What Should I Do If I Am Missing My W-2?

Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement closup
In order to prepare your 2012 tax return, you will need your W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which your employer should send to you by mail by the end of January. If you have not received your W-2, follow these three steps:

1. Contact your employer first. Ask your employer to mail your W-2 and make sure your employer has your correct address.

2. Contact the IRS. After February 14, you may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you have not yet received your W-2. Be prepared to provide your name, address, social security number and phone number. You should also have the following information when you call:

  • Your employer’s name, address and phone number;
  • Your dates of employment; and
  • An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld, based upon your final pay stub or any records you have available.

3. File your return on time. You should still file your tax return on or before April 15, 2013, even if you have not yet received your W-2. File Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, in place of your W-2. Use the form to estimate your income and withholding taxes. However, the IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information.

If you need more time to file you can get a six-month extension of time by filing Form 4868, on or before April 15.

If you receive the missing W-2 after filing your tax return and the information on the W-2 is different from what you reported using Form 4852, then you must amend your tax return by filing Form 1040X.

If you have any questions or need help filing your taxes please call Gregory J. Spadea of Spadea & Associates, LLC in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania at 610-521-0604.

How Much Can I Deduct For a Business Car or Truck in 2013 under IRC Section 179?

Woman with car key in hand
To encourage businesses to buy equipment as well as cars and trucks Congress passed Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 179. For passenger vehicles, trucks, and vans (with a gross weight of less than 6,000 pounds), that are used more than 50% in a qualified business use, the total deduction for depreciation including both the Section 179 expense deduction as well as 50% Bonus Depreciation is limited to $11,060 for cars and $11,160 for trucks and vans. If the automobile cost $20,000 and is used 100% for business the business would get an IRC Section 179 deduction of $11,060 and a regular depreciation deduction of $1,788 (20% of the $8,490.00 difference). If the vehicle is used less than 100% for business both the Section 179 deduction and regular depreciation deduction are reduced proportionately based on the actual business use percentage.

SUV’s, trucks and vans with a gross vehicle weight rating above 6,000 lbs. but no more than 14,000 lbs. qualify for expensing up to $25,000 if the vehicle is financed and placed in service prior to December 31. In addition the business can deduct 50% of the remaining cost over $25,000 as bonus depreciation. However, the 50% bonus depreciation break will expire on December 31, 2013 unless Congress extends it.

For example, a new heavy SUV used 100% for business that costs $52,000 and qualifies for Section 179 could be written-off in 2013 as follows:

First Year Section 179 Deduction: $ 25,000
Bonus Depreciation (50% of remaining balance): 13,500
Regular Depreciation (20% of remaining balance): 2,700
Total First-Year Write-Off: $ 41,200

However, businesses that experience net operating losses cannot claim an IRC Section 179 deduction that would create or increase an overall business tax loss. However they may take the 50% bonus depreciation deduction, and carry the remaining net operating loss forward were it can be used in future years.

If you have any questions or need help with your taxes or business deductions call Gregory J. Spadea of Spadea & Associates, LLC in Ridley Park at 610-521-0604. Spadea & Associates, LLC prepares business and individual tax returns year round.

Why I need an IRA Trust

Jar with label Retirement Plan
The biggest retirement asset for most people other than their primary residence is their retirement plans. One way to ensure that your children do not mishandle your retirement funds after you and your spouse pass away is to set up an IRA trust as your Plan’s contingent beneficiary. This ensures an orderly transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.

The advantages of an IRA trust are as follows:

1. It allows you to control when distributions are made and the circumstances when they should be made. This also allows the beneficiary to stretch out the payments and pay the least amount of income tax over his or her lifetime. This also allows the IRA Assets to continue growing tax free inside the trust over the beneficiary’s lifetime.

2. The IRA trust assets would be protected from creditors so if your beneficiary is sued the assets in the IRA trust would not be subject to any creditor claims. In addition if your beneficiary gets divorced the IRA trust assets would not be part of the marital estate and not subject to claims by the ex-spouse.

3. You can select an investment advisor to ensure the IRA portfolio remains diversified to maximize the investment returns over your beneficiary’s lifetime.

4. If your beneficiary is disabled and receiving government medical benefits the IRA Trust would not disqualify him or her from continuing to receive benefits.

