Q. My parents want to give my sister and me $150,000 each to help pay for our children's college expenses. (My sister and I have a total of five kids.) But the gift would come in the form of stock shares. Won't we owe a lot of tax when we sell the stock? And won't my parents have to pay gift tax? Is there a better way to handle this?
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: We sold our home in 1995 and took advantage of the full $125,000 home-sale gain exclusion available at that time. Now, we're looking to sell both our main Connecticut home and our winter home in Florida. Can we benefit from the home-sale exclusion again for either (or both) of these houses? H.R., New Canaan, Conn.
Q: I'm 62 and now work part time. If I choose to receive partial Social Security benefits this year, will I have to pay Social Security tax on my wages if I'm taxed on the benefits? R.O., Cleveland, Ohio
Suppose you're in the market for a new business vehicle. You go down to the local showroom, kick the tires and try to wrangle the best deal. Normally, the dealer will agree to a trade-in value for your old car that reduces the cash you have to lay out for the new one.
Q: In the past few years, I've used my personal car for business about 75 percent of the time. Now, I'm going to buy a new car and will probably trade in the old one or sell it privately. Can I still get a depreciation deduction for the old car this year? M.C., Manchester, N.H.
Q: My wife was just laid off from her job. She was told she'd receive a package in the mail about COBRA health insurance. It's been more than a week, and it hasn't arrived. Is this breaking the law? K.B., Hillsborough, N.J.?
Size often matters in the corporate world.
It's bad enough that business owners worry about corporate income tax. But your company may also face alternative minimum tax (AMT) complications.
Investors in qualified "small business" stock held more than five years can exclude 50 percent of the sale's gain. But a 28 percent capital gains tax rate continues to apply to such sales—even after last year's reduction of the maximum capital gains rate to 15 percent. That means you'll earn just a 1 percent advantage—14 percent to 15 percent—for sales of small business stock.
Q: After my father passed away, investment property he owned was destroyed by fire. The insurance reimbursement didn't cover the actual loss. Can his estate deduct the difference? E.R., Fairfield, Calif.
Q: In a recent article, you said people must start taking IRA distributions after turning 70 1/2 (See 3/8/04 issue) Are the rules different for Roth IRAs? J.C., via e-mail
Is most of your money tied up in investments? You're certainly not alone. But that may create a cash crunch if you need funds in a hurry for an emergency or an unexpected expense.