As the deadline to file 2011 tax returns approaches, it is a great time for business owners to start planning for next year.  Tax expert Barbara Weltman offers the following tips for business owners in 2012.

  • Retirement Plan Changes.  The dollar limits on contributions and benefits to qualified retirement plans such as SEPs, 401(k)s, and deferred benefit plans have increased for 2012.  Make sure your employees are aware of the new contribution limits.
  • Payroll Tax Changes.  Changes to the wage base for social security portion of FICA have been ongoing political debate.  Note that as suggested in the article, the payroll tax cuts have been extended twice, most recently through the end of 2012. 
  • Fringe Benefit Changes.  Fringe benefit limits such as parking provided to employees, commuter highway vehicles, transit passes, and adoption assistance have changed.  Make sure you are aware of the new limitations if you provide fringe benefits to your employees.
  • Breaks for Capital Investment.  Favorable rules for purchasing equipment and investing in certain types of business are set to change including first-year expensing, bonus depreciation, and the exclusion for gain on the sale of certain small business stock.  Business owner should consult their tax advisor concerning the impact of these changes if they are considering purchasing equipment or selling a business in 2012.
  • Stay Tuned.  Keep in mind that ongoing changes to the tax rules are expected in connection with continues efforts to stimulate the economy.  Business owners should consult with their tax professional in order to keep abreast of changes specific to their industry and business.

In addition to tax planning, it is also a great time to meet with your attorney for a legal audit.  A legal audit is useful tool to minimize potential litigation risk, to review employment law issues, and to discuss other legal issues such as contracting and leasing.  If you would like to discuss legal issues facing your company, please contact our Business Law Group partner, David A. Closson at [email protected].

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