Form 1065 Penalties

IRS Form 1065 (U.S. Return of Partnership Income) is an information return used to report the income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and related items from the operation of partnerships.

Partnerships generally do not pay taxes because they are pass-through entities. Instead, profits or losses, and related items, are reported by partners (typically based upon their partnership interests) on their individual tax returns. Despite the fact that income taxes are not owed by partnerships, the form must still be filed for those required to do so, and there are various penalties that may be imposed, for various reasons, by the IRS.

This article covers the penalties that may apply for failures to comply with Form 1065 requirements. The penalties may be steep in certain circumstances, so taxpayers subject to filing Form 1065 should be aware of them.

Failure to File Penalty

A penalty will be assessed against a partnership that is required to file a partnership return if it either fails to file the return by the due date (including extensions) or if it files a return that does not report all required information, unless such failure is due to reasonable cause. If a partnership plans to demonstrate reasonable cause, it must attach an explanation to the partnership return.

The late filing penalty is $195 for each month (or part of a month) for a maximum of 12 months that the failure continues multiplied by the total number of individuals who were partners during any part of the partnership’s tax year for which the return is due.

Failure To Timely Furnish Information

A $100 penalty (for each Schedule K-1 form for which a failure occurs) may be imposed for failure to furnish a Schedule K-1 to a partner when due and for each failure to include all required information (or the inclusion of incorrect information) on a Schedule K-1. A maximum penalty of $1.5 million for all such failures during a calendar year, may be imposed.

If the requirement to report accurate information is intentionally disregarded, the penalty for each failure is increased to the greater of $250 or 10% of the aggregate amount of items required to be reported. In such cases, the $1.5 million maximum penalty does not apply.

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

A trust fund recovery penalty for Form 1065 may be imposed on all persons who are responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over various trust fund taxes (including certain excise, income, social security, and Medicare taxes), and who acted willfully in failing to collect, withhold, and/or pay such taxes (the IRS may determine who is responsible for such requirements). Such taxes are typically reported on various forms, including Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return), Form 941 (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return), Form 944 (Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return), and Form 945 (Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax), among others.

The trust fund recovery penalty for Form 1065 is equal to the unpaid trust fund tax.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office For Legal Help in Dealing with Form 1065 Penalties

If you are facing Form 1065 penalties or wish to find out how to properly comply with the IRS requirements to avoid such penalties, contact Sherayzen Law Office for legal help with Form 1065. Our experienced partnership tax firm will guide you through the complex web of partnership tax requirements as well as provide vigorous ethical IRS representation if necessary.

Business Tax Lawyers | Certain End-of-Year Tax Deadlines and Reminders (2010)

The following are some upcoming tax deadlines and reminders for the December of 2010. (This list may not include all applicable tax deadlines for your situation, and does not constitute tax advice; please, consult Sherayzen Law Office for more information and assistance with your tax planning needs.)

Selected General Deadline Reminders for Individuals: December 31, 2010

Traditional IRA to Roth IRA Conversion. Last date for taxpayers to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA for the tax year 2010 (provided a taxpayer meets the other applicable criteria).

Keogh plan deadline. Keogh plans must be established by the last date of the year (December 31, for calendar year basis taxpayers) in order for contributions to be deductible for the tax year 2010.

Capital Gains and Losses. Capital gains and losses for individual taxpayers are determined by the last trading date of the tax year. This is the case even though the settlement date (the date the shares-sold are actually exchanged and cash is received by the broker) may be several days later. Thus, even though the settlement date may occur in early 2011 for shares sold on the last trading date of 2010, the capital gains and/or losses will be established in 2010.

Short Sale Gains (But not Losses). Gains on shares sold short are also determined by trading date because of an IRS ruling treating the transaction as a constructive sale. Thus, shares sold short for gain on the last trading date of 2010 will be treated as capital gains for the tax year 2010, even though actual delivery of the shares may occur in 2011. Note, however, that for losses on shares sold short, the losses are not deductible until the shares are actually delivered to a broker. Taxpayers should plan accordingly if a loss is anticipated.

Marital Status. Taxpayers should note in general that marital status as of the last date of the year will determine the status for the entire tax year 2010.

General Tax Calendar Deadlines and Information (From IRS Publication 509)

December 10: Employees who work for tips. If you received $20 or more in tips during November, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

December 15: Corporations. Deposit the fourth installment of estimated income tax for 2010. A worksheet, Form 1120-W, is available to help you estimate your tax for the year.

Selected Tax Deadlines for Employers Based on Monthly Deposit Rule

Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in November by December 15, 2010.

Non-payroll withholding. If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in November by December 15, 2010.

Employer’s Tax Deadlines: Payroll Due Dates for Deposit of Taxes for 2010 Under the Semiweekly Rule

Nov 24-26: Dec 1
Nov 27-30: Dec 3
Dec 1-3: Dec 8
Dec 4-7: Dec 10
Dec 8-10: Dec 15
Dec 11-14: Dec 17
Dec 15-17: Dec 22
Dec 18-21: Dec 27
Dec 22-24: Dec 29
Dec 25-28: Jan 3
Dec 29-31: Jan 5

Excise Tax Deadlines

December 10: Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method. Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of November.

