Q: In a recent article, you wrote about variable annuities with a guaranteed minimum withdrawal. (5/16/05 issue) Would a guaranteed minimum income benefit (GMIB) variable annuity be better? V.G.
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.
Where can you turn if you're retired and strapped for cash? When you've exhausted all other possibilities, you may hear pitches to tap into your home's equity by securing a "reverse mortgage."
Is your child going off to college or prep school this fall? If so, write off the portion of the tuition that's attributable to health care as a medical expense. If the school doesn't automatically provide a breakdown of your child's tuition costs, ask for one.
When you own an S corporation, the company's gains are your gains and its losses are your losses. All the income and expense are passed through to the company's shareholders. But the IRS limits the amount that you can claim as a loss to your basis in the stock, plus any outstanding loans directly from you to the corporation.
Q: My father is retired and living in a retirement community. He insists that he doesn't have to file a tax return anymore. Is there a maximum age for filing? J.W., Old Tappan, N.J.
Big tax cuts aren't coming in 2005; neither the money nor the political willpower is there. But look for Congress, at the very least, to extend several tax breaks that are scheduled to go off the books at the end of the year
Q: I opened a Roth IRA on March 15, 2001. Can I start taking tax-free withdrawals this year? D.D., Mission Viejo, Calif.
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: We're confused about your item regarding a separated spouse who files as a "head of household" and claims the standard deduction (see 4/18/05 issue). You say that if the situation was "the other way around," the person would be required to itemize. Can you elaborate? P.B.S., via e-mail
The bonus-depreciation deduction was great while it lasted, but it's gone for 2005. Still, you can generate top-dollar deductions this year when buying equipment and other business assets. That's because your not-so-secret weapon—the Section 179 expensing allowance—lets you write off most or all of the cost of most business assets in the very first year of ownership! Here's the lowdown on the rules and four ways to maximize your deductions.