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Small Business Tax Strategies

Q. My mother moved out of the country. I support her, so can I still deduct her medical expenses?

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The IRS has declined to appeal the decision striking down new regulatory requirements for professional tax return preparers.

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Q. My son graduated from college in May. Can he deduct travel expenses to job interviews?

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It’s not often you get a chance to pocket up to a half million dollars without paying a dime of federal income tax. But it could happen when you sell your principal residence.

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In a controversial new case, the Tax Court ruled that the once-a-year limit on IRA rollovers applied to all the traditional IRAs owned by the taxpayer, instead of applying the rule separately to each IRA. This contradicted the IRS’ own position stated in Pub. 590, Individual Retire­­ment Accounts.

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Suppose you own assets that you want to pass along to other family members. There’s an easy way you can do it.

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Is morale down in your workplace? There’s a low-cost way you can start the creative juices flowing.

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Are you planning to sink money into your own or someone else’s fledgling business venture? The rewards can be high, but so are the risks. And if the business eventually goes under, you could be saddled with a tax loss of somewhat limited value. On the other hand, you might ben­­efit from a unique tax break should the stock become worthless.

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Q. We’re adding a deck to our principal residence. Is any of the cost deductible?

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A Roth IRA can provide tax-free payouts to retirement-savers in the future. But you may not be able to make annual contributions to a Roth due to the tax law limits. Plus, if you convert funds in a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you’ll have to pay a hefty tax price. Strategy: Go in the “back door” instead.

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