Small Business Tax Strategies

The IRS just issued controversial new proposed regulations on the “Circular 230” rules governing tax practitioners.

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About 1.7 million taxpayers failed to file a 2002 federal income tax return, leaving more than $2 billion in unclaimed refunds sitting in the U.S. Treasury.

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Many small businesses believe that they need every customer they can get. And for some, that may be true. But, in most cases, you may be better off telling certain high-maintenance clients and customers to take their business elsewhere.

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TV advertising isn’t only for big businesses. Cable providers want your business, and they can help you create affordable commercials.

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If you’re able to retire with a small fortune in your company retirement plan, you’re way ahead of the game. But too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. Specifically, if you should die with most of your nest egg intact, your family could get walloped by income tax, on top of a hefty estate-tax bill.

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If you use (or plan to use) Section 529 college savings plans, take note: A few small changes buried in a new law could help you save even more in those tax-advantaged college-savings vehicles.

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Suppose your business has patented various processes or products that are vital to its existence. Now, you have to obtain another company’s proprietary information in order to expand your operation.

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It’s been going on for years: Business owners frequently clash with the IRS over worker classifications.

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Are you the proud parent of a soon-to-be college graduate? You might want to give your child a large cash gift to celebrate the occasion. But if the money isn’t used for the child’s “support,” the gift won’t help you secure a dependency exemption for the child on your 2006 return.

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Are you waiting until the last minute to file your tax return? Maybe you’re putting things off because you figure you’ll have to pay Uncle Sam a tidy sum. At least you can still put a good-size dent in your tax bill at this late date. Here’s a sampling of seven prime-time opportunities for tax-return procrastinators.

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