Small Business Tax Strategies — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 238
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Small Business Tax Strategies

I use a corporate credit card to pay
business expenses, including inventory items. I’ve racked up a lot of
reward points that I’ll use for both business travel and personal
travel. Do these points count as taxable income? J.W
.

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I headed up a freelance-consulting
project last year in which I subcontracted out part of the work. Now 
I’ve received a 1099 for the full amount paid for the project. Do I
have to pay tax on the whole amount? L.W.C., Modesto, Calif.

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If you’re a high-end taxpayer with a low tolerance for tax pain, you’d be wise to check out a new mutual fund product from Wall Street.

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A major 2004 tax-law change put some real teeth into the “constructive receipt” rules for nonqualified deferred-compensation plans. In short, it set new requirements for employees to be able to postpone federal income tax on future payments earmarked for them under deferred-comp plans.

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If you use (or plan to use) Section 529 college savings plans, take note: A few small changes buried in a new law could help you save even more in those tax-advantaged college-savings vehicles.

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The IRS just released official guidance on the 2005 energy-tax law that revamps the type of tax credits you can earn for buying environmentally friendly vehicles. (IRS Notice 2006-9)

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Business owners frequently clash with the IRS over whether workers should be considered employees or independent contractors. You face a higher tax burden when workers are considered employees. To help you determine a worker’s classification,use this 20-question test, which has evolved from various court cases and IRS rulings over the years. Most questions relate to the degree of control that you exert over the worker.

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It’s tough to qualify for a medical-expense deduction, but it’s not impossible. The law says you can deduct any unreimbursed medical and dental expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). But don’t give up so quickly. You may be able to squeeze out a deduction this year if you incur some out-of-the ordinary costs. Here are three ways to jump the hurdle in 2006:

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Sadly, the bonus depreciation rules have expired. That means you’re stuck with regular depreciation deductions under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), which requires you to write off business equipment over several years. Don’t despair. You still have the Section 179 deduction privilege on your side. And, when used correctly, this not-so-secret tax weapon can help you rescue big current-year write-offs … at least for now.

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Last January, Congress voted to let businesses and taxpayers deduct donations for Asian-tsunami relief on their 2004 returns as long as they made the donation by Jan. 31, 2005.

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