Act soon to claim tax breaks

Employers and business owners are eligible for a number of new tax breaks — but must act soon, since some benefits expire this year.

The federal website Business.usa.gov offers an overview of a few recent changes that open up benefits for businesses. Among these:

A tax credit for certain new hires. The HIRE Act, passed by Congress in March, exempts employers from paying the employer share of Social Security taxes on wages of qualified employees. The “payroll tax holiday” applies to employees who are hired between Feb. 3, 2010, and Jan. 1, 2011, and who worked no more than 40 hours in the 60 days before you hired them. The IRS requires employees to sign Form W-11 to verify that they are eligible. If you keep that employee on your payroll for 52 consecutive weeks, you are also entitled to claim a business credit of up to $1,000 on your 2011 tax return.

Business expensing: Congress recently expanded Section 179 of the tax code to increase the amount of expense deductions businesses can recognize for certain depreciable property put into service during tax years 2010 and 2011. The National Restaurant Association offers an overview for its members of the new Section 179 benefits under the Small Business Jobs Act, enacted last month.

Restaurant leasehold improvements: Also as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, restaurants that make certain leasehold improvements in 2010 and 2011 can now write off up to $250,000 of the costs as an expense deduction in the first year.

Get more details in Business.gov’s article, “The Clock is Ticking on New Tax Breaks.”

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