Small Business Tax Strategies

Suppose you’ve turned a personal hobby into a money-making venture. The activity can provide some tax benefits if you can convince the IRS it’s now a for-profit business instead of a hobby.

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If you own a C corporation, you’re effectively taxed twice—once when the company earns taxable income and again when those earnings are paid to you as dividends. To avoid this double tax whammy, you might want to switch to the S corporation form of ownership. Strategy: Watch out for the “built-in gains” (BIG) tax.

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Q. I’m past the age for receiving IRA distributions. Can I set up and contribute to a Roth?

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Due to a number of tax law changes taking effect this year—including an onerous new Medicare surtax on investment income and higher tax rates for wealthy taxpayers—it’s important for you to start focusing on ways to cut your 2013 tax bill down to size.

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The IRS has long been suspicious of inflated deductions for charitable gifts. Now it’s giving fair warning to taxpayers. It recently posted a reminder on its website featuring nine tax deduction tips.

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Is your child graduating from high school or entering senior year? A gifted student may qualify for a college scholarship based on a specific talent, experience or achievement. Strategy: Have your child aim for tax-free scholarships.

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With the sequester gripping Washington, D.C., all kinds of tax reforms are on the table. A new $3 million limit would apply to assets in IRAs and qualified retirement plans.

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The IRS is under fire for spending $60,000 on two videos spoofing the iconic TV shows “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.”

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Just because you use a tax pro to handle tax matters doesn’t absolve you from tax liability. In fact, you could still be hit with a penalty when you use a professional to prepare your federal tax return, unless you meet certain requirements.

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Are you looking to “go green” with your next vehicle purchase? Consider a plug-in electric vehicle. If the vehicle qualifies under the latest tax laws, you can claim a tax credit.

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