What Qualifies as a “Small Business” for the Qualified Small Business Stock Gain Exclusion?
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses account for more than half of all private sector jobs in the United States. They also generate two-thirds of new jobs each year. So it’s important to make sure that small businesses have every opportunity to succeed. One way the government does this is by providing tax breaks and incentives for small business owners. One such tax break is the qualified small business stock gain exclusion, which allows taxpayers to exclude up to $500,000 of gain on the sale of qualified small business stock held for more than five years. To qualify, the stock must have been acquired at its original issue exclusively for cash. Let’s take a closer look at this tax break and find out who qualifies for it.
The first thing to note is that not all small businesses qualify for the qualified small business stock gain exclusion. To qualify, the business must meet the following criteria:
- It must be a C corporation. S corporations and partnerships are not eligible.
- It must be engaged in an active trade or business. This excludes businesses such as holding companies and investment firms.
- It must have less than $50 million in gross assets at the time of the stock sale. This includes cash, accounts receivable, inventory, and other property (but not real estate).
- At least 80% of its assets must be used in the active conduct of its trade or business. This excludes cash, investments, and other passive assets.
The small business stock gain exclusion offers a number of benefits for small business owners. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Tax savings: The exclusion can save you a lot of money in taxes. If you sell qualified small business stock for more than $500,000, you can exclude the entire gain from your taxable income. This can save you a lot of money in taxes, especially if you’re in a high tax bracket.
- Ease of use: The exclusion is easy to use. You don’t have to jump through any hoops to qualify for it. Simply sell your qualified small business stock and exclude the gain from your taxable income.
- No limit on gains: Unlike other tax breaks, such as the home sale exemption, there is no limit on the amount of gain that can be excluded. You can exclude up to $500,000 of gain on the sale of qualified small business stock, no matter how much profit you make from the sale.
- Flexibility: The exclusion is flexible enough to meet the needs of small business owners. It doesn’t require that you hold the stock for a certain period of time before selling it or that you use the proceeds to purchase new assets for the business.
- Certainty: The exclusion is a well-established tax break with a long history. It was first enacted in 1993 and has been extended several times since then. There’s no reason to believe it won’t be extended again in the future.
If you’re thinking about selling your small business, the qualified small business stock gain exclusion can offer significant tax savings. Be sure to consult with a qualified tax advisor to see if your business qualifies for this valuable tax break.