Due to a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) – legislation, comprising tax reform and signed into law in December 2017- a corporation with a fiscal year that includes Jan. 1, 2018, will pay federal income tax using a blended tax rate instead of the flat 21 percent tax rate under the TCJA that would generally apply to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017.
This might not apply to your business, but in many cases, U.S. corporations elect to use a fiscal year end and not a calendar year end for federal income tax reporting purposes. As always, it’s advisable to check with your CPA or tax professional to ensure you’re receiving all the tax benefits possible – and to keep up with ever-changing tax reform.
Corporations determine their federal income tax for fiscal years that include Jan. 1, 2018, by first calculating their tax for the entire taxable year using the tax rates in effect prior to tax reform and then calculating their tax using the new 21 percent rate, subsequently proportioning each tax amount based on the number of days in the taxable year when the different rates were in effect. The sum of these two amounts is the corporation’s federal income tax for the fiscal year.
The blended rate applies to all fiscal year corporations whose fiscal year includes Jan. 1, 2018. Fiscal year corporations that have already filed their federal income tax returns that do not reflect the blended rate may want to consider filing an amended return.
The federal sequester law remains in effect for the 2018 federal fiscal year. Corporations need to be aware of how this may affect their tax credits and refunds. Revised forms and instructions can be found on IRS.gov.
For more information, articles and resources on tax reform, check out the new Small Business Tax Reform Center.