December 14: Regular method taxes. Deposit the tax for the last 15 days of November.

December 28: Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method. Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 15 days of November.

December 29: Regular method taxes. Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of December.

Have more questions about tax deadlines, or need help in planning for your year-end tax decisions? Call Sherayzen Law Office to discuss your tax situation with an experienced tax lawyer!

Business Tax Planning Lawyers: When to Schedule a Review with Your Business Tax Lawyer

While the exact schedule of your business tax planning reviews may often depend on the exact nature of your business, I want to point out in this article certain events which should trigger a review of your tax strategies by a Minnesota business tax lawyer.

A. Business Formation

A review of your business tax strategies should be scheduled during business formation or at least within several months of your company’s existence. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners neglect obtaining the advice of a business tax attorney during the first year of the existence of their businesses. The anxiety over what the future might bring and the desire to cut costs are usually proffered as the explanation of this tendency.

Yet, this is a mistaken view. In reality, it often leads to a completely opposite result: more money is being spent inefficiently, higher tax costs are incurred, and there is a higher likelihood of creating huge legal and tax liabilities down the road. A company may even go out of business due to its neglect of legal and tax planning.

One of the main functions of a business tax lawyer is to structure business transactions in such a way as to fully comply with U.S. tax laws (and the laws of other relevant tax jurisdictions where appropriate) while making sure that full advantage is taken of these laws to reduce and even eliminate business tax waste. For example, where appropriate, a business tax attorney may advise to hasten a purchase order in order to reduce tax liability in this tax year. If the purchase is being made in a foreign country, this business tax lawyer may advise that the contract is signed in that foreign country in order to offset foreign income that the company received from the sales of its product in that country. This may further favorably impact the situation with respect to the foreign tax credit.

B. One Month Prior to the End of a Fiscal Year

The next tax planning session should be scheduled about a month prior to the end of each fiscal year. By this time, sufficient economic data about the performance of the business should be collected by the company’s accountant. This will allow your business tax lawyer to review the assumptions about income and expenses that were made at the beginning of the fiscal year. Based on this review, the business tax attorney may revise the tax planning strategies and give advice on what to do during this last month of the fiscal year to make sure that full advantage is taken of the Internal Revenue Code provisions.

C. Business Tax Filing

In order to maximize its benefits, business tax filing should consist of three steps. First, the accountant prepares a tax return for the business. If you use your tax attorney to prepare the tax return, then you can skip this step. Second, prior to filing the tax return, submit it for a review to your business tax lawyer. Following this step may bring two important benefits: a.) you get a “second opinion” on the tax return, and b.) the tax lawyer may modify the tax return in order to harmonize it with the rest of the business and tax planning strategies (which may sacrifice short-term benefits in order to achieve your company’s long-term business goals or reduce overall long-term tax liability). Finally, the third step is to use the already filed tax return in conjunction with the economic analysis and projections for the next fiscal year in order to formulate a new business tax plan. This new tax plan will later be reviewed at the end of the year as indicated in Section “B” above.

Thus, in reality, your business tax planning strategies should be reviewed at least twice a year by your tax attorney: while filing the tax return and at the end of the year. This holds true unless there is a material change of your company’s circumstances.

D. Material Change of Circumstances

Every time an event occurs that may materially modify the tax situation of your business, it is necessary to immediately contact your business tax lawyer to review the tax situation and tax strategies of the business. Moreover, it is important to remember that such situations are likely to give rise to additional tax compliance and legal liability issues which may be identified only by a tax professional.

E. Conclusion

Business tax planning should become a natural and routine practice of your overall business planning. In the long run, the benefits of tax planning are likely to far outweigh whatever immediate legal expenses your business may incur, not to mention the protection it offers against future legal liability. At the very least, two reviews of your business tax strategies should be scheduled during a fiscal year: when you file your business taxes and about a month before the end of the year. If an event occurs that may materially change the tax situation of your company, then an emergency tax and legal liability session with your business tax lawyer should be scheduled.

Sherayzen Law Office can help you throughout this process. We can help you properly analyze your business tax situation, identify the problems and opportunities, and adopt the right business and tax strategies to take full advantage of the U.S. tax laws while reducing potential future liabilities.

Call NOW to discuss your tax situation with an experienced business tax lawyer!

Section 179 Deduction for SUVs and Certain Other Vehicles

Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows taxpayers to purchase certain types of vehicles for business purposes and write off the cost. Specifically, taxpayers may expense up to $25,000 of the cost of any “heavy” SUV, pickup or van placed into service during the tax year, and used for over 50% for business purposes. Both new and used vehicles may qualify for the deduction.

A heavy vehicle for the purpose of the statute is generally any 4-wheeled vehicle with a gross vehicle weight above 6,000 pounds and not more than 14,000 pounds. Certain other specified vehicles are not subject to the $25,000 limit. For qualifying heavy vehicles, taxpayers may take regular depreciation (20% for the first year) in addition to the $25,000 write-off. However any percentage of non-business use below 100% must be reduced accordingly by the same percentage.

