After sending off your return, you'll probably trash old documents and files. Beware: Scam artists can steal your identity by rummaging through your garbage bags.
Small Business Tax
Section 179 vehicles should be a key part of your small business tax deduction strategies. Can Section 179 property fit in with your business tax strategies?
Let Business Management Daily help you get each and every rental property depreciation credit and business tax deduction you’re entitled to.
Do you plan to raid your retirement plan early? If you use the money for medical payments, you can avoid the usual 10 percent penalty tax on early withdrawals.
Q: I operate a small relocation company with 10 full-time employees and a few part-timers. We don't have a retirement plan. I remember reading something recently about a tax break for setting up a plan. Is there such a break? E.R.M., Chicago, Ill.
The numbers are deceiving: IRS gum-shoes audited only 0.57 percent of individual tax returns in fiscal year 2002. The rate isn't much higher (only 1.45 percent) for Schedule C filers with incomes above $100,000.
Q: I'm 56, my wife is 55 and both of our kids graduated from college. I maxed out my 403(b) plan at work last year, but I still want to increase my retirement savings. If we're over the income limit for Roth IRAs, can we both contribute to nondeductible IRAs? T.R., Logan, Utah
Double your tax credits for children.
Go 'back to school' for extra credit.
Clean up on your tax return.
Make the credit child's play.
Q: I am a private attorney going into practice. With the new 15 percent tax rate on dividends, am I better off tax-wise setting up the practice as a personal service C corporation, rather than a self-employed taxpayer filing Schedule C? J.J., Los Angeles, Calif.
If you've already run the numbers on your 2003 return, you may have gotten an ugly surprise on Line 42. If you haven't completed your Form 1040 yet, look out.
Q: I'm investing in dividend-paying stocks in a foreign country. Because of withholding by the government, the dividends are substantially reduced. Do I have to pay tax on the full amount of the dividends? W.L., Braintree, Mass.
Many people thought their estate-tax worries were over once President Bush signed estate-tax relief in 2001. The law gradually increases the amount of your estate that's exempt from federal estate taxes, then eliminates the tax in 2010, before the tax comes roaring back to life in 2011 (unless Congress extends the relief law).