Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

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.

If H1N1 flu threatens to shut down businesses nationwide, employers are going to need contingency plans to make sure they keep running. Flexible work schedules, temporary shutdowns and telework can all help—but all have unexpected wage-and-hour implications. Here’s guidance from the Department of Labor on how to handle these tricky issues.

Q. My wife works part time as a teacher’s aide in an elementary school. Can she deduct any of her personal expenses for school as a miscellaneous itemized deduction?

Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz ...

If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) at work to pay for health care and/or dependent care expenses, remeber that any amount left over at the end of the year is forfeited, under the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule. Strategy: Squeeze every dollar out of your FSA before the year ends. You might even move up some nonemergency medical visits from 2010 to 2009.

Maybe you’ve acquired separate companies or you split off a subsidiary from your initial operation. In either event, you own two or more business entities on the books. Potential problem: If some of the employees work for more than one of the companies, you could be paying more employment tax than required. Strategy: Assign a “common paymaster” for payroll matters.

What will happen to the estate and gift-tax laws in the next few months? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. So focus on what you know now. Emphasize those estate-planning techniques that would seem to make sense no matter which way the wind blows. For instance, if you’ve started a lifetime gift-giving program, continue it.

First, set aside the stereotype that the federal bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional. Sure, it’s got plenty of faults. But Uncle Sam’s best-run agencies can actually teach private-sector employers a thing or two about HR. Here are eight lessons employers can learn from the biennial agency-by-agency ranking of federal employers:

The amount you transfer to a Section 529 plan for college savings on behalf of a beneficiary qualifies for the annual gift-tax exclusion. Strategy: Front-load your contributions to a Section 529 plan. The tax law allows you to give the equivalent of five years’ worth of contributions up front with no gift-tax consequences.

Your company may benefit from a special “bonus depreciation” deduction if it acquires business property this year. The bonus depreciation deduction is equal to 50% of the cost of qualified new (not used) assets placed in service in 2009. What’s more, you may be able to combine bonus depreciation with the Section 179 election.

When is your most diligent worker also your biggest lawsuit risk? Answer: When that nonexempt employee works through his or her lunch break or during other off-the-clock hours—a fact nobody realizes (or turns a blind eye to) until he or she sues for unpaid overtime.