Some Folks Pay A Lot Less Tax Than Others On Very Same Income?Did You Pay Too Much Tax In 2004?

Someone once remarked, "Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is quite so satisfying as an income tax refund." There's no question that saving money in taxes is high on everybody's list of financial priorities, especially small-business owners.

Taxes are an inevitable - and painful - part of every business owner's life. But there are ways to reduce, if not eliminate, your company's tax burden if you know how to use business-expense tax deductions to your advantage.

Most business owners know they owe taxes only on their net business profit - that is, their total profits after they subtract their deductions. As a result, knowing how to take full advantage of your deductible business expenses can dramatically lower your taxable profits.

Here are the 3 mostly overlooked tax deductions:

1. Full home office write-off: The rules allowing a taxpayer to claim the home office deduction have been loosened, beginning January 1, 1999. No longer does the home office need to be the "principal place of business" for the taxpayer. The home office test can now be satisfied if the taxpayer uses the home office for "administration or management activities" and there is no other fixed location in which the taxpayer performs such activities for his business. The home office still must be used exclusively for business purposes to qualify. This will allow more taxpayers who conduct business outside of their office, but use their home to perform administrative tasks, to qualify for the home office deduction.

2. Writing off family medical expenses: This strategy is a little more complicated but is well worth the extra effort. To use this strategy, first you must hire a spouse or other trusted family member to work for your home or small business; either full-time or part-time status will work. Next, you need to set up and sign a medical reimbursement plan. You may need the advice of an accountant to help you with this. This plan allows any sole proprietor to convert all family out-of-pocket medical expenses into legitimate business deductions. Finally, your spouse or family member pays all out-of-pocket medical expenses for the family, keeping receipts and documenting miles driven for medical purposes. At a specified time, your business reimburses your spouse or family member for these expenses and deducts them as a business expense.

3. Writing off your child's college education expenses: If you frown at the high cost of a college education, this tax strategy is for you. You can put your child on the payroll of your business for performing office chores and other business-related tasks.

The most common way to utilize young children in your business is for them to provide cleaning services, or routine copying, filing and typing. These are jobs that even a 10-year-old is clearly capable of performing, and jobs that you'd arguably have to pay someone to do if your child were not available.

In 2005, a child can earn up to $5,000 and pay no federal income taxes on the earnings because of the standard deduction. Your business can deduct wages paid to your child-provided the amount is reasonable and for bona fide work. Bottom line: You'll escape federal income taxes of up to $5,000 of your business income, and if you are a sole proprietorship, you will eliminate self-employment tax on the income as well.

Any income your child earns over and above the $5,000 standard deduction is taxable at your child's rate. Since the 10% tax bracket extends to $6,000 for a single filer, your child could earn an additional $6,000 and owe just $600 of federal income tax on the money. Because your marginal tax rate is likely much higher, the extra money your child earns may result in family tax savings. Even better, if your business is not incorporated, you won't have to withhold or pay FICA (Social Security and Medicare) payroll taxes on the earnings of a child under age 18.

Salim Omar, CPA is author of the newly published book, Straight Talk About Small Business Success In New Jersey. He is a well-known tax and financial educator. More free information can be obtained from his website http://www.OmarGroupCPA.com

In The News:

