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Recent Feature Headlines


April 2015

A Cruise Makes a Fabulous Vacation—and a Fabulous Tax Deduction If You Plan It Right

Do you have an upcoming business trip? Wouldn’t it be nice to travel there on a cruise ship and reach your destination fully revitalized? Surprisingly, tax law allows you to treat your cruise vacation as a business transportation expense, which means you can deduct most or all of the cost.


Spy on Your Competitors, Discover Ways to Improve Your Business, and Write Off the Whole Expense!

Have you ever visited a competing business as a customer to see how its operations stack up to yours? With the right documentation, you can fully deduct the costs of this research into your rival—even the amount you pay for their products or services—as business expenses.


Slash Employment Taxes: Take Three Steps Before Hiring Workers

You save employment taxes when you hire workers as independent contractors. But you want to make certain that the workers are indeed contractors, or you could subject yourself to some expensive tax penalties. In this article, we show you three steps to independent contractor status for your workers.


Don’t Let Expense Report Blunders Trigger Unnecessary Taxes, Punishing You and Your Employees

If you reimburse your employees for business expenses, or if you operate your business as an S or a C corporation, it’s crucial that you know and follow the IRS accountable plan rules—this will save money not only for you but also for your employees. We’ll give you two easy-to-use tools that will help you seamlessly incorporate these rules into your business routine.


Legally Escape the 50 Percent Tax on Goodwill Value When You Sell or Liquidate Your Corporation

If you own a corporation, you need to plan in advance for the eventual sale or liquidation of your corporation—even if you do not expect either to happen anytime soon. In particular, the planning you do regarding your business goodwill could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax savings.


Don’t Settle for a 50 Percent Write-Off on Employee Lunches: Here’s How to Snag 100 Percent

Through a simple two-step process, you can fully deduct the cost of meals you provide to your employees. That’s right—this strategy helps you avoid the dreaded 50 percent reduction for entertainment expenses. But be careful when you use this strategy—your business may need to classify your meal differently from the meals for non-owner employees.


How to Beat the Absurd New IRS Rule on Taxable Reimbursements of Employee Health Insurance

The IRS just launched its latest attack on your reimbursements for individually purchased health insurance: Even fully taxable reimbursements could still violate the Obamacare rules and expose you to the $100-per-day penalties. But don’t worry. We’ll give you several strategies to beat this new rule.




March 2015

Big News: IRS Undoes the $100-a-Day Obamacare Penalty and Overtaxation of Your Employees

Whether or not you complied with Obamacare last year, we have some big news for you. It’s no problem, compliance or not, and either way the news is big for two reasons. First, if you failed Obamacare compliance in 2014, the IRS likely just released you from the monstrous $100-a-day penalty. Second, if you did it right, you may have overtaxed your employees and now, with the new IRS guidance, you can undo that overtaxation.


Last-Minute News from the IRS—S Corporation Owners Are Safe from Obamacare Penalties through 2015

A November 2014 FAQ from the Department of Labor created quite a scare for S corporation owners, raising the possibility of huge Affordable Care Act (ACA) penalties simply for deducting your health insurance premiums according to IRS guidelines. However, a recent IRS notice explains how you can now safely avoid these penalties and claim your rightful deductions.


Don’t Overlook the New Law That Allows Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Retroactively to 2014

Lawmakers did it again. They retroactively reinstated a number of so-called extender laws, including those tax-favored Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation deductions. Did you buy vehicles and equipment last year? If so, this new law can make you smile, as this article shows it did for Harry Spencer.


Stop Taxes before They Happen by Shrewdly Planning the Trade-In or Sale of Your Business Vehicle

Before you sell or trade your business vehicle, take a minute to think. The actions you take now could come back to haunt you at tax time. You could be creating extra tax for yourself or missing out on tax losses that you could use to offset other income. We’ll tell you what you need to know to be sure you make the right decision.


Hire Your Kids to Work in Your LLC or Sole Proprietorship and Put a Huge Chunk of Their Pay Back in Your Pocket

If you put your kids to work in your business, you can use their compensation to create nice tax savings for yourself. This strategy lets you spend time with your children during the workday and teach them valuable lessons about working life—as well as valuable lessons about money and tax planning.


Write Off Your Clothing and Laundry Expenses without Giving All Employees the Same Privilege

In a previous edition of the Tax Reduction Letter, we explained how you get business deductions for the cost and laundry expenses of work clothes you buy for yourself and your employees. This update explains how you still get your full deduction even if you do not provide this benefit to all employees.


Stop Payroll Tax Embezzlement Before It’s Too Late—and Before It Costs You Your Business

Trust, but verify. That’s the motto you should have when it comes to your payroll tax payments. You likely have a professional or business associate take care of your tax filing and payments. But you could save yourself a lot of trouble down the road by knowing how to verify that your trusted associate has done what he or she claimed to do.




