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Small Business Tax Strategies

Q: I still do some work as a consultant, but I must start taking distributions from my IRA before April 1 of next year. If I convert to a Roth IRA this year, can I avoid taking the distribution (and the resulting tax)? R.A., Duluth, Minn.

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Q: We took out a $320,000 mortgage to buy our home several years ago. We recently used inheritance money to pay off the $220,000 balance on the mortgage. Our house is now worth around $700,000. If we take out a new mortgage for $400,000, can we deduct all of the mortgage interest we’d pay? L.M.S., Montvale, N.J.

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The Senate approved a long-stalled bill on May 11 that would end a trade dispute with Europe and shower U.S. corporations with several new tax breaks, including reduced income taxes for manufacturers.

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Taxpayers are receiving better and faster service at IRS offices around the country, according to a study by the Treasury Department’s inspector general.

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IRS bigwigs are predicting increased audit activity of employer retirement plans.

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Think you’re immune from the alternative minimum tax? A new case shows how even low-income taxpayers are being hit.

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You’ve read the advertisements: Save money in the long run by replacing your regular monthly mortgage with a mortgage paid biweekly (every two weeks). It’s a sound principle, and it can save you money. But don’t assume it’s always a slam-dunk.

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Q. I’m at the stage of my life where I should reduce the size of my taxable estate. I am thinking of cashing in some mutual funds and giving the proceeds to my six grandchildren (ages 3 to 15). This should reduce my estate, and I can qualify for the gift-tax exclusion. I also want to reduce my assets in case I need to go into a nursing home, but I don’t want to lose control of my funds. Does this make sense?

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If you work at a central location—say, a company office downtown—and you take work home on nights and weekends, you typically won’t qualify for home-office deductions. Reason: Your home office is not your "principal place of business." The downtown office is.

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Real estate values are scorching hot in many parts of the United States. If you’re sitting on some big-time appreciated property, check out the following three strategies for minimizing your tax bill

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