Frequently Asked Questions

Federal and state laws can change every year and we want to ensure sure you have the latest information so you can make an informed decision.

Security Summit warns of new IRS impersonation email scam; reminds taxpayers the IRS does not send unsolicited emails.

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) FAQs

We are aware that many small businesses have applied for and received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with the intent that those loans will be forgiven.  The guidelines are ever changing, but we want to provide clients with the most up to date information as you determine how funds need to be spent in order to be eligible for loan forgiveness.  The FAQs at the link below hit some of the most commonly asked questions and is effective as of June 5, 2020.

Most commonly asked PPP questions

For access to loan forgiveness applications and detailed instructions go to the following link:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

What is changing for payroll calculations in 2020?

The Social Security wage limit increased from $132,900 to $137,700 for 2020. The rates are unchanged at 6.2% for employer contributions and 6.2% for employee contributions. Medicare rates are unchanged at 1.45% for both employer and employee contributions with no limit on taxable wages.

At this time, Circular E for use in 2020 has not been issued. Watch for that IRS Publication for federal withholding tables and rates.

For the first time since 2006, the State of Iowa is updating their withholding tables. Information can be found at https://tax.iowa.gov/idr-issues-new-income-withholding-tax-tables-2020.

How long do I need to keep copies of receipts and financial records?

The IRS recommendations for tax purposes can be found at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records.

You should contact your attorney for other requirements that might relate to your particular industry or situation.

What is the mileage reimbursement rate for 2020?

Please click here to see out blog post on this topic.

Are employers required to file W-2’s with the State of Iowa for 2019?

The following is from the Iowa Department of Revenue website:

  • The filing deadline for W-2s and 1099s is February 15, 2020.
  • Businesses that issued W-2s or 1099s that contain Iowa withholding must electronically file those documents with the Iowa Department of Revenue. This data is an essential tool the Department uses to increase the accuracy of tax refunds and detect tax refund fraud during the current income tax filing season. If businesses did not withhold any Iowa taxes in 2019, filing is not required.
  • Who must file? (https://tax.iowa.gov/w21099-filing-requirements)

Note: VPS are filed separately from W-2s and 1099s, and are due to the Department by February 15. 

New this year: W-2 Key & Send

Business owners now have the option to manually enter their W-2 information in eFile & Pay. More information. (https://tax.iowa.gov/w-2-key-send)

Do I have to keep track of deductions?

In general, the same deductions apply. The new standard deduction makes the benefit from those deductions lower or nonexistent. The new standard deduction for a single taxpayer in 2019 is $12,200, $18,350 for a head of household, $24,400 for married filing jointly and $12,200 for married filing separately. The maximum amount that can be deducted for state and local income taxes, which includes all state income taxes, property taxes and personal property tax, is now capped at $10,000 per year. If this cap is reached, mortgage interest and contributions of $2,000 for a single taxpayer provide no benefit as you would use the standard deduction on the federal return. Amounts in excess of that amount help to reduce federal taxable income.

Keep in mind that Iowa did not follow federal law and the benefit will be different on the state taxation level. Iowa’s standard deduction is $2,080 for an individual and $5,120 for married filing a joint return or head of household.

The standard deduction amount are adjusted for inflation annually.  The standard deduction for a single taxpayer in 2020 is $12,400, $18,650 for a head of household, $24,800 for married filing jointly and $12,400 for married filing separately

What is the Section 179 limit for 2019 and 2020?

2019

Special first year depreciation under Section 179, for qualified property, is allowed up to $1,000,000.

In addition to Section 179, bonus depreciation of 100% of cost is allowed for qualified property.

Note that Iowa limits Section 179 to $100,000 and does not allow bonus depreciation as a deduction against state income tax.

2020

Special first year depreciation under Section 179, for qualified property, is allowed up to $1,040,000.  This amount begins to phase out when purchases exceed $2,590,000.

In addition to Section 179, bonus depreciation of 100% of cost is allowed for qualified property.

Note that Iowa Section 179 limits will be the same as federal.  Iowa does not allow bonus depreciation against state income tax.

Are meals and entertainment deductible under the new rules?

Most business meals continue to be 50% deductible but entertainment expenses are no longer deductible.

What can I gift to individuals without tax consequences?

In 2020, you can gift up to $15,000 per individual without having to file a gift tax return.  If you gift more than $15,000 in one year you are required to file a Federal 709 Gift Tax Return.  The lifetime estate/gift exemption is $11,580,000 for 2020, meaning you can gift up to that amount before incurring any tax liability.

What is eSignature and how do you use it?

eSignature is a way for you to electronically sign your documents rather than physically signing them. You can learn more about the eSignature process at the link below.

Learn how to use eSignature

Smart Vault

In today’s world there are more and more cyber crimes and identity thefts than ever before. To help ensure that your personal information is protected we are now offering access to a secure online portal that you can safely share information through.

  • Submit and obtain copies of your records and tax returns in a secure way.
  • Be prepared by understanding latest tax law updates.
  • Preview upcoming events offered.
  • A secure and safe way to share documents.

In order to gain access to this valuable tool we simply need your email address.

Once we have received the email address you would like to use to access the portal you will receive an e-mail from the firm with a link to set up a Smart Vault account. Once you click on the link you will be prompted to set up a password for your account.

Once your account is set up you can access your records at any time by signing into the portal from our website. Once in the portal you will have the option to view information by tax year and also upload documents you would like to share with us.

Contact Us

Have a question?  Ready to schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you with one of our many financial and accounting services?  Simply fill out the form with your contact information, and we'll be in touch with you shortly.  

Urbandale Office

(515) 270-8080

10550 New York Avenue, Suite 200 Urbandale, IA 50322

Altoona Office

(515) 967-7174

509 8th St SE, Altoona, IA 50009