Small Business Tax Strategies

Q: This refers to your recent article on vacation homes. (May SBTS) In Example 1, it’s my understanding under Pub. 527 that, if the taxpayer fails the 14 day/10 percent usage test, the rental portion of the applicable mortgage interest and taxes would still be deductible, even if there is a net loss. Is this true?

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The usual Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is equal to 40 percent of
the first $6,000 in wages paid to a qualified worker during the year.
It’s a yearround proposition.

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Generally, you can deduct moving expenses only if they’re related to your job. You must meet a tough two-part test to qualify for deductions even if you’re pulling up stakes for a job switch.

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If you qualify under special income limits, you can defray some college
costs with an education tax credit. But it’s not only how much you pay
that counts, it’s also when you pay it.

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This refers to your recent article on vacation homes. (May SBTS) In Example 1, it’s my understanding under Pub. 527 that, if the taxpayer fails the 14 day/10 percent usage test, the rental portion of the applicable mortgage interest and taxes would still be deductible, even if there is a net loss. Is this true? P.W., via e-mail

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I recently invested in several bond funds. These funds pay out dividends before the end of the year. Are the dividends tax-free? C.W., Portland, Ore.

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In a recent item, you stated that the IRS is cracking down on home-based businesses. Yet, your publication often touts deductions for home offices. Does this still make sense? A.L.T., Baltimore

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I was audited for my 2003 return pertaining to self-employment tax. This was resolved in my favor. Now, the IRS is questioning the same aspect of my 2004 return. Don’t they have to drop this because of the prior result? E.L., via e-mail

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On May 5, officials from 19 states signed on to the Streamlined Sales
Tax Project (SSTP), a collective effort among 42 states and the
District of Columbia to impose sales taxes on remote sellers of
products and goods over the Internet.

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The IRS says it will stop collecting the federal excise tax on
long-distance telephone service and will refund excise taxes paid—plus
interest—since Feb. 28, 2003.

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