Dreaming of Tesla? Hurry up the tax rebate halves in 2019

IRS Notice 2018-96 provides that qualifying vehicles from Tesla, Inc. purchased for use or lease are eligible for a $7,500 credit if acquired before Jan. 1, 2019. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the credit will be $3,750 for Tesla’s eligible vehicles. On July 1, 2019, the credit will be reduced to $1,875 for the remainder of the year. After Dec. 31, 2019, no credit will be available.

Code Sec. 30D(a) provides for a credit for certain new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles. The new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles in the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 of the manufacturer’s vehicles that qualify for the credit have been sold for use or lease in the U.S.

So what are you waiting for? Hurry up if you are intending to buy or lease Tesla. Only few weeks are left to claim the credit and bring down the cost of the vehicle. Merry Christmas!

Post-Wayfair Sales Tax Issues for foreign companies selling in U.S.

You may have seen a headline or heard a discussion about “Wayfair”. What is this? “Wayfair” refers to the most significant state tax case to come before the U.S. Supreme Court in decades.
For more than 50 years, state sales and use tax laws have held that a seller’s requirements are based on a “physical presence” test. In other words, a company generally must collect sales tax in a given state only if that company had a physical presence (branch office, warehouse, etc.) in that state.
In 2016, South Dakota contested this law, pointing out that the physical presence test was obsolete in the Internet era. The physical presence test gave remote sellers an unfair advantage, as they could sell into the state without collecting sales tax, while in-state competitors were forced to collect sales tax.
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, stating that the physical presence test was invalid. The Court explained that a company has nexus (or connection) with a jurisdiction when that company “avails itself of the substantial privilege of carrying on business” in a jurisdiction.
In practical terms, this is means that when a company makes sales into a state over a certain threshold of sales or transactions, that company is required to collect sales tax in that state. For example, South Dakota law states that any company that has at least $100,000 in sales or 200 transactions in the state must begin to collect and remit South Dakota sales tax.
Since this decision in June, more than 30 states have (or will soon have) sales and transaction thresholds. Retailers of all types should examine their obligations and be prepared to collect sales tax in additional jurisdictions.
Each state can create its own standards and guidelines for nexus standards. Twenty-four states have adopted the same $100,000 annual sales or 200 transactions test as South Dakota. Eight other states have differing thresholds. Also, some of the states have required marketplaces (such as Amazon) to collect sales tax on behalf of vendors.
Another important issue to remember that the states are not party to the income tax treaty signed by the Federal government and they may or may not conform the treaty articles. This creates an added burden for the foreign sellers.
Retailers/ Amazon sellers should review the requirements state by state. Although the thresholds may be the same, the measuring periods and basis for measuring sales may vary. The beginning date of enforcement also varies. Penalties for non-compliance can be quite severe.
Tax Planning & Compliance
– Do not simply register in states once you determine you have nexus without considering several additional steps.

  • Determine nexus
  • Review the wording of your contracts and invoices. A change in wording could reduce the risk of sales tax requirements.
  • Decide whether the risk is material. It may be that the cost of registration and compliance is greater than your risk of exposure.
  • Implement a sales tax compliance software. Several commercial systems are available.
  • Consider a system to store and track certificates.

CPA Global tax can help you with all questions you may have in complying with the state tax issues.

Owe tax to IRS? Your passport may have been revoked!

Joe just received a shocking notice from IRS (CP508C) informing him that his passport is being revoked when he was about to embark on a business meeting overseas.
Joe reaches out to his CPA for help. Can he do anything to avoid the revocation of passport?

CPA explained that IRS notified the U.S. State Department about his seriously delinquent federal tax debt (SDTD) and as a result, is revoking his current passport. Joe has limited options. He needs to request an installment agreement or pay off the tax debt. Both solutions seemed overwhelming to Joe.

Joe enters in to installment program with IRS based on the CPA’s advice. CPA with the help of Taxpayer Advocate Service, was able to resolve the issue. Joe received CP508R notice from IRS notifying him that the certification of tax debt was reversed. Fortunately in this case, Joe was able to get his passport reinstated only with the timely help of his CPA – just in time for his travel plans.

