Small Business Tax Strategies

The nation’s tax collector is backpedaling on a controversial policy found in its manual that permits email snooping without first obtaining a warrant.

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Don’t be surprised if you can’t get through to the IRS the next time you need its ­services. Due to the sequester and other budgetary restraints necessitating furloughs of its staffers, the IRS recently announced it will shutter its doors on May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and Aug. 30.

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Q. In a recent article, you said the new $2,500 FSA limit is on an individual basis. Does this limit apply separately to a married couple?

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On March 25, 2013, the IRS announced the release of its 2012 Data Book, which provides a snapshot of agency activities. The report includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement actions, taxpayer assistance, and the IRS budget and workforce, along with other data, from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012.

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The IRS is gearing up to find a new audit avenue to small to midsize corporations.

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They’re b-a-a-a-a-ck. No, we’re not referring to poltergeist, but rather the research credits that were previously available to business entities. The research credit had technically expired after 2011, but the American Taxpayer Relief Act reinstates it, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012, and extends it through 2013.

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Based on new gift tax data released in the IRS Winter 2013 SOI Bulletin, the amount of charitable deductions claimed on gift tax returns in 2011 increased to nearly $4.4 billion, up from $3.1 billion in 2010.

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A little-noticed tax break in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 could provide a big boost for upper-income retirement-savers. It makes it easier to take advantage of a Roth 401(k) when an employer provides this option. Strategy: Switch money from your regular 401(k) account into the Roth 401(k) account.

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Q. I’m age 55 and participate in my company’s 401(k) plan. Are catch-up contributions subject to percentage limits for elective deferrals? M.H., Buffalo, N.Y.

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Do you own a boat that’s a virtual “home” on the water? Or are you looking to buy a seagoing vessel that can provide many of the same creature comforts as your main digs? Strategy: Don’t forget to claim “mortgage interest” deductions for the boat.

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