You make the callBy: NATP Research
January 23, 2020

Question: Fithut has a one-participant [solo 401(k)] plan that covers Sophia, the owner and sole employee. During 2020, Fithut hired Alex, age 18, as a part-time,150-hour-a-year employee. Can the business continue to have the solo 401(k) plan, or must a standard 401(k) plan be established?

Answer: Fithut can still qualify for a solo 401(k) plan since there is an exclusion for young and part-time employees. A solo 401(k) plan can exclude from coverage any employee who is under age 21 and any employee who has not worked for at least 1,000 hours during any 12-month period [§§410(a)(1)(A) and (a)(3)(A)].

Federal Tax Research
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What is a statutory employee?By: National Association of Tax Professionals
January 21, 2020

Workers who are independent contractors, as opposed to employees under the common law rules, may be treated as employees by statute or “statutory employees” for purposes of employment tax withholdings.

There are four very specific categories of workers who qualify as statutory employees under current tax law:

  • A driver who distributes beverages (excluding milk), meat, vegetables, fruit or bakery products; or who picks up and delivers laundry or dry cleaning, if the driver is your agent or is paid on commission.
  • A full-time life insurance sales agent whose principal business activity is selling life insurance or annuity contracts, or both, primarily for one life insurance company.
  • An individual who works at home on materials or goods that you supply and that must be returned to you or to a person you name, if you also furnish specifications for the work to be done.
  • A full-time traveling or city salesperson who works on your behalf and turns in orders to you from wholesalers, retailers, contractors, or operators of hotels, restaurants, or other similar establishments. The goods sold must be merchandise for resale or supplies for use in the buyer’s business operation. The work performed for you must be the salesperson’s principal business activity.

If workers fit into any of these categories, employers are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from their wages when all three of the following conditions apply:

  1. The service contract states or implies that substantially all the services are to be performed personally by them.

  2. They do not have a substantial investment in the equipment and property used to perform the services (other than an investment in transportation facilities).

  3. The services are performed on a continuing basis for the same employer.

Unlike an independent contractor who receives Form 1099-MISC, a statutory employee will receive a Form W-2 at the end of the year. A statutory employee’s W-2 is slightly different from one issued to a common law employee. There is a checkmark in Box 13 to indicate the worker’s status as a statutory employee and there will be withholding in Boxes 4 and 6. The worker reports the income from Box 1 of Form W-2 and any related business expenses on Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. Since Social Security and Medicare taxes were withheld, no self-employment tax is due.

A statutory nonemployee is defined and treated as self-employed for federal tax purposes, including income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. Statutory nonemployees include direct sellers, qualified real estate agents and certain companion sitters.

To learn more about statutory employees and their income and expense reporting requirements, complete our Business Tax Reporting on the 1040 self-study course, which reviews this topic as well as other business-related topics.

Tax Season
Tax Planning
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4 things to know about 2020 NATP National ConferenceBy: National Association of Tax Professionals
January 17, 2020

Our National Conference is coming to San Antonio in July and we’re hoping to see y’all there! We look forward to hosting tax preparers from around the country who come to network, learn, receive updates and have plenty of fun, too. Run to your calendar and reserve July 27-30 for the best live event in the industry!

Here is some of what we’re getting ready for you:

  • An in-depth extended session focused on data security and physical office security. Expect to leave with a fully-written data security plan.
  • Critical representation education that tax professionals need to know.
  • San Antonio hotspot excursions for those looking to play hooky. It’s also a perfect activity for your guest while you’re in class 😊.
  • Optional evening events that we designed for fun and relaxation.

As for the education we offer, you can expect to learn from the leading instructors in federal tax education who will teach what you need to know to expertly prepare your clients’ returns.

We selected the Grand Hyatt because of its proximity to the lovely San Antonio Riverwalk and all that the area offers to tourists. Register before Jan. 31, 2020, for the lowest price you’ll see – save $150! See you in July!

National Conference
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About NATP

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As tax laws change, you can rely on NATP for professional advocacy within the government, guidance on how to apply updated federal tax code to your clients’ unique situations and relationships with communities of other tax professionals to help foster your career. Explore NATP

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Additional Articles

You make the callJanuary 16, 2020
New 2020 CTEC requirementsJanuary 13, 2020
Extender bill means amended returnsJanuary 9, 2020