Year End Tax Planning Strategies for Small Business

The Small Business Administration reports that small businesses pay average effective tax rates ranging from about 13.3 percent for sole proprietorships to 26.9 percent for S corporations. How can you reduce your company's effective tax rate? Proactive owners address tax planning before year end. Check out these four legitimate maneuvers to lower your company's 2014 tax bill.

Are You Ready to Play the Charitable Giving Game?

Qualified charitable contributions support worthy, recognized causes. They can also lower taxes if you play by the IRS rules. A recent U.S. Tax Court case reminds taxpayers about the strict substantiation requirements. This article also discusses charitable giving trends, including a surprising income-giving gap, a decline in corporate donations, and the most (and least) generous places to live.

Answers to Your Questions About Wage Garnishment

Many creditors have turned to wage garnishments to recoup debts that mounted during the recession. In this article, we discuss a recent study on the prevalence of wage garnishment, as well as the convoluted, sometimes conflicting, federal and state laws that employers must follow when they garnish employee wages. We'll also tell you about some of the most (and least) debtor-friendly places to live in the United States.

Business Travel Per Diems May Simplify Expense Reporting

Are you tired of keeping detailed records to substantiate business travel expenses? The IRS offers simplified methods for reimbursing employees' out-of-town lodging, meals and incidental expenses that may be worthwhile for some companies. This article discusses government-approved per diem rates, the mechanics of the high-low method and changes that go into effect for travel starting on October 1, 2014.

Investing in College: Tax Credits and Other Tips to Maximize Your Return

College costs have skyrocketed in recent years, causing many people to question whether the benefits outweigh the costs. A recent study shows that the value of a college degree has been steady since the 1990s. Here is an overview of the costs and benefits of pursuing higher education, including the lowdown on two tax credits that may improve your return on investment.

Award Points: What's Includable in Taxable Income?

Suppose you receive reward points for keeping a minimum balance in your bank account. Do you need to claim income on your tax return when you redeem the points for prizes? A recent Tax Court case reminds taxpayers of the broad scope of items that should be reported in taxable income. This article explains the facts of the case and reviews the rules for employers planning to give holiday gifts to employees.

Could the Tech Industry's Delectable Food Policies Take a Tax Hit?

If you've seen the movie, The Internship, you know that some tech companies offer employees free food. Recently, there's been speculation that the tax benefit of providing such perks could be in jeopardy. This was after the IRS stated it would update guidance related to employer-supplied meals. Without free snacks and meals, the landscape of the tech industry could change. Here are the tax rules and the IRS statement.

Answers to Your Questions about Corporate Tax Inversions

Corporate tax inversions are not new, but they're gaining popularity among some well-known brands. They have recently appeared in the headlines after Burger King announced its intention to buy Tim Hortons, a Canadian chain of more than 3,600 restaurants that sells coffee, donuts and other items. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about corporate inversions.


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