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Small Business Tax Strategies

Tell the IRS you’re on the move. The IRS is only required to send notices to your "last-known address." So if you don’t send the IRS a change of address form (Form 8822), you usually can’t claim that you weren’t notified in time. But you may be able to rely on your other IRS filings. Recent case: The Tax Court ruled that a taxpayer had provided "clear and concise" notification of an address change when he filed a power of attorney (Form 2848). (Hunter, TC Memo 2004-81)

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Q: I have several IRAs and just turned 70, so I must start taking withdrawals next year. Do I have to take money out of each IRA? A.S., Yardley, Pa.

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Q: My wife has taught in public schools for 30 years and participated in a 403(b) plan the entire time. Now she’s thinking about opting for early retirement. Does she need to wait until she retires to roll over that money into an IRA? C.T., Sacramento, Calif.

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Q: I am selling a vacation home. My daughter owns a lot where I can build a new house. Can I roll over the profit from the old home into the new home tax-free? R.C., Dunwoody, Calif.

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As the owner or sole proprietor of a small business, you reap most of the rewards. But you also run most, if not all, of the risks. So you might be hesitant to sponsor a qualified retirement plan for yourself and your employees. One reason: Creditors could gain access to your plan assets if the business ever goes under.

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Take home more pay. If your teen works a summer job, taxes can put a dent in his or her take-home pay.

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Does your company need a quick capital transfusion to keep operating? If so, consider forgiving money the company owes you and treating it as a contribution to the corporation. Done properly, this is a tax-free transaction for you and the corporation.

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If you want to pay the absolute minimum to Uncle Sam, tax planning must be a year-round pursuit. With summer right around the corner, you can cash in on several key tax breaks by springing into action now. If you procrastinate until the end of the year, you’ll miss out on valuable deductions and credits for yourself, your business and your family. This special report explains a dozen timely moves you should take before the leaves begin to fall.

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Did you buy a place in the country in the days before suburban sprawl? If so, you can nail down a tax deduction this year simply by agreeing to preserve the land in its pristine state.

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Q: My company is being investigated for making illegal kickbacks. (I wasn’t involved in the allegations.) If we are found guilty, are the payments at least tax deductible? No name, via e-mail

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