Q: I received shares of Prudential stock a few years ago because I had converted a group policy to a personal policy. If I sell the shares now, do I have to pay tax on the full value, even though I still own the insurance policy? A.P., Santa Clara, Calif.
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 experienced unusually high medical expenses in 2003. In addition to my out-of-pocket costs, I contributed $2,500 to my company flexible spending account (FSA) and used up all the funds. Can I count those FSA expenses as deductible medical expenses? J.B., Winslow, Ariz.
C corporations offer better tax treatment for fringe benefits than S corporations. But don't avoid an S corporation election simply because of fringe benefits.
The 2003 tax law spawned dozens of great tax strategies, plus a couple of duds.
One lame concept gaining traction these days: Reduced individual income tax rates make your tax-deferred retirement plan an inferior retirement savings vehicle. Instead, the story goes, you should stash your retirement money in a taxable account at your friendly brokerage firm.
Check your stockpile of Series EE Savings Bonds. Time is running short on a great tax-deferral strategy.
When my son was born, relatives gave him Savings Bonds. Now that he's going to college, we want to use some of those bonds to help pay tuition. Do we have to pay tax on the income?
Q: A recent Mail Call question addressed whether a taxpayer would have to return the $400 advance child tax rebate if his income was too high for 2003. (See 10/06/03 issue.) While your answer indicated that he would not have to write a check to the IRS, I believe that the additional credit would still have to be added back to his 2003 tax liability on his return. Do you agree? J.W., via e-mail
Q: In 2003, I started a sideline business selling items on eBay. If my regular salary at work exceeds the Social Security tax wage base, do I have to pay self-employment tax on my eBay earnings? S.J.S., via e-mail
Q: I'm in the middle a dispute about a landscaping bill. The other day, someone from the landscaping company called my company and asked to speak to my boss. Is that legal? C.N., Glen Burnie, Md.
Q: You wrote a story that said any mortgage interest for periods of "personal use" of a rental property is deemed personal interest and therefore nondeductible. (See 10/6/03 issue.) But couldn't that personal portion be treated as "second residence" mortgage interest and therefore be deducted? J.W., via e-mail