Q: My husband and I have lived in our home for 32 years. We bought it for about $80,000, and now it’s worth more than $500,000. My husband died last year, and I’m planning to sell the home. I read about the $250,000 home-sale tax exclusion for single people and $500,000 for married people. Am I limited to $250,000? A.T., Rockaway, N.J.
Q: I’m wondering about the repercussions of the break in the relationship between gift and estate taxes. If I make a $1 million gift in 2004 and pay no gift tax by using up my gift-tax exemption, will I still have an unreduced estate-tax exemption of $2 million in 2008? L.S., New York, N.Y.
Q: I run two sole proprietorships out of my house. Do I need to use separate rooms for each business if I want to claim home-office deductions? W.D., Smyrna, Ga.
You’ve probably heard that hiring your children is a great tax-saving move. Their income is taxed in their low tax bracket, and as long as you handle things correctly, your company can deduct the compensation.
It will soon be springtime in Washington, and for the past three years, that has meant tax breaks spilling forth across the land. But not this year.
Sometime between now and April 15, you’ll probably sit down with your tax adviser to pour over receipts, write-offs and changes to your personal tax situation. You can save on your tax bill—and your tax-preparation fees—by avoiding these common errors
Have you heard about the new, "creative" way to shift assets from your business to a Roth IRA to skirt the IRA contribution limits? Well, forget that advice and heed this:
The IRS came out swinging last month, issuing formal notice that such transactions would be listed as "abusive tax shelters" and trigger stiff penalties. (IRS Notice 2004-8)
With the stock market heating up, you may have borrowed cash in 2003 for investment purposes or to buy stock on margin.
Of course, you’ll want to maximize the write-off for your investment interest. But usually your investment interest deduction is capped at the amount of your total investment income.
Q: In a recent item in your newsletter, you said that sole proprietors, partners and LLC members can use the per-diem method for reimbursing meals and incidental expenses on business travel. (See 11/3/03 issue.) Shouldn’t that list also include S corporation shareholder/employees? P.D., CPA, Englewood, Colo.
You can file Form 4506, but it could take up to 60 days to receive a photocopy and cost you $39. Better option: Call the IRS to order a transcript that lists line items from your original return (only 1040s) for up to three previous years.