It’s bad enough that you have to pay Social Security taxes while you’re working. Even worse: You might be taxed on Social Security benefits you receive in retirement! Strategy: If it looks like you’ll incur taxes on Social Security benefits, you might make some moves to reduce your tax liability.
Q. I am buying a new business car, but I haven’t finished writing off the old one I’m trading in. Can I claim depreciation deductions for the new one? A.E.P., Albuquerque, N.M.
Q. My son just graduated from college. Can he deduct his job-hunting expenses?
Suppose your young child receives a Series EE U.S. Savings Bond as a birthday gift. Or maybe you’ve received bonds for a child just born. Strategy: Plan on electing to pay the tax annually on the EE bond interest.
Beginning in 2013, there’s an extra tax incentive for investing in municipal bonds (munis). Strategy: Include more munis in your portfolio to sidestep the new 3.8% Medicare surtax.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) revived the research credit, retroactive to 2012 and extended it through 2013.
Q. My wife quit her job years ago, but she hasn’t moved her 401(k) funds. Is this a problem? R.B., Nazareth, Pa.
Suppose you’ve turned a personal hobby into a money-making venture. The activity can provide some tax benefits if you can convince the IRS it’s now a for-profit business instead of a hobby.
If you own a C corporation, you’re effectively taxed twice—once when the company earns taxable income and again when those earnings are paid to you as dividends. To avoid this double tax whammy, you might want to switch to the S corporation form of ownership. Strategy: Watch out for the “built-in gains” (BIG) tax.
Q. I’m past the age for receiving IRA distributions. Can I set up and contribute to a Roth?