Tax Planning for Business Losses in 2008

J.M. Luna
November 14, 2008 — 1,654 views  
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At we come to the conclusion of 2008, many businesses have lost money in this year. The economy for 2009 looks very volatile and some industries may start to recover in 2009, while others may take a little longer. One positive area to bring to the table is that the price of oil has decreased significantly and regular gas prices have come down to $2.00 or so per gallon depending upon your location.

The question through this difficult year where losses have mounted up, why do you have to tax plan? If you were profitable in year 2006 and/or 2007 and paid business taxes in those years, you may be entitled due a tax refund in 2008 to recover part or all of these monies paid in previous years. This tax recovery is called a net operating loss carryback claim...This situation applies to proprietorships, corporations, limited liability corporations, and so forth.

The first part of this discovery phase is to identify whether you are a qualified individual and/or company to recapture monies paid in from prior years...It would be a good idea to obtain from your accountant, bookkeeper, CPA, or your own in house books an updated balance sheet and profit and loss statement for 2008. Additionally, you may want to locate your 2006 and 2007 either personal and or corporate tax returns and review the past years information. If you have paid business taxes in those past years and are in loss situation for 2008, there is a good chance you will be able to recover either partial or all monies paid to the government for 2006 and/or 2007.

.If you are a farmer and have losses in 2008, you should locate your 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 prior years tax returns because your eligible carryback years extend back for five years. Everybody else, for the most part, can carry back their business losses two years...

Once you have located your prior years tax returns and reviewed the business taxes paid into those years, compare this to the 2008 Profit and Loss Statement. It is good idea that your 2008 information should be current and accurate because it could have a major effect on your decision making. Assuming you are in a loss situation for 2008, you may want to plan you year end cash flow accordingly. For

this illustration, we will assume everyone is on a cash not accrual basis accounting system. Because of your tax situation and the possibility of recovering a tax refund back in early 2009, you may, if cash flow permits, pay more bills in December 2008 than the normal January 2009 payment cycle. The bottom line here is that a qualified professional should be assisting you at this stage because of the cash flow and tax effect though the period ending December 31, 2008. The professional cost vs tax recovery benefit could be a big plus to you.

This carryback claim process is important because it can generate needed working capital if the economy hasn't recovered in your niche for 2009. Additionally, with all the available acquisition and financing deals available for commercial vehicles, construction trucks, office equipment, computer systems etc, these monies could be used as a down payment or a combination of working capital and acquisition funds.

These carryback claims can be carried back two years, except for farmers, five for them, and if needed carry forward for twenty years. It doesn't matter what your business structure is...There are exemptions to these rules and you should consult your tax professional for advise on these carry back and carry forward rules.

For illustration the types of industries that would qualify for these carryback losses include construction, trucking, farming, restaurants, all retail shops, mail centers, franchise operations, consulting firms, manufacturers, wholesalers, service providers, This is obvious a partial list of qualified businesses. In addition, the type of entity doesn't play a role in these carryback claims. There are a few exceptions to the rules, therefore consult a good tax adviser.

In addition to the carry back rules, there are numerous business and individual tax changes for 2008. It would be a good idea to get a head start at the end of this year to understand them and see if there are any you want to take advantage of before December 31, 2008.

In conclusion, 2008 was a trying year for many, but this recapture of tax monies shouldn't be ignored. If done properly, you can get a head start on 2009 and have a profitable and less stressful year... ... Who says Tax Planning is boring

About the Author

J.M Luna has over thirty years experience in the financial field. This includes accounting and taxes, leasing, and hard asset money and commercial loans. U.S Corporate Capital Leasing assists the startup as well as the seasoned business for financing in many different industries.

J.M. Luna