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Small Business Tax Strategies

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.

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Q: My elderly father lives in Spain and plans to give large financial gifts to our family this year. Are there any special IRS requirements we must meet? T.D., Vero Beach, Fla.

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Q: We own a vacation home in Vermont that we are leaving to our adult son in our wills. The home cost $95,000 and is now worth around $300,000. We’ve made about $15,000 in improvements over the years. Will our son owe any income tax if he inherits the home in the next few years? M.M., Stamford, Conn.

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Q: My brother borrowed $20,000 from me back in 2000. We set up a payment plan with 7 percent interest payments. But he only paid back $2,700 before he died last year without any real assets. Can I deduct the unpaid balance on my 2003 return? K.R., Newburgh, N.Y.

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After 12 years with the same company, I am losing my job due to a merger. I have no other job lined up. Should I elect COBRA health and dental coverage? Are there any tax benefits?

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If your business pays nonemployees for services, you’re responsible for providing that information to the IRS each year.
The timing is critical, and the clock is running down.

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C corporations offer better tax treatment for fringe benefits than S corporations. But don’t avoid an S corporation election simply because of fringe benefits.

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The 2003 tax law spawned dozens of great tax strategies, plus a couple of duds.

One lame concept gaining traction these days: Reduced individual income tax rates make your tax-deferred retirement plan an inferior retirement savings vehicle. Instead, the story goes, you should stash your retirement money in a taxable account at your friendly brokerage firm.

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If parking space is at a premium near your building, you may pay for employees to park their cars in a nearby garage or lot.

If you set up a qualified fringe benefit plan, your company can deduct those parking costs, and the benefit is tax-free to the employees. Unfortunately, your company may pay a pretty penny for its local parking privileges.

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File more business tax forms electronically.

 

IRS shifting jobs from clerical to crackdown.

 

Educate yourself on Health Savings Accounts.

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