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. In your recent article on Section 529 plans, you mention state income tax on distributions. But don’t state taxes also affect contributions? A.C., via email
A taxpayer can claim deductions for bad debts that can’t be collected and become worthless. But the IRS often regards such deductions with a healthy dose of skepticism when transactions involve related parties, such as a purported loan from a business owner to his or her corporation. This type of arrangement proved to be the undoing of a taxpayer in a new Tax Court decision.
After months of silence in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the IRS has finally issued definitive guidance on the issue.
Business is booming and you’re as busy as ever. However, you may suddenly find yourself short-staffed in the office. In the past, you may have asked your kids to pitch in, but now they’re back at school or out on their own. Strategy: Hire your spouse to help out.
Suppose you’ve carried forward a short-term capital loss from securities sales in prior years. Now you’re poised to sell stock at a sizable long-term capital gain. Think twice. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, postpone the sale or realize a short-term gain instead.
The tax law limits deductions for travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses, in­­cluding meals. But if an arrangement involves a third party—say, a leasing company—who does the limit apply to?
Due to a little-noticed provision, employers in many states may not be able to claim the maximum amount of state unemployment credits to offset 2013 liability for federal unemployment tax (FUTA).

Environmental cleanup costs generally must be capitalized, which means that there’s no current write-off. Strategy: Claim a current deduction for the cost of removing mold from a business building. The IRS differentiated a situation involving mold removal in a private letter ruling back in 2006.

The price tag on a college diploma keeps going up, but at least you might be able to salvage some tax benefits if you’re paying the tab. Strategy: Maximize benefits for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
Of course, higher taxes are a major concern for upper-income taxpayers in 2013. The top tax rate increases from 35% to 39.6% on ordinary income, while the maximum rate for capital gains and qualified dividends soars from 15% to 20%. But that isn’t the only tax obstacle in your path this year. Strategy: Don’t forget about the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
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