Asset Protection

Changes to Tax Code That Make LLCs and S Corps More Attractive

Changes to Tax Code That Make LLCs and S Corps More Attractive

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act a new tax deduction for pass-through business income was created (LLC, S Corp, Partnership and Sole Proprietorship income). The deduction allows for a 20% deduction of qualified business income. There are a few limitations, but in general this means that 20% of business net income can be a deduction on the owner’s personal tax return. *

Before the Tax Cut and Jobs Act a C Corporation had a range of tax rates between 15% and 35%. After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the corporate rate is now a flat 21%. For most large corporations this is a win with a lower tax bracket, but if you were operating as a C Corporation with net profits less than $50,000 this is an increase of 6%.

For this reason we are seeing:

  • An increase in the formation of LLCs (Liability protection; lower state fees overall; less paperwork)
  • An increase in new Corporations electing S Corp status
  • Existing Corporations making elections from C Corp to S Corp status with the IRS

Sole Proprietorships are not recommended in an asset protection strategy. With a Sole Proprietorship there is no protection for personal or business assets.  A Sole Proprietorship has no Charging Order protection or “corporate veil protection”.

Nevada currently is the only state that has a Charging Order provision for closely held corporations.

* PLEASE NOTE: There are a few limitations to the Qualified Business Income deduction such as W-2 wage limitation; Service business limitation and higher income level limitation. Please seek advice from YOUR tax professional for your specific situation/goals. 

Some information contributed by Elite Bookkeeping & Tax Services.

https://americancorpenterprises.com/charging-order-protection-for-nevada-corporations/

 

 

 

Documenting Your Business Activities

As stated in previous posts Corporate Record Keeping is essential when it comes to protecting your assets and tax benefits. Anything that is of major business consequence should be documented in your records. You need to show evidence that it was approved by the company.

Below are is a partial list of examples of business activities to document:

  • Amendments to the Articles
  • Annual Meetings of Shareholders/ Members
  • Annual Meetings of Directors/ Managers
  • Special Meetings of Shareholders, Directors/ Members
  • Authorization for Voting Proxy
  • Opening of bank account
  • Adding or changing bank signatories
  • Authorization to change or appoint company accountant
  • Authorization to appoint legal counsel
  • Authorization for payment of business travel
  • Changes to Bylaws or Operating Agreement
  • Changes in Stock/ Membership Certificates to correct errors or omissions
  • Changes in Officers/ Management (new appointments, resignations, dismissals)
  • Reimbursement for child care expenses
  • Independent contractor service (1099s for outside services)
  • Authorization for credit card
  • Authorization to establish line of credit for the company
  • Authorization for Foreign Qualification
  • Reimbursement for Life Insurance
  • Medical and Dental Reimbursement Plans
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Promissory Notes
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Purchase of Key-Man Policy
  • Real Estate leases or purchases
  • Setting salaries for Officers/ Managers
  • Authorization to pay for vehicle expenses (purchases, leases, maintenance, insurance, gasoline)
  • Dissolution of company

We do offer Corporate Record Keeping Assistance. For more information and sample forms, visit https://americancorpenterprises.com/what-we-offer/services/corporate-record-keeping/

 

Covering Your Assets- Important Formalities

If you have a Corporation, chances are at some point you heard or read information about why you should incorporate your business. The most important reason is to separate your personal assets from your business assets. Corporations are considered a first line of defense. Another reason is the tax benefits. There are numerous deductions available to Corporations that are not available to Sole Proprietorships, for example.

But here’s the thing- if you have not taken the steps to complete certain corporate formalities, your assets are like low hanging fruit just waiting to be picked.

Hopefully your business will never be sued or have to endure an IRS audit. We assure you it is not our intent to frighten you with this post. We simply want to remind you again about these formalities as a preventative measure.

Let’s review a couple of these formalities:

Issuing Stock
– Perhaps you and family members or friends are “said owners” of the business. However, did you prepare the Resolution(s), fill out stock certificates and document it in your corporate records? If not, you could have a serious problem down the line.

Here’s why- if your business is sued and there’s no formal record of having issued stock, you have given the court evidence to rule that it’s not a “valid Corporation”. A valid Corporation would have shareholders. If it’s not valid, how can you argue that a corporate veil exists?

SPECIAL NOTE: Nevada allows you to issue stock for services, property, capital, real estate or anything! It’s up the Directors of the Corporation to decide. Per the Secretary of State “their decision is final”.

