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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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Staying one step ahead of the IRS isn't easy for most small businesses. One wrong step—a forgotten form, a lost receipt—could invite Uncle Sam's wrath.

Q: I'm buying rental property with my brother for $425,000. Although we are joint owners with 50 percent ownership rights each, I'm putting $50,000 down, and he is putting down only $30,000. Will I be taxed on more of the rental income? S.S., via e-mail

Issue: Some state rules seem to clash with federal rules over whether you can require employees to accept pay via direct deposit.
Risk: By following your state law, in some ...

Request an itemized invoice from your attorney when updating your will as part of your estate plan.

In 2001, President Bush's tax cuts increased the amount of your estate that is exempt from federal estate taxes to an even $1 million. As part of that law, the estate-tax exemption level will jump again, this time to $1.5 million, starting Jan. 1, 2004.

With Jan. 1 approaching, you need to once again adjust your estate plan to reflect the higher exemption level. The first three pages of this issue provide strategies to help you take full advantage of the new law. It lays out different strategies for people with medium-size estates, larger estates and valuable homes. Read on, then meet with your estate-planning professional.

Next year's estate-tax exemption increase—from $1 million to $1.5 million—will prompt many people to tweak their estate plans. (See article above.) If you're meeting with your tax adviser about those topics, you should also review aspects of your estate plan that don't involve taxes.

Using a payroll service can streamline your business, but you (the employer) are ultimately responsible for paying federal taxes.

IRS UPDATE

by on December 1, 2003 12:00am
in Small Business Tax

More reason to avoid tax protester groups.

 

Expect IRS to budge little on tax bill 'compromise.'

If your company creates a side business, you'll definitely want to consider structuring it as a limited liability company (LLC) owned by you.

Frequently, a divorcing couple can't agree on which of them should claim the dependency exemptions for the children. If you can't decide, the court will do it for you. And that could yield the worst possible result for you.

If you plan to pack up and move after retirement, you'll probably weigh various factors when eyeing a landing spot, including climate, crime rate and recreational opportunities.

But here's another to put on the list: the state's tax structure.

Q: My neighbor went to a retirement planning seminar and talks about a new concept called "split annuities." Are split annuities tax-deferred like regular annuities? J.Z., Mayo, Fla.

The steadily falling mortgage interest rates of the last couple years are now edging back up. But if you refinanced this year, you probably didn't realize that claiming a bigger interest deduction on your 2003 tax return is possible, even if your overall mortgage payment is less than before.

Q: I've heard that I might pay tax on Social Security benefits because of the tax-free income earned by my IRAs and Roth IRAs. How can this be true? R.S., Eagle, Colo.

My husband and I divorced earlier this year. As part of the agreement, some of my ex-husband's IRA was transferred into my name. I was told that we both need to file a form that indicates a change of basis. But I thought this exchange was tax-free. How can I avoid the tax?

Q: In a recent article, you said the Section 179 equipment write-off is available for used SUVs. (See 10/20/03 issue.) When I was car shopping, I mentioned that to a few dealers, but they said the tax break was available only for new vehicles. Was your article correct? G.S., St. Paul, Minn.

Q: I am a self-employed contractor and take in about $90,000 a year from my business. You said the new maximum expensing allowance is now $100,000, so can I write off the entire cost of a new $30,000 piece of equipment if I buy it in December? M.W., Lynbrook, N.Y.

Issue: Benefit costs are rising, but you need to offer a competitive package to retain good workers.
Benefit: Voluntary benefits let you beef up your benefits without much additional cost. ...
Want to save your company some money, and look good in the process? Point out the tax incentives available if your company hires people from certain ...
Consider these stats: More than one-fourth of civil lawsuits filed last year were employment related, and the average jury award in employment cases is approaching ...
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