For many U.S. taxpayers, "March Mad-ness" has nothing to do with college basketball. It's all about dashing around gathering receipts, filling out forms, meeting with your tax guru and hoping you'll emerge victorious in the 1040 game.
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.
Q: My husband and I collectively earn $85,000 a year. Neither of us participates in any retirement plans. Can we both make deductible IRA contributions for 2003? I.M., Thomasville, N.C.
Lower rates. The 27, 30, 35 and 38.6 percent individual federal rates that applied for 2002 are reduced to 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent, respectively, for 2003. The 10 and 15 percent federal rates are unchanged.
Mark mid-April on your calendar. That's when Tax Freedom Day, the symbolic day when U.S. taxpayers' annual earnings to date surpass the taxes they'll pay that year.
Q: I realized a large long-term stock loss early in 2003 when the capital gain tax rate was still 20 percent. But I had to carry over part of the loss because I had little stock gain in 2003. Do I have to use the loss to offset gain taxed at only 15 percent in 2004? S.T.P., Lake Geneva, Wis.
Q: My father died in 1998, and we decided to pay off the estate tax using the installment method. Now that estate tax is being repealed, will we still have to pay installments after 2009? R.V., Plymouth, Mass.
Instead of grabbing your maximum first-year depreciation write-off (as described above), you can choose another route: Mix and match depreciation methods to claim a smaller first-year depreciation write-off and thereby fine-tune your business's 2003 taxable income level.
Q: I use my cell phone a lot for charitable activities. In fact, that's the reason I bought it. Can I deduct the phone costs as a charitable donation? N.B., Kansas City, Mo.
Before wrapping up your business tax return, rack your brain (and your records) to make sure you haven't missed any juicy write-offs.
Q: My husband and I have lived in our home for 32 years. We bought it for about $80,000, and now it's worth more than $500,000. My husband died last year, and I'm planning to sell the home. I read about the $250,000 home-sale tax exclusion for single people and $500,000 for married people. Am I limited to $250,000? A.T., Rockaway, N.J.