Small Business Tax Strategies

When it comes to avoiding IRS penalties, the best offense is a good defense: Avoid being assessed penalties in the first place.

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You’ll owe more than just back taxes and penalties if you file late or incorrectly. The IRS can charge interest on your underpayment amount.

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You can’t generally deduct the cost of commuting back and forth between your home and work; that’s treated as a nondeductible personal expense. But with a bit of creativity, you can still claim generous tax deductions for certain types of local driving.

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The IRS just released official guidance on the 2005 energy-tax law that
revamps the type of tax credits you can earn for buying environmentally
friendly vehicles.

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How can you get the most tax-free cash from a home sale?

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The wash-sale rule.

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If you’re doing your annual spring cleaning, remember that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Be tax smart when donating your used clothes, toys, furniture and other items to a local charity.

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It’s tough to qualify for a medicalexpense deduction, but it’s not impossible.

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A major 2004 tax-law change put some real teeth into the “constructive receipt” rules for nonqualified deferred-compensation plans. In short, it set new requirements for employees to be able to postpone federal income tax on future payments earmarked for them under deferred-comp plans.

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With college and private school tuition continuing to soar, you may be helping to pay your grandchildren’s tuition. The problem: You’ll typically have to use part of your $1 million lifetime gifttax exemption when monetary gifts to one person exceed the annual gift-tax exclusion.

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