Small Business Tax Strategies

The IRS just updated its per-diem rates for business travelers. After inching up by just a few dollars the past few years, the new rates reflect double-digit increases for both "high" and "low" areas. (IRS revenue procedure 2005-67)

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As a small business owner, your company’s 401(k) plan is one of the best deals around. You can salt away part of your salary tax-free within generous limits, while the company matches all or part of your deferral.

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If you’re one of the big wheels at your company, you may be in line to receive either qualified or nonqualified stock options. Qualified options (also known as "incentive stock options") have a tax edge.

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If you own a vacation home or a boat, you may not be using it as much now that the summer is over.

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Suppose a regular customer is experiencing economic difficulties. You’ve let that customer slide on several invoices, but now you’re concerned you may never be paid. Should you aggressively pursue collection efforts or continue to gently remind the customer about the unpaid bills?

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Q: I took out loans for college and grad school several years ago that I’m still paying off. My accountant says the interest isn’t deductible in my situation. Is that true? L.G., New York

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Q: I expect to receive a settlement from a securities firm relating to my IRA investments. Can I transfer the funds back into my IRA? K.H., Montclair, N.J.

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Q: You recently said that miscellaneous itemized deductions include gambling losses. (See 10/17/05 issue.) But isn’t that true only if the losses exceed the winnings? R.B.

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The IRS just launched a new online information service that can help you comply with the complex tax rules and regulations for private foundations. (IRS internal release 2005-121)

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Suppose you’re staring down the barrel of a big estimated-tax payment coming due this year. You can lower that payment and avoid a penalty. How? If you can’t bring Mohammed to the mountain, bring the mountain to Mohammed.

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