Maintaining Corporate Records– Keeping your corporate records updated is a must for preserving the corporate veil. Your corporate records are like the “life story” of actions that were of major business consequence to the Corporation. The Directors and Officers are merely conducting business on behalf of the Corporation and the records should reflect this.

For example, have you taken out a business loan? If so, the Corporation should have held a Special Meeting to discuss taking out the loan. Minutes of the meeting should have been prepared, signed and placed in the Corporate Record Book. This helps prove it was the Corporation and not you personally that decided to take out the loan.

If your business is involved in a lawsuit and you have no corporate records, a court can determine that the Corporation was simply an “Alter Ego” of yourself; that is was not acting like a true Corporation; therefore, the corporate veil may be pierced.

We often hear “It’s a one-man operation. It’s just me so I don’t need a record book”. You still need to keep records even if it’s just you.

IRS Audits and Corporate Record Keeping

According to Sara Zaro, EA with Elite Bookkeeping & Tax Services,
“When the IRS conducts an audit on a Corporation, they will ask for the corporate record book. If you don’t have current records, the IRS can determine that your business is operating as a Sole Proprietorship and change the tax rules. In some cases it has cost the business thousands of dollars.”

You should consider your tax benefits as an asset that also needs to be protected.

Additional Note: While LLC record keeping isn’t quite as stringent, it is recommended that you still maintain similar-type records for anything of major business consequence.

If you have not tended to these formalities, you should do so now. The longer you wait the more challenging it will be to catch up.

We can provide you with a Corporate Record Book and assist with updating your records. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Corporation Annual Minutes

Find out more about American Corporate Enterprises by visiting our website at https://americancorpenterprises.com. At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775) 884-9380 today.

At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us

Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775)884-9380 today and visit our website at www.americancorpenterprises.com.

Asset Protection and Liability Insurance

When starting and operating a business, asset protection is of the utmost importance. You don’t want to spend years building your business only to be wiped out from a lawsuit.

No matter what type of business entity you’re using, the next level of asset protection should be liability insurance. This is for a couple of reasons. First, liability insurance usually provides competent counsel to defend any lawsuit. With the enormous cost of litigation these days, even if you’re successful at winning, you may lose an exorbitant amount of capital defending yourself.

The other reason is that the face amount of the liability coverage is the first amount paid in the event a judgment is entered against you. However, you need to be sure you read and understand any restrictions and limitations when obtaining your liability policy.

Why Incorporate Your Business
https://americancorpenterprises.com/why.html

Other recommended reading regarding your corporate records and asset protection.
https://americancorpenterprises.blogspot.com/2011/12/penny-savedcan-be-fortune-lost.html?spref=bl

Find out more about American Corporate Enterprises by visiting our website at https://americancorpenterprises.com. At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775) 884-9380 today.

At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us

Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775)884-9380 today and visit our website at www.americancorpenterprises.com.

Using an LLC for Real Estate Investing

With the fallout of the real estate market the number of foreclosure sales is increasing dramatically. Many of those purchases are being made with the intent of renting the property rather than for owner occupancy.

LLCs are today’s number one choice for holding title to real estate. Owning either residential or commercial real estate can subject you to significant risk of a lawsuit. As we all know, accidents can happen any time. If someone gets seriously hurt on your property, you may find yourself being sued for damages.

One of the most common mistakes people make is assuming that since they have insurance that they are protected. Sometimes judgments can exceed the insurance coverage, or in some cases the insurance is denied. It’s important that you read your insurance policy thoroughly and understand the limitations.

The LLC is designed to protect your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit. You want to make sure that in the event of a lawsuit that the LLC is the defendant and not you personally.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

If you haven’t done so already, you may want to consider forming an LLC to hold title to your investment real estate. Remember to “not carry all of your eggs in one basket”.

You must sign a deed conveying the real estate to the LLC and record the deed in the county in which the property is located if you wish to transfer the property.

Make sure you are adequately covered with your insurance policy and that the LLC shows as the insured. Remember, the LLC is not you and you’re not it.

If you transfer the property into an LLC but you are making improvements on the property and an injury arises because of the work, you could be sued personally. You may want to hire a licensed contractor for things such as construction repairs, electrical work or plumbing, etc.

If you do hire someone to do significant repairs on your property, be sure to check them out thoroughly beforehand.
For information and assistance regarding forming an LLC, give us a call toll free at (888) 274-1130.

Find out more about American Corporate Enterprises by visiting our website at https://americancorpenterprises.com. At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775) 884-9380 today.

At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us

Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775)884-9380 today and visit our website at www.americancorpenterprises.com.