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: I read somewhere that employees can now spend the money in their flexible spending account after Dec. 31. My employer hasn't given any notice about this. Is that extension automatic? S.M., Cincinnati

During an audit, chances are that you won't be able to produce all the receipts, bills or other pieces of written information you'll need to back up your claims, especially if the audit comes several years after the tax year in question.

Q: I've heard that I'd have to pay tax on a home sale if I don't use the profits to buy another home. I didn't think that's true. Am I correct? O.D., New York City

With gasoline prices shooting through the roof, the IRS took the unusual step last month of increasing the standard mileage rate deduction for the final four months of the year.

Starting in 2006, taxpayers will be able to give cash gifts of up to $12,000 to each recipient without facing gift-tax issues. That's up from $11,000 this year. Married couples can give twice as much.

"Passive activity loss" (PAL) rules say that losses from passive activities are limited to annual passive activity income. In general, rental real estate is treated as a passive activity.

Q: My daughter is a college freshman and I bought her a new laptop through the school. Does that qualify for a tax-free withdrawal? C.K., Syracuse, N.Y.

Q: I bought stock for about $5,000 and gave it to my son when it was worth $4,000. Now the stock has fallen further and is worth about $3,500. My broker says my son will only have a $500 loss (not $1,500) if he sells it. Is that true? E.B., Miami

The first piece of our audit series explained how you can breeze through an IRS "correspondence audit" conducted through the mail. But the stakes are considerably higher—as is the stress level—if you're tapped for an IRS "office audit."

Q: I'm still confused about guaranteed withdrawal benefits and guaranteed monthly income benefits available with some variable annuities. I am interested in the guaranteed monthly income benefit. Can you explain the difference? V.G., via e-mail