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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.

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Q. I'm at the stage of my life where I should reduce the size of my taxable estate. I am thinking of cashing in some mutual funds and giving the proceeds to my six grandchildren (ages 3 to 15). This should reduce my estate, and I can qualify for the gift-tax exclusion. I also want to reduce my assets in case I need to go into a nursing home, but I don't want to lose control of my funds. Does this make sense?

As the cost of gas continues to soar, more people are rethinking the way they write off their business driving expenses.

If you work at a central location—say, a company office downtown—and you take work home on nights and weekends, you typically won't qualify for home-office deductions. Reason: Your home office is not your "principal place of business." The downtown office is.

Q: I just started a new sales job in which I'm required to keep valuable samples at home. So I have decided to install a pretty expensive home security system. Can I deduct that cost as a home-office expense? R.N.T, Springfield, Ill.

Real estate values are scorching hot in many parts of the United States. If you're sitting on some big-time appreciated property, check out the following three strategies for minimizing your tax bill

Q: I am the 50 percent owner of an S corporation. Can I deduct company-paid health insurance premiums on my personal return without forfeiting the expense due to the reduction in itemized deductions? J.L., via e-mail

Yes, the new 15 percent top rate on capital gains is good news for real estate investors. But if you sell investment property, your actual tax bill can be much higher than 15 percent of your gains, due to earlier depreciation deductions. (Gains from prior depreciation write-offs are taxed at a 25 percent maximum federal rate.)

Q: A friend of mine filed his 1996 return as a single status. He now realizes that he could have filed as a head of household status, making him eligible for the EITC. Can he amend his return? O.D., New York, N.Y.

Q: My company pays a flat 30 cents a mile rate for car expenses. Can I deduct the difference between my costs and 30 cents per mile? A.Z., Atlanta, Ga.

Q: I've invested in several stocks and mutual funds. I could swear that the closing prices I see on TV news programs at night are different than the ones in the morning paper the next day. Is this possible? D.D.K., Richmond, Va.

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