If you owe greater than $50,000 to IRS, be careful! IRS may have revoked your passport and you may not be able to travel. There are different options available for different situations based on facts and circumstances. We at CPA Global Tax are happy to assist.

GILTI? IRS issues proposed regulations

Section 951A, which was added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in December, 2017, subjects a current US tax on a U.S. shareholder’s pro rata share of its global intangible low tax income (GILTI).

Under the TCJA, a U.S. person that owns at least 10 percent of the value or voting rights in one or more CFCs will be required to include its global intangible low-taxed income as currently taxable income, regardless of whether any amount is distributed to the shareholder. A U.S. person includes U.S. individuals, domestic corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates.

Per IRS news release 2018-186, the new reporting rules requires the filing of Form 8992. The Form would be helpful for U.S. Shareholder Calculation of Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income.

The new law applies to the first tax year of a CFC beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and the U.S. shareholder’s year with or within which that year ends, and all subsequent tax years.

These proposed regulations do not include foreign tax credit computational rules relating to global intangible low-taxed income, which will be addressed separately in the future as the release further states.

CPA Global Tax team can help you navigate through to the maze of these complicated rules. Please email us for any assistance.

Are you double dipping on your charitable contributions? IRS says no more!

The Arizona taxpayers (like taxpayers residing in many other states) have had the benefit of being able to make a charitable contribution to a qualified charity and take that amount not only as a tax credit against their Arizona taxes and get a dollar for dollar back on their tax return, but have also been able to take a federal tax deduction to save federal taxes. However, that could possibly change soon.
You can no longer double-dip, says the IRS!

On Thursday, August 23rd, the IRS issued proposed regulations that could affect your ability to utilize your state dollar-for-dollar tax credit as a federal deduction if you itemize.

Your State dollar-for-dollar tax credit contribution may need to be made by Monday, August 27, 2018 if you are planning to utilize it for a 2018 Federal deduction.

This is just a proposed regulation at this time but will be the final in all likelihood as IRS has been targeting the change for a long time. It states only tax credit contributions made after August 27, 2018 will be affected by these regulations.

To recap, Arizona has five principal tax credit opportunities:

* Public School donation
* Private School donation
* Donation to Military Family Relief Fund
* Donations to Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations
* Donations to Qualifying Charitable Organizations

For those of you that aren’t familiar with all the different deduction opportunities for the Arizona credit, information can be found on Department of Revenue’s information regarding tax credits: https://azdor.gov/tax-credits.

As a reminder, contributions made to a charitable organization overseas are generally not deductible unless a tax treaty provides for the deduction.

Combat-zone contract workers could qualify for foreign earned income exclusion – it’s the new Law!

Certain U.S. citizens or resident aliens, specifically contractors or employees of contractors supporting the U.S. Armed Forces in designated combat zones, may now qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, enacted in February, changed the tax home requirement for eligible taxpayers, enabling them to claim the foreign earned income exclusion even if their “abode” is in the United States. The new law applies for tax year 2018 and subsequent years and under this law, the taxpayers can choose to exclude their foreign earned income from gross income, up to a certain dollar amount. For tax year 2018, that dollar amount limit is $103,900.
Under prior law, many otherwise eligible taxpayers who lived and worked in designated combat zones failed to qualify because they had an abode in the United States. The new law makes it clear that contractors or employees of contractors providing support to U.S. Armed Forces in designated combat zones are eligible to claim the foreign earned income exclusion.
The foreign earned income exclusion is not automatic. Eligible taxpayers must file a U.S. income tax return each year with either a Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ attached. These forms, instructions and Publication 54,Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, will be revised later this year to reflect this clarification.
What is Foreign Earned Income?
Foreign earned income is the income a taxpayer receives for performing personal services in a foreign country or countries during a period in which he or she meets both of the following requirements:
• His or her tax home is in a foreign country, and
• He or she meets either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test.
Taxpayers choosing the foreign earned income exclusion cannot take advantage of any other exclusion, deduction or credit related to the excluded income. This includes any expenses, losses or other items that would have been deductible had the exclusion not been claimed. CPA Global Tax (www.cpaglobaltax.com) specializes in international tax issues and will be glad to assist if you have any questions!