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Use-It-or-Lose-It Tax Breaks Your Small Business Must Take Advantage of Soon



Use-It-or-Lose-It Tax Breaks

Some tax breaks have a limited existence. Most of the changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for individuals are set to run only through 2025. But when it comes to businesses, there are some provisions due to expire much sooner. It’s up to you to take advantage of them while you can.



Use-It-or-Lose-It Tax Breaks

Here’s a round up of some to consider.

Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave

While federal law doesn’t require you to give paid leave to employees, you may qualify for a tax credit if you do so. As long as you have a written policy providing at least two weeks of paid family and medical leave and you pay at least 50% of wages normally paid to an employee, you can take a tax credit. The credit amount ranges from 12.5% to 25% of wages, depending on what you pay. However, the credit only applies in 2018 to employees who earned no more than $72,000 in 2018. This dollar limit could be increased for 2019.

The IRS has issued guidance in Q-and-A form on this tax credit. Caution: You can’t take the credit to the extent paid leave is paid by a state or local government or required by state or local law.

Expiration date: December 31, 2019.

Work Opportunity Credit

If you’re expanding your workforce, you may be eligible for a special tax credit if the employee(s) you hire are in a targeted group. It’s been estimated that from 10% to 20% of employees could fall within these groups:





  • Long-term family assistance recipient
  • Qualified recipient of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Qualified veteran
  • Qualified ex-felon
  • Designated community resident
  • Vocational rehabilitation referral
  • Summer youth employee
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (food stamps) recipient
  • SSI recipient
  • Qualified long-term unemployment recipient

The amount of the credit varies with the targeted category. It ranges from $2,400 for most categories (less for summer youth) to $9,600 for a veteran with a service-connected disability.

To qualify for the credit, you must submit Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request to your state workforce agency no later than 28 days after a new employee begins work. If you fail to do this, you can’t take the credit even if the new employee would otherwise fall into a targeted group.

You can learn more about the work opportunity credit from the instructions to Form 5884.

Expiration date: December 31, 2019.

Credit for Electric-powered Vehicles

If you buy an electric-powered vehicle, you may be eligible for a tax credit up to $7,500. And if the vehicle is for business, the credit is part of the general business credit.





But the credit phases out when a manufacturer sells more than such 200,000 vehicles. Tesla achieved this landmark in sales in July 2018. As a result, the full credit amount will only apply to vehicles purchased through December 31, 2018. For purchases from January 1, through June 30, 2019, the credit limit will be only $3,750. The limit will fall to $1,875 for vehicles bought from July 1 through December 31, 2019. And no credit for an electric-powered vehicle will be available after 2019.

Find more information about qualified electric vehicles (EVs) from the IRS.

Looking ahead

The 100% bonus depreciation allowance as a write-off for the purchase of equipment and other qualified property is set to run only through 2022. Thereafter, the percentage is reduced until this deduction fully phases out in 2027. Check whether this temporary tax break can benefit you now. Of course, Congress could extend this and other expiring tax breaks so stay tuned!



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1 Comment ▼

Barbara Weltman


Barbara Weltman Barbara Weltman is the Tax Columnist for Small Business Trends. She is an attorney and author of J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business. She is also the publisher of Idea of the Day® and monthly e-newsletter Big Ideas for Small Business® and is a trusted professional advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

One Reaction

  1. Aira Bongco

    It is important to know this for it can save you some money once you deduct it.

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