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
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 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.
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.