Q: I opened a Roth IRA on March 15, 2001. Can I start taking tax-free withdrawals this year? D.D., Mission Viejo, Calif.
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.
As mortgage rates fell, you may have refinanced your home several times over the last few years. You can generally still deduct all the mortgage interest on refinanced loans, up to the amount of outstanding principal. But if you were forced to pay the alternative minimum tax (AMT), you may forfeit the tax benefits on a second or third refinancing.
Q: My main computer is a laptop that I use mostly for business in my home office. But I also use the laptop personally and let my kids play games on it sometimes. Will this cost me a home-office deduction? M.R., Danville, Ill.
When selling their home, joint filers can shelter up to $500,000 in home-sale gains from taxes, as long as they have owned and used the home as their principal residence for at least two years during the five-year period ending on the sale date.
Q: My daughter is switching jobs in a few weeks. She's accumulated about $20,000 in her 401(k) plan. Does her employer have to automatically roll the money into a Roth IRA? I read something about that issue recently. G.P., Hoboken, N.J.
It's already Memorial Day, so summer is right around the corner. While you're enjoying the warmer weather, heat up your tax savings with some timely tax techniques.
Q: In 2002, I bought stock in a company that just recently merged with another company. I bought the shares at $15; now they're worth only $12 and change. Can I deduct a loss for 2005? L.A.R., San Diego
In many U.S. cities, houses bought just a few years ago have more than doubled in value. But unless you plan to move soon, such a "paper windfall" means nothing other than a soaring property tax bill.
Q: I own an auto repair shop in Maryland. We've switched our compensation plan to a system in which technicians are paid a base salary, plus a bonus based upon billable hours. Since technicians routinely work a 45-hour workweek, must we pay them any overtime? R.B.S., via e-mail
It's rare when you can have your tax cake and eat it too. But a new private letter ruling issued by the IRS gives certain older business owners a generous slice. It allows them to preserve the tax benefits of a "grand-father election" made over 20 years ago.