Small Business Tax Strategies

Changes to IRS Form 941, Employer’s Federal Quarterly Tax Return, will make it easier for businesses to report federal payroll tax deposits and income tax withholding.

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As you grow older, it’s critical to save as much as possible for retirement. As the person who calls the shots at your company, you can be even more creative than others in saving for retirement.

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Question: My elderly mother needs help a few hours a day to shop, work around the house, etc. My wife and I live in another state. We pay a neighborhood woman $15 an hour for assistance, but she isn’t a nurse. We also pay $500 a month toward my mother’s rent, about half the bill. Are we entitled to any tax benefits? – R.P., Vermont

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Q: The "estimate of earnings" I recently received from the Social Security Administration showed that I had no income in a year I actually earned more than $100,000. I’m age 61. Is it worth going through the hassle to change this? And, if so, how do I do it? H.S., Wichita, Kan.

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Q: I’ve been encouraging both my children, now ages 24 and 21, to make contributions to an IRA. But is there any minimum deduction for lower-wage earners? C.M., Glen Burnie, Md.

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Don’t trip over the tricky tax rules for property-tax rebates.

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Q. My parents want to give my sister and me $150,000 each to help pay for our children’s college expenses. (My sister and I have a total of five kids.) But the gift would come in the form of stock shares. Won’t we owe a lot of tax when we sell the stock? And won’t my parents have to pay gift tax? Is there a better way to handle this?

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If you’ve never heard of a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust, you should have.

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Even if you’re just a casual seller on eBay or a similar Internet auction service, you still must deal with tax consequences.

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Q: A small nonprofit asked me to set up a Web site for their organization. If I don’t charge any fees, can I deduct my services as a charitable contribution? G.R., New York, N.Y.

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