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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Maybe you’re not Bill Gates or Donald Trump, but you’ve worked hard to build up a small business empire of your own. Now that you’re closing in on retirement, you’d like to preserve most of your assets for your family without paying an arm and a leg in taxes. Strategy: Set up a dynasty trust.

The IRS still needs to improve the quality of its customer service, according to a report issued by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The report cited lengthy wait times and scheduling deficiencies as two key problem areas. But the news isn’t all bad.
Employer-provided cell phones are no longer a taxable fringe benefit. That means employees don’t have to pay federal income tax on any personal use of their phones—and you can quit keeping track of employees’ personal-use minutes. Read the new IRS guidance here.

Do you need an “angel” to help your business fly? An expiring tax law provision may give you the wings. Strategy: Offer qualified small business stock (QSBS) to investors. As long as your company meets certain requirements, an investor may be able to exclude up to 100% of the capital gain from a subsequent sale of the stock.

You’ve been warned: The IRS has developed a new “Audit Techniques Guide” for agents examining business consultants. It pinpoints several critical issues such as misclassification of independent contractor status, online bartering transactions and shifting of income to corporations.
The IRS has announced it intends to eliminate the simplified “high-low method” that can currently be used to substantiate business travel expenses for lodging, meals and incidentals.
The IRS is now using state real estate records to help investigate intra-family gifts that haven’t been reported on Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return. The form must be filed for transfers of property valued above $13,000, even though the current lifetime gift tax exemption is $5 million.
The Social Security Administration has announced that the taxable wage base for the Social Security portion of FICA will increase to $110,100 in 2012. That’s a 3.1% hike over the 2011 wage base of $106,800.
One goal of last year’s federal health-care reform legislation was to make it more affordable for small business owners to offer health insurance benefits to employees. So, tucked into the Affordable Care Act is a little-noticed but potentially invaluable provision that could save small businesses thousands of dollars per year.
The IRS recently announced an increase in the standard mileage rate for the second half of 2011. So taxpayers might discard all the additional records required to deduct actual driving expenses for a new vehicle and go with the IRS-approved shortcut. But don’t assume the standard rate method beats the actual expense method.
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