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. Our small company is rehiring a couple of workers we laid off. Can we claim the HIRE Act payroll tax exemption for these employees?

Under Section 179, you can currently deduct up to $250,000 of assets placed in service in 2010. But not every business can benefit. You may have to write off assets over the regular depreciation period. Strategy: Time equipment purchases to suit your needs. Usually, you’ll fare better tax-wise by placing assets into service before Oct. 1. But, surprisingly, you might maximize your deductions after the Sept. 30 deadline.

Thanks to the new health care legislation, you can keep older children on your company health care plan for a longer period of time. The IRS has released temporary regulations clarifying the new rules. The new rules may alleviate your concerns about children who recently graduated college or moved out of the home without adequate coverage of their own.

Pamela Anderson shares something in common with a few fellow celebrity contestants on a recent season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” At least three others also have made headlines for being in hot water with the tax authorities. Interesting question: Is this a coincidence or do celebrities go on the show to earn money to pay their taxes?

Work is usually a “family affair” for small business owners. Typically, your spouse will pitch in whenever and wherever help is needed. Strategy: Officially put your spouse on the company payroll. If you employ a previously unemployed spouse, your company may be eligible for the new HIRE Act tax breaks. But even if you don’t qualify for the HIRE breaks, there are at least six potential tax benefits for the taking.
The IRS has posted answers to some frequently asked questions about taxes relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Key point: Any payments received for lost business income or profits are subject to tax because the funds are replacing income that would otherwise be taxable.
Q. For the first time ever, I plan to attend a stockholders’ meeting at a distant location. Can I deduct the travel costs?

If you’re the sole owner of an S corporation, you call the shots. So you can set the salary figures for all employees, including yourself, as long as you stay within the law’s boundaries. Strategy: Keep your annual salary on the low side. At year’s end, you can pay yourself dividends out of profits. Why would you skimp on your own salary? You avoid employment taxes on cash distributions from your company.

Q. Currently, we require each individual employee to fill out his or her own time sheet. But we’re considering a new format that lists all employees on one time sheet. Is this legal? Or should each employee’s time sheet be kept confidential?

The monumental new health care legislation imposes a new Medicare tax on investment income collected by high-income individuals. However, the new tax doesn’t kick in until 2013. Strategy: Plan ahead to reduce or avoid this extra tax. Conversely, if you wait a couple of years to make your moves, it may be too late. Here are five long-term ideas: