Small Business Tax Strategies

Many people contribute to their IRAs at the tax return deadline. But why wait?

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If one of your parents or in-laws is suffering a financial pinch, you might chip in with part of the rent or some other expense. In return, grandma or grandpa happily volunteers to watch your children after school while you work. Unfortunately, you can’t claim a dependency exemption for this trade-off if your relative’s earnings rise above the gross-income test for dependents.

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If you’ve considered switching your business to an S corporation but have been ineligible in the past, it’s time to take another look. Why? A 2004 tax law opened up S corporation status to a whole truckload of previously disqualified small and midsize businesses, and it paves the way for your S corp’s future expansion without forfeiting any tax breaks.

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If your company
has to transfer an employee,you may help by providing relocation services. For
instance, you might arrange for the sale of the employee’s home to a third party
through a relocation firm.
 

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My job was eliminated as of Dec. 31,
so I’ve decided to retire. I’m over 60 and have a 401(k).I’m also entitled to
receive lump-sum severance and a deferred bonus in January. Can I roll over those
payments to an IRA?
 

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Put your
tax-return preparer in the best position to help you. You’ll save time and money
by following these five steps before you meet with your preparer this year.

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The most successful business Web sites are those created around the customers’ needs, not the company’s products and services. Here are 10 tips for creating a successful, customer- focused Web site, from Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webby Awards, which annually honors the top Web sites.

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Maybe you can chalk that up to the old “fivefinger” employee discount. Two-thirds of respondents to a Vault.com survey said they’ve taken office supplies from their workplace.

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Traditionally, call centers have been too pricey for small businesses that need only a few employees (or temps) to handle sales and customer-service calls. But now, more call centers are hiring home-based phone agents, making the service more affordable for small and midsize businesses.

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Paying estimated tax in regular installments can be a tricky proposition, especially for corporations. But now that the dust has settled for the 2005 tax year, you may have run the numbers and found that your company overpaid its estimated taxes.

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