By month:July 2012
Whether you use the IRS mileage method or actual expense method, you need to know business and personal miles. Business miles either increase your deduction directly or increase your percentage for the actual expense method. Regardless of your choice of entity, incorporated or not, this article gives you one sure way to increase business miles and reduce personal miles.
The IRS recognizes deductible business travel using the “overnight rule.” In other words, to have a deductible business travel day, you must be away from home long enough to stay overnight or require sleep or rest. Once this rule is in play, special circumstances can make weekends, holidays, and other personal days tax deductible. This article puts the many travel-day circumstances in an easy-to-use flowchart so that you can save tax dollars on your combined personal and business trips.
As you know from last month’s article, the self-rental rules can catch you unaware and alter your rental property tax benefits. You can solve the self-rental problems by eliminating the rental and having your business own the building. That’s one solution. This article gives you a second solution that you might like better. Here, we show you how to qualify for a special election that allows you to treat your rental and your business as one activity for federal tax purposes. This can give you the best of both worlds: (1) legal protection and (2) tax shelter.
Changes in the tax law cause tax-law casualties. If you are the casualty, that’s bad. But if the IRS is the casualty and you are the beneficiary, that’s good. That’s what happened with antiques, and it could happen with a paperweight made of gold.
Is your receipt of a life insurance death benefit tax free to you? For income tax purposes, the likely answer is yes. But when you get into the estate, the answers are (1) maybe, (2) no, or (3) yes, depending on who the recipient is and what type of planning has taken place. Life insurance planning is important now because the current $5.12 million exemption from estate taxes expires on December 31, 2012, and lawmakers slotted the 2013 exemption at $1 million and increased the tax rate from 35 to 55 percent.
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