Top Tax Deductions for Your Small Business

It’s simple: The more tax deductions your business can legitimately take, the lower its taxable profit will be. Also, in addition to putting more money into your pocket at the end of the year, the tax code provisions that govern deductions can also yield a personal benefit: a nice car to drive at a small cost, or a combination business trip and vacation. It all depends on paying careful attention to IRS rules on just what is — and isn’t — deductible.

When you’re totaling up your business’s expenses at the end of the year, don’t overlook these important business tax deductions.

1. Auto Expenses

If you use your car for business, or your business owns its own vehicle, you can deduct some of the costs of keeping it on the road. Mastering the rules of car expense deductions can be tricky, but well worth your while.  Read More

The Top 4 Cash Flow Forecasting Mistakes

Strong businesses have a solid handle on their financial reality, and the cash flow statement is an excellent, if not the best, measure of a company’s ability to generate cash in excess of cash invested. Over a sufficiently long period of time, all businesses have to generate positive cash flow or they will go out of business.

Forecasting the statement of cash flows is a valuable exercise for a business for several reasons. The most obvious is, without a forecast, the executive team has no way to measure success or failure against its targets. Additionally, going through each item will raise important questions for the financial oversight of the company, and it can be used to hone in on poor strategic or financial decisions and help shape strong management.  Read More

Best Tax Tips for 2015

By Dan Dzombak, Dan Caplinger, and Matthew Frankel

The U.S. tax code contains multiple ways to lower the amount of money you owe the government, but it is also constantly changing. We asked our Motley Fool tax experts what they think are the best tax tips for 2015. Here’s what they said.

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Dan Caplinger: One key thing taxpayers need to be aware of is that the penalties associated with not having sufficient health insurance coverage, either through private means or via the Affordable Care Act, are slated to increase dramatically this year. For 2014, taxpayers had to pay the greater of 1% of income earned above their tax filing threshold or their per-person penalty amount, which was $95 per adult and $47.50 per child to a maximum of $285 per family. Federal officials believe as many as 6 million people might be penalized under Obamacare this year, as they will lack the required coverage and fail to qualify for exemptions from the individual mandate.  Read More

Energy Star and WaterSense Products Are Tax-Free This Weekend

By: Kaufman Rossin Co.

Have you been eyeing a new stainless steel, French-door refrigerator? Thinking about upgrading your old washer and dryer for a water-saving, front-loading pair? Time to go shopping! This weekend you can save big on energy-efficient appliances and fixtures thanks to Florida’s new sales tax holiday.  Read More

New Rules for Section 174 Research and Experimentation Expenditures

By Louis-Oliver Guay, Kaufman Rossin Co.

In a boon for businesses conducting research and development, the IRS recently finalized taxpayer-favorable regulations on the deductibility of research and experimentation (R&E) expenses. The amendments to Section 174 of the Internal Revenue Code address the misconception that no material or labor costs incurred to develop a tangible property can qualify as R&E expenditures. Read More

Rules For Claiming Children And Relatives As Dependents

By: William Perez

Being able to claim a dependent on a tax return is tied to a number of tax-related benefits. Taxpayers can deduct an additional personal exemption for each dependent that they claim. Taxpayers who claim a dependent may also be eligible for the child tax credit, the child and dependent care tax credit, and the earned income tax credit. Taxpayers who are not married and who support a dependent may be eligible for the head of household filing status. Read more

Tax Planning for Getting Divorced

By the editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance., Updated February  2014

If you’re going through a divorce, the last thing you may have on your mind is  how the breakup will affect you and your ex-spouse on your next tax return. But  whether you’re structuring a property settlement, choosing how to split up  retirement savings or simply figuring out what your filing status is after you  part ways, we can help make the transition easier.

Filing Status

Couples who are splitting up but not yet divorced before the end of the year  still have the option of filing a joint return. It’s when your divorce decree  becomes final that you lose the joint return option. Your marital status as of  December 31 controls your filing status. If you can’t file a joint return for  the year, you can file as a head of household after your divorce (and get the  benefit of a bigger standard deduction and gentler tax brackets) if you had a dependent living with you for more than half the year and  you paid for more than half of the upkeep for your home. If your divorce is  still pending at year-end, you can either file a joint return (which is likely  to save you money) or choose the married-filing-separately status. Read More

Am I required to make 2014 federal quarterly estimated tax payments?

2014 Federal Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

 1. Am I required to make 2014 federal quarterly estimated tax payments?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to make quarterly estimated tax payments for calendar year 2014 if both of the following apply:

  • you expect to owe at least $1,000 in federal tax for 2014, after subtracting federal tax withholding and credits, and
  • you expect federal withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of: Read More

Tax Deadline Fast Approaching For Taxpayers Living Abroad

By: Kelly Phillips

Not all taxpayers had to file for extension if they weren’t ready on April 15: taxpayers who live abroad qualified for an automatic two-month extension to file their 2013 federal income tax returns. That means that those returns are due in just a few days, on Monday, June 16, 2014 (there’s an extra day to file since June 15 falls on a Sunday).

The automatic extension applies to any U.S. citizen or resident alien residing overseas, or those in the military on duty outside the U.S. The automatic two month extension allow you extra time to file your return and to pay any amount due without requesting an extension. That’s different from taxpayers who are physically in the U.S. on a few key points:  Read More

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

Originally Posted by  Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP

Deducting mortgage interest

In most cases, you can fully deduct your mortgage interest secured by your primary or secondary home. Beginning in 1987, mortgage interest to buy, build, or improve your home (acquisition debt) up to $1,000,000 or home equity loans up to $100,000 became tax deductible.

Points (also known as origination fees or discount points)

Generally, points paid to obtain a loan on your home or to reduce the interest rate can be fully deducted in the first year. You also have an option to deduct this amount over the life of the loan.  Read More

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