Small Business Tax Strategies

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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You aren’t allowed to deduct the value of services you personally provide to a charity. But you can deduct the cost of someone else’s services.

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The IRS says your company can provide free e-filing of employees’ tax returns.

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Why bother tracking your medical expenses? Tax rules say you can start deducting unreimbursed medical expenses only after they exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). So if your AGI is $100,000 this year, you’d need to fork over $7,500 of your own cash before you can deduct one single nickel.

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IRS won’t save you from high gas prices

Don’t let tax tail wag the investment dog

 

Get dates straight on tax-prep deduction

 

Don’t jump ship on muni bond funds

 

Show some trust in REITs

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Q: I just started a new business where I work from home. For business travel, I’m using a car I bought in 2001 for $32,000. Can I deduct depreciation based on the original cost? D.J., Spring Valley, N.Y.

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Q: I still do some work as a consultant, but I must start taking distributions from my IRA before April 1 of next year. If I convert to a Roth IRA this year, can I avoid taking the distribution (and the resulting tax)? R.A., Duluth, Minn.

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Q: We took out a $320,000 mortgage to buy our home several years ago. We recently used inheritance money to pay off the $220,000 balance on the mortgage. Our house is now worth around $700,000. If we take out a new mortgage for $400,000, can we deduct all of the mortgage interest we’d pay? L.M.S., Montvale, N.J.

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The Senate approved a long-stalled bill on May 11 that would end a trade dispute with Europe and shower U.S. corporations with several new tax breaks, including reduced income taxes for manufacturers.

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