Small Business Tax Strategies

The IRS is giving some business entities more time to apply for a tax refund involving severance pay. Alert: The IRS says it will sign Form 907, Agree­­ment to Extend the Time to Bring Suit, for certain taxpayers who had a FICA tax refund claim disallowed based on a controversial 6th Cir­­cuit court ruling.

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The IRS has reported that as of May 10 more than 43.6 million people e-filed returns from their homes in 2013, an increase of more than 4% at the same point in 2012 when 41.7 million tax­payers self-prepared e-filings.

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Estate planning has been muddled for the past decade or so as professionals and taxpayers alike grappled with an ever-changing tax environment. At long last, the fog has lifted, thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act.

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Generally, the amount received in a lawsuit settlement is taxable, unless a specific tax law exclusion applies.

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A new revenue-raising proposal on Capitol Hill bears watching. It would require emptying out many inherited IRAs within five years under a provision that Senate Democrats added to a student loan relief measure.

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Q. Our local municipal government provides $25 gift cards for our employees at Christmas. Are these gift cards taxable? D.O., Martinsville, Va.

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Q. I’m selling my home for $800,000 and downsizing. Am I still eligible for any rollover tax deferral? S.K., West Islip, N.Y.

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Do you need to employ more workers for an expanding business? The tax law provides a generous Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring certain disadvantaged workers. But you might do even better than the regular credit. Strategy: Hire a qualified veteran.

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How can you best obtain affordable health care coverage in 2013 if you’re self-employed? Depending on your situation, you might be able to go through the “back door.”

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Upper-income taxpayers could face a potential tax nightmare in 2013 due to a new 3.8% Medicare surtax on net investment income. Strategy: Wake up to reality. If you take tax action now, you might be able to reduce, or even eliminate, your liability for the new 3.8% surtax.

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