Small Business Tax Strategies

The new tax law enacted around the turn of the year—the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012—extends a unique tax break for charitably inclined retirees. But the window closes again at the end of this year. Strategy: Donate funds in your IRA to a qualified charity.

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Q. I never hear about Coverdell IRAs anymore. Have they been repealed? L.P.S., Orlando, Fla.

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Accord­­ing to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the IRS has to shore up its internal controls.

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It’s not related to global warming, but countries around the world continue to turn up the heat on scofflaws hiding income in offshore accounts.

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Suppose you’ve just discovered a mistake on the 2012 tax return you just filed in April. Should you file an amended tax return? Although there may be extenuating circumstances, the outcome will usually depend on whether you owe Uncle Sam or he owes you.

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Tax return pros who registered for certification testing, only to have the test canceled due to a court injunction in March, are entitled to a refund.

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The IRS continues to turn up audit heat on real estate professionals.

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Do you operate a business from home? You’re entitled to home office deductions only if you regularly and exclusively use the place as your principal place of business or where you meet or deal with customers, clients or patients in the normal course of business. Taxpayers are often tripped up by the requirement for “exclusive” use.

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It’s bad enough that you have to pay Social Security taxes while you’re working. Even worse: You might be taxed on Social Security benefits you receive in retirement! Strategy: If it looks like you’ll incur taxes on Social Security benefits, you might make some moves to reduce your tax liability.

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Q. I am buying a new business car, but I haven’t finished writing off the old one I’m trading in. Can I claim depreciation deductions for the new one? A.E.P., Albuquerque, N.M.

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