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Small Business Tax Strategies

Q. I’m taking an RMD from an IRA. Can I contribute it to a Roth IRA?

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The IRS recently announced that the 2013 audit rate for individual returns dropped to 0.96%, or one out of every 104 returns that were filed, down from roughly 1% in 2012.

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Are you planning to go to school to sharpen your business skills or chart a new career path? Depending on your situation, you may be able to deduct the cost of your course load. 

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A key “Obamacare” provision was scheduled to take effect in 2014, but now the U.S. Department of the Treasury says penalties won’t be assessed before it issues comprehensive guidance on the new rules.

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The Coverdell Education Savings Account, formerly the Education IRA, usually isn’t the absolute best way to quickly build a college fund for children. The annual contribution limits are relatively paltry when compared to the Section 529 plan alternative. Strategy: Take advantage of a little-noticed tax loophole.

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The so-called passive activity loss rules limit the write-offs that certain real estate investors are able to claim. Now, the same investors could get socked by the new 3.8% Medicare surtax on their net rental income. But a real estate professional isn’t restricted by the PAL rules and their rental in­­come generally isn’t subject to the new surtax.

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Q. Are the new rules for flexible spending accounts retroactive to 2013?

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On Jan. 9, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson delivered her annual report to Congress. Central to Olson’s theme this year was a renewed call for a comprehensive “Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” modeled after the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.

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Are you at loggerheads with the IRS over a tax return from years ago? It may be weighing on your mind, but there’s a way you can put the matter to rest for good.

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Do you think it was difficult to qualify for medical expense deductions in the past? It’s harder than ever due to new rules taking effect on 2013 returns.

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