Small Business Tax Strategies

Q: I am the executor of my parents’ estates. My father passed away two years ago and my mother this February. Can I redirect part of my inheritance from my mother to a charity? S.J.P., Longmont, Colo.

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Q: You said retirement plan participants must pay a 10 percent penalty tax for withdrawals before 55 (see 4/18/05 issue). Isn’t the correct age 59 1/2? C.F., via e-mail

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Q: I’m switching my business from a C corporation to an S corporation. I understand that S corporations don’t pay any tax. Will I need to make quarterly tax payments? A.P., Cincinnati

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Don’t count on the IRS to increase the standard mileage deduction rate.

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If you’re challenging the IRS on a tax-return issue, pay the tax you owe now. Don’t wait until the dispute is settled.

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First came the 401(k), which, in just a quarter-century, became the most popular retirement plan of all time. Then, Roth IRAs were born in 1998, allowing millions of Americans to build up retirement nest eggs that they could tap into tax-free.

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Uncle Sam wants your tax money … now. So, if you aren’t sending the IRS enough money in your quarterly tax installments, you may need to pay an extra interest-rate penalty.

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Most people think of life insurance strictly as income replacement for their family if they suddenly die. But if you no longer need that big life insurance policy and you’re looking for a big write-off this year, consider this strategy

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If you’re like most people, you finally put your 2004 tax return to bed a few short weeks ago. But then comes a sinking realization that you missed a tax deduction or credit opportunity on your return. Or maybe you accidentally failed to report income, miscalculated a capital gain or forgot a business deduction. Should you file an amended return or not? That is the question.

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Sooner or later, you may decide to sell off your S corporation and retire. If you run a family shop, you may plan to sell your stock to younger family members who are already working in the business.

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