Seven years ago, my parents gave their house in upstate New York to the children and their spouses. (There are five of us; four are married.) My parents paid $150,000 for the house, and now it's worth more than $500,000. Now that both parents have passed away, we're thinking of selling the home. But we're not sure if that's a good idea from a tax perspective and whether we'd qualify for the home-sale exclusion. What do you think?
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: In a recent Mail Call, you correctly answered a reader by saying that a tax refund would not be reduced by a Roth IRA contribution. (8/11/03 issue) But in stating that Roth IRA contributions don't affect current tax liability, aren't you omitting the use of the retirement tax credit? M.A.C., Union Beach, N.J.
The 2003 tax law slashed income taxes for most taxpayers. But what if you show a net operating loss (NOL) and no taxable income at year-end?
Q: The annuity I bought a couple of years ago charges high maintenance fees. Will I have to pay any penalties if I withdraw my funds and switch to a different investment with lower fees? C.R., Mt. Pocono, Pa.
If you're still handling payroll yourself, you know it's time consuming and prone to errors. So here's some good news: A new crop of online payroll services are popping up and—no coincidence—the costs are dropping fast.
Q: We have a vacation home at the Jersey shore. We normally only use the house ourselves two weeks in September. But this year my teenage son and his friends spent a few weekends there in the fall. Do we have a tax problem? G.A., Mahwah, N.J.
Staying one step ahead of the IRS isn't easy for most small businesses. One wrong step—a forgotten form, a lost receipt—could invite Uncle Sam's wrath.
Treasury Department honchos have revived an idea that seemed dead just six months ago: consolidating many tax-preferred savings plans under two basic savings vehicles, lifetime savings accounts and retirement savings accounts.
Many business owners enter into "split-dollar" life insurance arrangements, in which the employer and employee share the cost of life insurance. But the IRS recently changed the rules, making those plans less attractive.
One added reason that it's hard to watch your children leave the nest is that you lose a coveted dependency exemption. In 2003, the exemption equals a $3,050 subtraction from your taxable income.