Small Business Tax Strategies

The IRS can hit you with dozens of different penalties if you fail to follow the letter of the tax law. They’re often arcane and difficult to understand. And although many of the penalties are relatively small on their own, they can add up quickly. So, a single mistake could snowball into hundreds or thousands of dollars.

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If the IRS audits your return, it can slap you with a back tax bill, interest and penalties. But you may be able to avoid the penalty portion if you can prove that you relied on the advice of a competent tax professional.

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When it comes to avoiding IRS penalties, the best offense is a good defense: Avoid being assessed penalties in the first place.

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You’ll owe more than just back taxes and penalties if you file late or incorrectly. The IRS can charge interest on your underpayment amount.

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You can’t generally deduct the cost of commuting back and forth between your home and work; that’s treated as a nondeductible personal expense. But with a bit of creativity, you can still claim generous tax deductions for certain types of local driving.

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The IRS just released official guidance on the 2005 energy-tax law that
revamps the type of tax credits you can earn for buying environmentally
friendly vehicles.

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How can you get the most tax-free cash from a home sale?

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The wash-sale rule.

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If you’re doing your annual spring cleaning, remember that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Be tax smart when donating your used clothes, toys, furniture and other items to a local charity.

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It’s tough to qualify for a medicalexpense deduction, but it’s not impossible.

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