size of the operating crew was fewer than 10

 

  • Medical Payments (Box 6)

Enter payments of $600 or more made in the course of your trade or business to each physician or other vendor or provider of medical or health care services. Include payments made by medical and health care insurers under health, accident, and sickness insurance programs. If payment is made to a corporation, list the corporation as the recipient rather than the individual providing the services. Payments to persons providing health care services often include charges for injections, drugs, dentures, and similar items. In these cases, the entire payment is subject to information reporting. You are not required to report payments to pharmacies for prescription drugs

 

  • Direct Sales (Box 7)

Enter an “X” in the checkbox for sales by you of $5,000 or more of consumer products to a person on a buy-sell, deposit-commission, or other commission basis for resale (by the buyer or any other person) anywhere other than in a permanent retail establishment. Do not enter a dollar amount in this box. The report you must give to the recipient for these direct sales need not be made on the official form. It may be in the form of a letter showing this information along with commissions, prizes, awards, etc.

 

  • Substitute Payments in lieu of dividends or interest (Box 8)

Enter aggregate payments of at least $10 of substitute payments received by a broker for a customer in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest as a result of a loan of a customer’s securities. Substitute payment means a payment in lieu of (a) a dividend, or (b) tax-exempt interest to the extent that interest (including original issue discount) has accrued while the securities were on loan. For this purpose, a customer includes an individual, trust, estate, partnership, association, company, or corporation.

 

  • Crop Insurance Proceeds (Box 9)

Enter crop insurance proceeds of $600 or more paid to farmers by insurance companies unless the farmer has informed the insurance company that expenses have been capitalized under section 278, 263A, or 447 of Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC.

 

  • Excess Golden Parachute (Box 13)

Enter any excess golden parachute payments. An excess parachute payment is the amount over the base amount (the average annual compensation for services includible in the individual’s gross income over the most recent 5 tax years). Find additional detail on page 11 of the Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC.

 

  • Federal tax withheld (Box 4)

Enter backup withholding. For example, persons who have not furnished their TINs to you are subject to withholding on payments required to be reported in box 1. For more information on backup withholding, including the rate, see Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC

 

12.28 2020

Bank Reconciliation

First, what is a bank reconciliation?

When you reconcile your bank account or statement, you compare your internal financial records such as bookkeeping records against the records provided by financial institutions.  A monthly reconciliation helps your business to detect discrepancies and errors as well as identify any unusual transactions that might be caused by fraud actions. In other word, this practice can help your business inefficiencies in accounting procedures.

 

         How often to reconcile bank statements?

Many business performs monthly bank reconciliation for identifying problems. It is the best to have a regular schedule and save bank statement or other related document for avoiding time-consuming task.  Some businesses with a lot of transactions, reconcile on a daily basis.  If something does not match with your record against bank statement, it might be due to timing differences that items or checks have not yet cleared. However, bookkeepers and accountants should be able to explain those differences.

 

Once you have figured out the reasons why bank statement and records do not match up, you need to record them by making adjusting journal entries.

 

Best Bank Reconciliation Practice and Tips

To reconcile bank accounts, you need to compare your internal record of transactions, balances, and descriptions to your monthly bank statement. Make sure matching the amounts and stating any memo or note for differences that requires more investigation and detail.

 

12.18 2020

Fill out your PPP Forgiveness Application Form


SBA released the official form to fill out for applying forgiveness on PPP Loan. Now that lenders are opening up for forgiveness applications. It is time to start prepare the documents need to qualify for full foreignness.

There are some documents and information requirements are universal to prove if you used the PPP Loan to cover any of following.

– Payroll costs

To prove payroll costs, you need to prepare:

  • Payroll service reports documenting wages and salaries paid to employees
  • Federal payroll tax filing (IRS Form 941 / 943)
  • State quarterly Payroll, Income, and Unemployment insurance reports
  • Receipts* for employee contributions to employee benefits
  • Receipts* for any retirement plan contributions

– Owner compensation

To prove owner compensation payments, you need t prepare:

  • 2019 Schedule C (or January to February 2020) for Sole Proprietorships
  • 2019 Form 1099-MISC (or January to February 2020) for Independent Contractors
  • 2019 Schedule K-1 (or January to February 2020) for Partnerships
  • Receipts for compensation payment

If there is more than one individual included, provide a separate document that lists the names and payments to each owner.

– Mortgage interest payments

        To prove mortgage interest payments, you need to prepare:

  • Mortgage amortization schedule or mortgage account statements
  • Receipts or cleared checks 

– Rent/ Lease payments

        To provide rent/ lease payments, you need to prepare:

  • Current Lease agreement and receipts or cleared checks 
  • Lender monthly account statements

– Utilities payments

        To prove utilities payments, you need to prepare:

  • Monthly utilities statements or involves
  • Receipts, cleared checks, or account statements

*Payment receipts, cleared checks, or account statements documenting the amount that the Borrower included in the forgiveness

What is next?

Once you have prepared all documentations, it is time to fill out the application form and upload supplemental documents into your portal.

 

Accounting Tips: Educate Your Employees

Why is it important to have strong internal control within an organization?

        A control environment is made up of a compilation of an entity’s organizational structures, policies, standards, and processes that maintain control across the organization. Having effective control environments with adequate internal control is essential for businesses to reduce the risk of asset loss and ensure reasonable assurance for stakeholders and businesses. Moreover, implementing a strong internal control, businesses establish solid protocols and procedures for their employees and partners. It allows businesses to prevent fraud and theft by separation of duties and organization of financial and management information.

Here are some best practices that should mitigate issues from happening in your business.

  • Segregation of Duties
  • Physical Controls
  • IT Controls
  • Accounting Standards and Policies 
  • Ethical Learnings

We strongly recommend to educate and train your employees for prevention of fraud as well as errors and mistakes.

Holiday Office Hours

 

The team at EJK Accounting & Tax Service wishes you peace, joy and prosperity throughout the coming year. Thank you for you continued support and partnership. We look forward to working with you in the years to come.

Reminder of Holiday Office Hours

As a reminder for all of our clients and teams, EJK Accounting & Tax Service will be closed from Thursday, December 24 to Saturday, January 3 for the holidays. We will open and back regular hours from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday,January 4. If you need to contact our team on the holidays, please reach out us by emailing [email protected] We appreciate your support and wish you the happiest of holiday!