February 2015

How to Squeeze Even More Tax Savings from Your Charitable Donations: Treat Them as Business Expenses

Giving to charity is a noble act no matter how you choose to give. But for purposes of tax savings, some forms of giving are much more beneficial to you than others. As a business owner, you can turn your charitable contribution into a business expense. While this does not change anything from the charity’s perspective, this hugely increases your tax savings.


Your Daily Commute Is Not Deductible—Unless You Do One of These Three Things

Your trip from home to the office each day certainly feels like part of your workday, but it’s not—at least according to the IRS. Unless you fall into certain exceptions, your commute creates personal mileage, which is not deductible. But there’s a solution, and it’s so easy that if you don’t do it, you’re simply giving money to the government that you could keep for yourself.


Don’t Let Income Limits Block Your Roth IRA Contributions: Build an Even Larger Retirement Stash

Would you like to use a Roth IRA for your retirement investments, even though you make too much money to contribute to the account directly? You can. Congress has “accidentally on purpose” created loopholes to allow even high-income earners to contribute to Roth retirement accounts. But you can’t contribute directly. You have to bring your money in through the back door.


Did You Buy a 2014 Business Vehicle in Your Personal Name? To Protect Your S Corp’s Deductions, Use This Smart Strategy

As the sole shareholder of your S corporation, you may face a situation where you need to purchase a business vehicle in your personal name rather than through the corporation. When this happens, you need to do some tax planning or you could miss out on beneficial business deductions, such as Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation.


Make Your Company Party More Fun: Find Thousands More in Legal Tax Deductions!

Lawmakers may not always make your life easy, but at least you know they want you to have fun every now and then. The tax code gives you a 100 percent deduction for the parties that you throw for your employees—as long as you invite the right kind of employees.


Deduct More of Your Rental Property Losses by Qualifying as a Real Estate Professional—Even If You Don’t Work in Real Estate!

Your rental property is worth more to you than simply the generation of rental income. Your property may also create tax losses that you can use to offset your income from other sources. It’s not as easy as it used to be to make your rental property a legal tax shelter, but you can still do this if you put in the right number of hours toward the right type of work.


How C-Corporation Owners Can Pay Zero Taxes on Gains: Tax Law Allows a Windfall “Wait to Sell” Strategy

2015 is the first year that stockowners can sell their C corporation stock completely tax free under Section 1202 of the tax code. If you started a C corporation or purchased stock recently and you qualify for this rule, you need to determine the date you acquired the stock and wait five years before you sell. This waiting period could save you thousands and even potentially millions of dollars in taxes.




January 2015

Deduct the Shirt off Your Back—Yes, Here’s How You Can Legally Write Off Your Clothing and Laundry Expenses!

Sometimes it feels like the IRS wants everything from you, including the shirt off your back. At the Tax Reduction Letter, our team of researchers works every day to find ways to protect you from government overreach. We’ll be sure to help you keep your money—and even give you a deduction for that shirt on your back! Read this article to find out when the IRS allows you to deduct the clothes you wear in your business.


Three Rules for Contributing to Your Employees’ Health Savings Accounts and Beating the Dreaded 35 Percent Discrimination Tax

If you discriminate when you contribute to the health savings accounts (HSAs) of your employees, the IRS will make you pay a 35 percent tax on the total amount of your contributions. This tax can add up quickly, and if you have to pay it, you’ll kick yourself when you discover you can escape the tax entirely by following the three rules in this article.


Did You Miss Your S-Corporation Election Deadline—and Thousands in Employment Tax Savings? No Worries—Do It Now!

If you want to file your taxes for last year (2014) as an S corporation for the first time, you might be surprised to discover that the deadline to elect S corporation status has long passed. But if you didn’t file your election in time, don’t despair. By following the rules in this article, you can retroactively create your S corporation well after the deadline and get the full benefit of your tax savings.


Five Rules for Turning Your Vacation—Even a Luxurious One—into Tax-Deductible Business Travel

The next time you plan a vacation, stop and think about how you could make it deductible. If you find a good business reason to visit that destination and you throw in enough business hours on the trip, you suddenly convert a nondeductible personal trip into a deductible business expense.


Use This Forgotten Tax Technique to Increase Deductions on Your Vacation or Other Home

Twenty years after the Tax Court approved a strategy that grants you extra deductions for your second home, the IRS would like you to forget it ever happened. Even though the case remains current law, you won’t find any mention of this strategy in IRS guidance to taxpayers. Unless you just happened to know old cases—or read this article—you might never have known how you could save thousands in taxes on your second home.


How to Deduct Your Swimming Pool and Other Home Improvements as Medical Expenses—All Legal If You Do It Right

If your doctor recommends that you buy equipment for your health, pay attention. First of all, you should follow your doctor’s orders. But just as important, you may be able to deduct some or all of the cost. This article explains how the one-owner businessperson is in the best possible position to deduct the cost of medical equipment.


Slash Taxes When Rolling Over Your 401(k) Funds: Use This IRA Double-Win Strategy

The IRA double-win strategy allows you to get a tax benefit when you first contribute to your retirement plan and then again when you withdraw the money. This article reviews how the strategy works and answers some member questions we received regarding the process.