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Qualified Business Income (QBI)

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Qualified Business Income (QBI) is a significant component of the tax code introduced as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017. It provides a tax benefit to certain pass-through businesses, allowing them to potentially deduct a portion of their business income.

In this blog post, we will explore the details of qualified business income, its definition, calculation, limitations, and its impact on individual taxpayers.

  • Definition of Qualified Business Income: Qualified Business Income refers to the net income, gain, deduction, and loss generated from a qualified trade or business operated as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, or through certain real estate investments trusts (REITs). It excludes investment income such as capital gains, dividends, and interest.
  • Calculation of Qualified Business Income: To calculate QBI, individual taxpayers must first determine the qualified income or loss from each qualified trade  or business. This is done by subtracting allowable deductions, including business expenses, from the gross income generated by the business. The QBI from each business is then combined to calculate the total qualified business income.
  • Limitations and Thresholds: The TCJA introduced certain limitations and thresholds that apply to QBI. These include the specified service trade or business (SSTB) limitation and the taxable income threshold. SSTBs, such as those in fields like law, accounting, healthcare, and consulting, may have their QBI deduction reduced or completely phased out if the taxpayer’s taxable income exceeds the threshold amount. For the 2021 tax year, the threshold for single filers is $164,900 and $329,800 for married couples filing jointly.
  • QBI Deduction: The QBI deduction allows eligible taxpayers to deduct a percentage of their qualified business income from their taxable income. For most businesses, the deduction is generally 20% of the QBI. However, the deduction is subject to limitations based on the taxpayer’s taxable income and the type of business they operate.
  • Application to Different Business Structures: QBI applies to various business structures, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, S corporations, and REITs. However, different rules and calculations may apply to each structure. For example, partners in a partnership may need to consider their share of QBI and apply any limitations at the individual level.
  • Effect on Individual Taxpayers: The QBI deduction can significantly impact individual taxpayers, reducing their taxable income and potentially lowering their overall tax liability. It provides a valuable tax benefit to pass-through business owners, enabling them to retain more of their business income for reinvestment, expansion, or personal financial goals.
  • Ongoing Updates and Regulations: It’s important to note that regulations and guidance related to QBI are still evolving. The IRS continues to issue clarifications and updates, addressing various scenarios and situations. Taxpayers and tax professionals should stay informed and consult the latest guidance to ensure compliance and accurate reporting of QBI.

To Conclude, Qualified Business Income (QBI) is a significant tax provision that provides a deduction for eligible pass-through businesses. Understanding the details of QBI, including its definition, calculation, limitations, and impact on individual taxpayers, is crucial for business owners and tax professionals.

By taking advantage of this deduction, eligible businesses can potentially reduce their tax liability, retain more of their income, and stimulate economic growth. Staying informed about ongoing updates and seeking professional advice can help navigate the complexities of QBI and optimize the tax benefits it offers.

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This content not reviewed by FINRA

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