Small Business Tax Strategies

Each year, Congress and the IRS throw a few new ingredients into the tax-return stew. Here are some key tax-law changes that will affect your 2005 business returns.

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Sadly, the bonus depreciation rules have expired. That means you’re stuck with regular depreciation deductions under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), which requires you to write off business equipment over several years. Don’t despair.

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If you started or acquired a new business last year, you can earn a one-time boost on your 2005 return. How? Claim an instant write-off for part or all of your qualified start-up expenses.

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Individual taxpayers aren’t the only ones who should fear the dreaded alternative minimum tax (AMT). C corporations also can be blindsided by this stealth tax.

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As a small business owner, you want to reward your top performers. But there’s a drawback to doling out stock to highly valued employees: You’re diluting your ownership interest.

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A buy/sell agreement can be a valuable estate-planning tool for business owners.

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At which point do I have to pay self-employment tax?

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Say you want to open another office or relocate to a more modern space, but you can’t afford to lease or buy a new location. One possible solution: Contract for a “virtual” office.

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From which point in time do you value stocks in paying estate taxes?

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What happens to an unsigned tax return?

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