Small Business Tax Strategies

The budget deficit remains daunting, but the IRS has fewer resources to close the estimated $385 billion “tax gap.” Don’t be surprised if Congress is compelled to implement the “Buffett rule” or a similar revenue-generating provision. If you’re a high-income taxpayer, take steps now to reduce your tax exposure if the Buffett rule becomes law.

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Q. My father is 88 and in poor health. He has a $80,000 capital loss carryover from 2013. Can this be transferred to a relative?

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Q. I filed my tax return late but I’m getting a refund. Will I be penalized?

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Accord­­ing to a statement from IRS Com­­mis­­sioner John Koskinen to the Asso­­ci­­ated Press, the IRS audited less than 1% of individual tax returns in 2013, the lowest overall rate since 2005.

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The U.S. government, in cooperation with foreign jurisdictions, is making it tougher for taxpayers to stash money in “offshore accounts” and similar hiding places without meeting their tax obligations.

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As we head into summer, the outlook for taxes remains cloudy. Here are 10 midyear tax moves that can’t miss under the existing tax rules.

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On March 18 the IRS announced that one of its staffers used a thumb drive to walk out of the office with personal information on about 20,000 IRS employees (past and present) and independent contractors.

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Q. I’m a 58-year-old self-employed person with a SEP and my 55-year-old wife contributed to her IRA. Am I an active participant for IRA purposes?

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Although you don’t qualify for tax deductions, you may still stuff money into your traditional IRA each year. After all, the IRA still provides tax-deferred earnings, while the part of any distribution representing nondeductible contributions is tax-free. Strategy: Stop it and switch to a Roth.

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It’s a common scenario: You’ve carved a subsidiary out of your main operation, so now you officially are the owner of two business entities. But that means you could be overpaying Social Security taxes if some of the employees work for both companies.

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