Call NOW to get help with your business tax return!

Internet Sales and Use Taxes: A Growing Concern for Small Businesses and Consumers

Are you a small business owner who frequently sells goods or services over the Internet, or a consumer who purchases expensive products online? Then you may be responsible for charging sales taxes as a seller, or reporting unpaid use taxes as a consumer under new laws that have been passed by various states. As states look for ways to reduce budget deficits, merchants and consumers should expect to see collection of sales and use taxes become a top priority, and this may require sound tax advice.

Sales and Use Tax Defined

Sales taxes

Sales taxes are state or local taxes based upon a set percentage of the sales price of a product or service. Almost all states have sales taxes, except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. Likewise, most states charge sales tax for Internet purchases made in the state. Certain types of products may be exempt from sales taxes, such as clothing, prescription drugs and some foods and beverages in Minnesota.

Where sales taxes are applicable, merchants who sell via the Internet charge the appropriate sales tax rate for the location of the buyer. For example, a California merchants selling a product to a Minnesota consumer online, would charge the appropriate Minnesota sales tax rate, and then remit the collected tax amount to the state of Minnesota. (Certain exemptions may be applicable in some states depending upon whether the buyer is a consumer or a reseller.)

Use taxes

Use taxes for Internet or mail order purchases, apply when consumers located in a state with a sales tax, purchase goods or services for use in their home state, but are not charged a sales tax (or are taxed at a lower rate than in their home state) by the merchant. In such transactions, the consumer still owes a tax to their home state. Use taxes, unlike sales taxes however, are paid by the consumer. Use taxes that were not paid at the time of sale may be reported on a taxpayer’s state income tax form. Nearly half the states, including California and New York, include a line on individual state income tax forms for taxpayers to voluntarily calculate their use tax liability amount.

Difficulties with Collection of Internet Sales and Use Taxes

A 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill vs. North Dakota, held that mail order retailers do not need to collect sales taxes unless they have a physical presence in the state of the customer purchasing its product or service. Physical presence may include a store, office, warehouse, or similar facility.

This decision was subsequently applied to exempt Internet retailers that met the requirements. Even though sales taxes are still legally due in circumstances in which an online merchant does not have a physical presence in a customer’s state, such taxes however are rarely reported by customers. Because of the difficulties in tracking online purchases, states often resorted to attempting to collect online sales taxes for expensive items (often requiring licenses to use the good), such as an automobile. In Minnesota, for example, residents are required to pay sales taxes on any online purchases that total $770 over the course of a year.

As many individuals increasingly began using the Internet to purchase goods and services however, states looked for new ways to collect sales taxes. In 2002, 40 states and the District of Columbia joined together to create an initiative called the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) to simplify sales tax collection efforts. Although compliance with SSUTA is non-binding, according to recent numbers, nearly 1,200 online retailers now voluntarily collect sales taxes.

Future of Sales and Use Taxes: Collections Likely to Increase

Sales taxes make up the second largest source of state revenue, following individual income taxes. Thus, with many states facing widening budget deficits, the trend is for states to increasingly pursue collection efforts for unpaid sales and use taxes. Recently, state legislatures in New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island have enacted laws requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes if the retailer operates an ‘affiliate program’ with payments to individuals in return for customer referrals. Similar legislation has been proposed in at least fifteen other states. In Colorado, a new law requires online retailers that run affiliate programs to notify customers of applicable use taxes that must be paid.

The fate of state efforts to increase collection of online sales and use taxes may hinge in part on lawsuits brought by online retailer Amazon.com challenging some of these laws. In challenging the constitutionality of New York’s law, Amazon argued that sending referral payments to its customers through an affiliate program does not constitute a physical presence in a state. Amazon however lost a case in trial court, and has since appealed. Additionally, the company recently filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging North Carolina’s law. States have also filed lawsuits against certain online retailers in an effort to collect unpaid sales taxes and enforce existing state laws.

In addition to the various state laws and pending proposals, federal legislation has been proposed to require most online retailers to collect sales taxes in any states that have joined the Streamlined Sales Tax Project and have passed legislation complying with SSUTA. If the proposed federal legislation eventually becomes law, it would thus override the physical presence requirement. Twenty-three states are members or associate members of this project: Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The proposed law may also allow retailers to retain as an allowance, a small percentage of the sales tax collected, in order to cover reasonable expense for their sales tax collection efforts and tax return filings, as well as other associated costs.

Conclusion

All of the various state and federal legislative initiatives indicate that the states are stepping up their efforts to collect sales and use taxes. This will likely produce an increased complexity of the Internet tax laws with which both, Internet retailers and consumers, will have to comply. Remember, a tax-collection mistake may become very expensive for the involved partes since the unpaid taxes may be subject to penalties and interest.

Sherayzen Law Office can help you navigate this ever-changing tax landscape. Call NOW to discuss your case with an experienced tax attorney!