Tax Reform Watch: A Webinar on the Impact to You & Your Business– January 12, 2018 by Tracy Monroe

Yesterday I was honored to moderate Cohen & Company’s webinar:  Tax Reform Has Arrived: How Will It Impact You & Your Business? We had a large audience and covered a wide range of information, including plenty of Q&A, regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Our two-hour event presented by Andy Whitehair, Tony Bakale, Peter Gilroy-Scott and Ray Polantz focused on four main types of taxpayers impacted by the TCJA:  individuals, businesses, fund managers/investors and U.S. businesses operating abroad.

In addition to tax brackets expanding and rates dropping for just about everyone, “big wins” discussed included everything from individuals gaining a larger standard deduction to simplify their tax returns, to corporations gaining a new 21% flat tax rate to help make the U.S. more competitive globally. Throughout the presentation, our panelists highlighted potential strategies and key considerations in a variety of areas, such as individuals using donor-advised funds for large charitable contributions; businesses placing property in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023, to take advantage of 100% bonus depreciation; and, with a federal estate tax exemption that will leave most taxpayers in the clear, the need for additional types of estate planning, such as state estate tax, income tax basis and non-tax-related planning.

While tax results depend on the specific fact pattern of your situation, our panelists also offered overall guidance to the audience. For individuals, the key will be tax management — planning for the long-term, engaging in bracket management and managing your tax liability over the next three to five years and beyond as we approach the 2025 sunset. For businesses, growing pass-through companies looking to reinvest profits into the business should evaluate the benefits of becoming a C Corporation at the new 21% rate. Fund managers and the alternative investment arena need to look at the tax impact to not only their fund but to their investor base as well. And for those doing business abroad, the TCJA’s shift to a territorial tax system suggests a reexamination of an entity’s global tax structure.

So, did this round of sweeping tax cuts simplify the tax code? While we did not exactly get the all-encompassing tax reform we had envisioned many months ago when this process began, our panel concluded that individuals will have a more simplified path to tax reporting — at least until 2025. For businesses and the investment industry, while the changes are largely permanent, the code remains complex and in need of many clarifying regulations and technical corrections to address unintended consequences as the law is put into everyday use. Cohen & Company is currently working with the AICPA Major Firms Group to develop a list of items in need of review for technical corrections. We will continue to work closely with our clients to help them understand and plan for the impact of the new tax law.

Download our webinar presentation or listen to the recording now. CPE credit does not apply to those were not on the original live webcast.

Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts and circumstances.