How to calculate qualified business income
Connected to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction is a valuable tax break for small business owners. The QBI deduction allows eligible taxpayers to deduct up to 20% of their qualified business income from sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations. However, calculating this deduction can be complex and require a thorough understanding of the regulations surrounding it. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you determine your qualified business income and maximize your tax savings.
Step 1: Determine if You’re Eligible for the QBI Deduction
Before calculating your QBI, ensure that your business qualifies for the deduction. The QBI deduction is available to individuals, estates, and trusts owning:
– Sole proprietorships
– Partnerships and LLCs taxed as partnerships
– S corporations
– Real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends
– Publicly traded partnership (PTP) income
Certain businesses called specified service trades or businesses (SSTBs), including healthcare providers, legal services, financial services among others, may face limitations on claiming QBI deductions if their taxable income exceeds a specific threshold.
Step 2: Identify Your Qualified Business Income
Qualified Business Income includes:
– Net income generated by the qualified trade or business
– Qualified REIT dividends
– Qualified PTP income
Exclude these items from your QBI calculation:
– Salary or wages paid to the taxpayer (e.g., an S corporation owner’s salary)
– Guaranteed payments made to partners or LLC members taxed as partnerships
– Capital gains or losses
Step 3: Calculate Your QBI Deduction
Here’s a simple overview of calculating your QBI deduction:
1. Determine the QBI for each qualifying trade or business.
2. Sum the total QBI from all businesses, REIT dividends, and PTP income.
3. Apply a taxable income limitation, which caps the QBI deduction at 20% of the taxpayer’s taxable income (minus net capital gains).
4. Calculate the final QBI deduction considering limitations based on business type, W-2 wages, and unadjusted basis of property (UBIA).
Step 4: Determine QBI Deduction Limitations
If your taxable income is above a certain threshold ($164,900 for single filers and $329,800 for joint filers in 2021), you must meet additional requirements to take the full 20% QBI deduction. Be aware of these limitations:
– SSTBs: Above the income threshold, specified service businesses may have limited or no QBI deductions.
– W-2 Wage and Property Limitations: The QBI deduction for higher-income taxpayers with non-SSTB businesses can be limited based on a calculation involving W-2 wages paid by the business, UBIA of qualified property, or a combination.
Step 5: Report Your QBI Deduction
After calculating your QBI deduction, report it on your individual or trust income tax returns using IRS Form 1040 for individuals or Form 1041 for estates and trusts. You’ll find a specific line dedicated to reporting QBI deductions.
Calculating and claiming the qualified business income deduction can be intricate but worth the effort to save on taxes. Consulting a professional tax advisor or an accountant familiar with your industry may help you effectively navigate this process and maximize your deduction potential.