Tag Archives: S-corp

Tax Notes

June 21, 2018 | By: Robert A. Green, CPA

Securities Traders Should Get QBI Deduction, CPA Says

An individual has asserted that a U.S. resident trader in securities with trader tax status and a section 475 election for ordinary income and loss should be eligible for the qualified business income deduction under proposed regulations (REG-134652-18), noting that section 199A’s interaction with section 864(c) could preclude the deduction.


Robert A. Green, CPA, info@greentradertax.com

I believe a U.S. resident trader in securities with trader tax status, and a Section 475 election for ordinary income/loss, should be eligible for a QBI deduction. Section 199A regs define a trading business as a “specified service trade or business” (SSTB), including trading for its own account. It also includes Section 475 ordinary income/loss in QBI. That indicates potential eligibility for a QBI deduction.

However, Section 199A‘s interaction with Section 864(c) might deny a QBI deduction for traders. The 199A regs indicate if a trade or business does not constitute “effectively connected income” (ECI) in the hands of a nonresident alien under Section 864(c), then it’s not QBI for a U.S. resident taxpayer, even if operating a domestic trade or business. However, “trader in securities or commodities” are covered under Section 864(b)(2), not 864(c).

I hope that tax attorneys in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel will answer this question for traders.

Groups Urge IRS to Rethink 199A Business Income Rules

By Eric Yauch, August 30, 2018

…Trading Income

Above the taxable income cap set for service businesses, owners of trading and investment management companies can’t use the QBI deduction. But for a married trader earning $300,000 a year — just under one of the income thresholds —the couple is entitled to a QBI deduction on service businesses, according to Robert Green of GreenTraderTax.

Green said that before the proposed regulations were released, some other tax experts argued that a hedge fund wouldn’t be a barred service activity in section 199A because technically a management company was providing the service, and the hedge fund was merely receiving it.

Green said that to claim trader tax status and elect section 475 — which treats capital gain and loss as ordinary income and loss — a taxpayer must trade its own funds, and typically a management company would be a partner in a hedge fund and would be trading for the fund.

The proposed regulations clarified that the hedge fund in that scenario wouldn’t qualify for the deduction above the service business income cap. But because section 475 is ordinary income, taxpayers below the thresholds can likely get a deduction on that trading income, because QBI excludes capital gain, Green said.

Green said some managers may decide to receive an incentive fee instead of carried interest of capital gains because the incentive fee is includable in management company QBI, whereas the profit allocation of capital gain is not. The investors may not appreciate that change because they can’t deduct investment fees, but they can get the benefit of a carveout of capital gains, he added.

Attractiveness of S Corporations After 2017



Authors based below content on Robert A. Green’s blog posts referenced in footnote 13. 

“There are suggestions that trader tax status (TTS) should consider an S corporation for business expenses, and a section 475 election on securities for exemption from the wash sale losses and ordinary loss treatment (tax loss insurance). A TTS S corporation allows employee benefit plan deductions (for example, health insurance and high-deductible retirement plans). The new law is unclear regarding whether section 475(f) 12 income is QBI or a specified service activity. TTS business-related capital gains probably will not be included in QBI.”13


12 – A section 475(f) election (mark-to-market election) allows a trader to treat gains and losses from the sales of securities as ordinary gains and losses (except for securities held for investment).

13 – Robert A. Green, “How Traders Can Get the 20% QBI Deduction Under New Law,” Forbes, Jan. 12, 2018; and Green, “Traders Should Be Entitled to the Pass-Through Tax Deduction,” Forbes, Dec. 12, 2017.



S-Corps: Use Accountable Plan Before Year-End

December 16, 2015 | By: Robert A. Green, CPA

One formality of using an S-Corp is that it should have an accountable plan for reimbursing employee expenses, including the employee’s home-office deduction. Without an accountable plan, employees report unreimbursed employee business expenses on Form 2106, which is part of miscellaneous itemized deductions only deductible in excess of 2% of AGI and not deductible for AMT. With proper usage of an accountable plan, the S-Corp reports the deductions on its tax return.

Expense reporting is more relaxed with partnership tax structures. Partners may report unreimbursed partnership expenses (UPE) on their individual tax return Schedule E, including home office deductions from Form 8829. S-corporation shareholders generally cannot deduct unreimbursed business expenses on Schedule E because the shareholders are categorized as employees when performing services for the corporation.

If you don’t have an accountable plan, draft one as soon as possible and use it before year-end. For home office deductions, reference Form 8829 as a guide for the S-Corp for reimbursement.

Click here for a sample accountable plan.

Learn more about accountable plans on our recommended payroll service provider’s Website at http://www.paychex.com/articles/finance/using-accountable-plans-benefits-both-employers-and-employees.

If you need help with an accountable plan, email us at info@gnmtradertax.com or contact your assigned CPA in our firm.