Small Business Tax Strategies

Q: We sold our home in 1995 and took advantage of the full $125,000 home-sale gain exclusion available at that time. Now, we’re looking to sell both our main Connecticut home and our winter home in Florida. Can we benefit from the home-sale exclusion again for either (or both) of these houses? H.R., New Canaan, Conn.

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Q: I’m 62 and now work part time. If I choose to receive partial Social Security benefits this year, will I have to pay Social Security tax on my wages if I’m taxed on the benefits? R.O., Cleveland, Ohio

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Suppose you’re in the market for a new business vehicle. You go down to the local showroom, kick the tires and try to wrangle the best deal. Normally, the dealer will agree to a trade-in value for your old car that reduces the cash you have to lay out for the new one.

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Q: In the past few years, I’ve used my personal car for business about 75 percent of the time. Now, I’m going to buy a new car and will probably trade in the old one or sell it privately. Can I still get a depreciation deduction for the old car this year? M.C., Manchester, N.H.

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Scared off from investing by the mutual-fund scandals? You can reap the tax advantages of mutual funds by investing in other tax-advantaged vehicles.

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If you haven’t thought much about exchange-traded funds (ETFs), now’s a good time to become interested. Reason: Mutual fund giant Vanguard has jumped into the game.

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Is most of your money tied up in investments? You’re certainly not alone. But that may create a cash crunch if you need funds in a hurry for an emergency or an unexpected expense.

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Recent tax law changes offer potentially big benefits to shareholders who want to take cash out of their closely held C corporations without sharing too much with the IRS. You can also achieve the same goal through several time-honored cash-withdrawal strategies. This special report examines today’s five best ways to pull cash from your C corporation in the most tax-wise manner.

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Medical costs continue to skyrocket. What’s a small business owner to do?

 

In most cases, fringe benefits provided to company bigwigs are exempt from tax only if they are offered to everyone.

 

If you run a small company, it’s hard to squeeze in enough exercise time during the week.

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Size often matters in the corporate world.

 

It’s bad enough that business owners worry about corporate income tax. But your company may also face alternative minimum tax (AMT) complications.

 

Investors in qualified "small business" stock held more than five years can exclude 50 percent of the sale’s gain. But a 28 percent capital gains tax rate continues to apply to such sales—even after last year’s reduction of the maximum capital gains rate to 15 percent. That means you’ll earn just a 1 percent advantage—14 percent to 15 percent—for sales of small business stock.

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