From a procedural perspective you would name the IRA Trust as a beneficiary of your IRA, and upon your passing the IRA trust would distribute the proceeds of your IRA to your beneficiaries over their lifetimes based on the IRS tables for required minimum distributions. If you were married, you may want to have your spouse be the primary beneficiary of your IRA and the IRA trust could be a contingent beneficiary of your IRA.

The reason this is so important is because a nonspouse beneficiary may not receive funds directly from an inherited IRA and roll them over tax free to another inherited IRA within 60 days, as a surviving beneficiary can. Therefore they must use a direct trustee to trustee transfer to avoid income tax on the distribution. Many beneficiaries do not realize once they take the distribution they will be taxed on the entire amount in the year they receive it. This would be disastrous from an income tax perspective because they will lose the power of tax deferred compounding over their lifetime. Therefore setting up the IRA trust as the Beneficiary avoids this problem.

If your IRA assets exceed $250,000 you should consider setting up an IRA trust to ensure your legacy is are protected and your beneficiaries are taken care of after your gone. Contact Gregory J. Spadea at 610-521-0604 if you would like more information.

Learn About the Advantages of Organizing as an LLC

LLC benefits clipboard
Anybody interested in starting a new business, or in formalizing the organization of an existing sole proprietorship, should pay careful attention to the entity selection decisions they will need to make. An experienced business law attorney can guide you through the considerations that will affect your decision to form a C corporation, an S corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), any form of partnership, or stay with a sole proprietorship in your own name.

Though they are relatively new in the United States, LLCs have emerged as a highly popular and flexible way of organizing a new business entity. Virtually unknown in this country 40 years ago, LLCs can be formed today in every state, and in some industries, they represent the standard form of business organization.

Flexibility and Ease of Formation

Although the details vary from state to state, an LLC combines certain features of the business partnership and the business corporation. The personal liability of an LLC’s members is protected in much the same way that a corporation shelters its shareholders from liability. Unlike corporations, however, most LLCs are taxed on a pass-through basis to its individual members. In other words, the LLC pays no taxes on its profits, but each member pays income tax on his or her share.

Perhaps the main advantage of the LLC is its flexibility in organization and management. Corporations and partnerships alike are free to vary many of the state laws related to corporate and partnership governance through corporate bylaws and partnership agreements, but the level of default statutory regulation applicable to LLCs is very limited. An operating agreement defines the rights and responsibilities of the membership, and creating an LLC is as simple as filing a certificate of organization (Pennsylvania) or certificate of formation (New Jersey) together with a modest filing fee.

Unlike corporations, LLCs are not managed by boards of directors with specific duties and responsibilities.  Instead, the management functions of an LLC are spelled out in the operating agreement. When the LLC has more than one member, the operating agreement can also spell out details as to the transferability of interests, rights of first refusal and restrictive covenants with respect to proprietary information, customer lists and noncompetition terms.

Tax Election Options for LLCs

Some entrepreneurs or existing businesses might find the tax characteristics of an LLC to be disadvantageous. Because the LLC itself is not taxed, distributions to members are taxed as ordinary income to the individuals. For most startups, however, this will represent no practical difference from self-employment tax. LLCs can also elect to be taxed in any of several ways: sole proprietorship, S corporation, or if there are multiple members, as a C corporation or partnership. LLCs seeking corporate tax treatment can set up a Simple IRA retirement plan and pay themselves a reasonable salary to reduce some of their self-employment tax that they would incur as a sole proprietorship.

When the primary impetus for organizing as an LLC is to shelter personal assets from business liability, the limited liability company form is hard to beat. Many real estate companies, property investment and management firms set up a separate LLC for each building, to ensure that the tort or contract liability for each project is contained to the asset value of that property. The LLC elect to be taxed as partnerships are taxed with the general partner organized as a corporation or another LLC.

Contact Spadea & Associates, LLC in Ridley Park: 610-521-0604

Any business entity selection and formation decision should be based on your own personal and business objectives, needs and characteristics. The Law Offices of Spadea & Associates works with business owners and entrepreneurs in Greater Philadelphia, southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey on matters of business law, tax law and estate planning. To learn more about the ways an LLC could meet your objectives in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact us in Ridley Park.

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