New Federal Law Brings Changes to Business Taxes

By now you have most likely heard that President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017.  Most of the conversation regarding the new law has revolved around the changes to personal tax rates and deductions. You may have also heard about the corporate tax rate reduction for corporations and pass-through businesses. Like any other bill, there are other changes in the bill that have not garnered as much attention; however, some of these items will most likely affect your business taxes and indirectly your personal taxes. We have selected three provisions that might affect your business taxes. Like-Kind Exchange Treatment The new law allows “like-kind” exchange treatment only for real property transactions. Like-kind exchange treatment will not be applicable for transactions involving personal property, for example, equipment.  A typical example of this type of transaction was to trade in one business vehicle for a new business vehicle. Under current law, no gain or loss is recognized from the transaction. Under the new law, you will have to recognize the gain/loss on the sale of the vehicle. If you are looking to implement a like-kind exchange for business-related real estate, you can do that provided you meet all of the criteria. Depreciation Related Deductions The act allows for greater opportunities for expensing fixed asset purchases, mainly related to equipment purchases; however, some real property improvements are also included. The act allows for 100% first-year expensing deduction for qualified property, which generally means brand new tools and equipment, however, some types of real property improvements also qualify. This is applicable to assets acquired after September 27, 2017,...