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India's corporate tax rate now equals Singapore's after latest cut  LivemintIndia's reduction in the corporate tax rate to among Asia's lowest was welcomed by investors as a boon that may help spur economic growth and company profits ...
Are steps on personal income tax coming?  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: The sharp cut in corporate tax rate has triggered demand and speculation about more measures particularly on the personal income tax side.
Handset makers expect lower taxes to give fillip to R&D, manufacturing  Economic TimesKOLKATA|NEW DELHI|MUMBAI: Consumer electronics and handset makers such as LG, Xiaomi, Dixon Technologies and OnePlus said Friday's tax cuts will ...
Nifty, Sensex soar nearly 6% as government cuts taxes to prop up growth  India TodayIndian shares surged nearly 6% and were set for their best day in more than a decade after the government announced deep cuts in corporate taxes to revive ...
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Booster shot: Corporate tax is cut; now cut personal taxes  Times of IndiaThe headline corporate tax rate was cut yesterday through an ordinance by eight percentage points, to 22%. It's a bold step that seeks to unleash animal spirits ...
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Realtors hope tax cut will boost demand for residential properties  Business StandardDemand for residential properties will get a boost after the cut in corporation taxes, said top property developers and consultants. "Capital investment, which had ...
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Corporate tax cut to have 'minor' impact on fiscal deficit: Niti Aayog  Economic TimesMUMBAI: The Rs 1.45-lakh crore tax giveaway is unlikely to widen fiscal deficit much as the shortfall will be met through increased tax collections due to higher ...
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Companies will have the leeway to cut prices: Maruti’s Bhargava on tax relief  Livemint'Companies will now have the leeway to become more competitive in the market place'.'They can (if they want to) reduce prices or use any other measure to the ...
Tax cut for new plants to lure MNCs looking beyond China  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: With a lower tax rate for new manufacturers, the government is looking to attract investment flowing out of China following its trade dispute with the ...
India Inc says tax giveaways will revive their animal spirit  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Hailing the massive tax giveaways to corporates to the tune of Rs 1.45 lakh crore, industry captains said the decision will not only boost the economy ...
Corporate tax cut signals govt's shift towards radical reform; move ranks topmost among steps taken to...  FirstpostNirmala Sitharaman's bold move on corporate tax cut signals shift from baby steps to radical reform, precisely what the economy needed.
Burden of corporate tax cut will fall on common man: Congress  India TodayCongress Party has said that the burden of corporate tax cut announced by Modi Government on Friday will fall on the common man. Party spokesperson ...
Income tax department relaxes time for applying for compounding of offences  LivemintNEW DELHI : The income tax department has relaxed time for applying for compounding of income tax offences by launching of a one-time facility. The Central ...
Exemption from share buyback tax major relief to IT bigwigs  Economic TimesThe government, as part of the Budget, had announced a 20 per cent tax on share buyback by listed companies.
Effective tax outgo falls by 28% for biggies, by 13% for smaller firms  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: Bigger companies are set to benefit more from the corporate tax cuts as the effective tax for them will come down by up to 28 per cent. Smaller ...
Why bond mart turned bearish after corporate tax cut  Economic TimesMUMBAI: India's benchmark bond yield surged 24 basis points, pulling prices down, after finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced cuts in corporate ...
Good news for banks, earnings to rise up to 12 per cent after tax cut  The Financial ExpressRajiv Mehta, lead analyst-institutional equities, Yes Securities, said that the direct benefit of the massive tax cut would be to the extent of around 15% on ...
New Income-tax law – third time lucky?  Moneycontrol.comHimanshu Parekh. The current Income-tax Act, enacted in 1961, is nearly six decades old. With time, there have been a plethora of amendments making it a ...
Tax cuts: SBI pegs India Inc's saving at Rs 50K cr; prices falling 2-5%  MoneycontrolThe government unexpected move to massively slash corporate taxes by over 10 percentage points will result in savings of over Rs 50,000 crore to India Inc, ...
Mobile phone industry welcomes tax cut, says policy boost could production to $190 billion target by 2025  MoneycontrolThe mobile phone industry has reason to cheer as the Finance Ministry's tax cut and policy initiative is set to help boost production to $190 billion by 2025, ...
View: Corporate tax cut - A step towards global competitiveness  Economic TimesIt will be prudent to temper euphoria with scepticism. People are unlikely to rush to car showrooms to buy their favourite vehicle just because Indian companies ...
Exclusive: Bold move, will help economy, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das reacts on corporate tax rate cuts  India TodayReserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das praised the government for its "bold" move to slash corporate tax rates in a bid to boost the ailing Indian ...
Opinion | You may not get tax refund if you haven’t validated your bank account  LivemintHave you received your refund for the income tax return that you filed last year? If you have still not received it, that's probably on account of the fact that there is ...
Rahul links tax cuts to Narendra Modi’s U.S. visit  The HinduWhat is needed is a large dose of public investment to create employment and increase people's purchasing power, says CPI(M)
Reduced corporate tax rates likely to bode well for consumer goods firms  LivemintThe government slashed the basic corporate tax rate to 22% from 30% benefitting companies, while for new manufacturing companies it has been cut down to ...
FMs tax cuts: Reduction in MAT to benefit IT companies in Gift City  Business StandardCompanies providing IT-enabled services in Gift city will benefit following today's announcement on the reduction in Minimum Alternative Tax. Union Finance ...
Tax task force recommends new tax slabs for individuals  India TodayA government constituted Direct Tax Code task force, headed by CBDT member Akilesh Ranjan, is arguing for a new tax regime for individuals. It has proposed ...
‘Tax cuts may not boost investment’  The HinduWhile corporate India is cheering the cut in tax rates, announced by the government, economists are saying mere reduction in levies will not result in increased ...
Bank stocks seen top beneficiaries of corporate tax cut  LivemintIndia's bank stocks will be the biggest beneficiaries of Prime Minster Narendra Modi's move to slash the corporate tax rate to among the lowest in Asia, according ...
Young People Are Starving for Classes on Finance, Tips on Taxes  BloombergGen Z is veering into the world of student loans, first apartments and financial burdens -- and they're hungry for help in figuring it all out. Three out of four recent ...
Portugal Could Be a Tax Haven — Not Only for Crypto Traders  CointelegraphThe Portugal Tax Authority (PTA) announced last month that cryptocurrency trading and payments in crypto would not be subject to value-added tax (VAT).
In Pics | Here's what RBI Governor, business leaders said about FM Nirmala Sitharaman's corporate tax cut  Moneycontrol.comFrom RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das to HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh, here's who India Inc reacted to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcement ...
CBDT launches one-time facility for compounding of income tax offences  Economic TimesA one-time facility to apply for compounding of income tax offences has been launched and taxpayers can avail this opportunity by December 31, a latest CBDT ...
India GST panel likely to recommend tax cuts on 20-25 products - sources  Economic TimesThe panel, comprising state finance ministers and the federal finance minister as the chair, will shortly meet to decide on reducing tax rates to boost growth.
Too many taxes, anti-rich mindset need to go for economy to be back on its feet  Times of IndiaThe economy is in bad shape. There is no more debate about it. With a second innings of a super-stable government, we should be looking at a double-digit ...
Taxing wealth at lower rate than income is wrong, says thinktank  The GuardianThe government could gain £90bn in extra revenue over five years if it taxed income from wealth in the same way it taxes income from work, according to a ...
A wealth tax could totally remake charity in the United States  Vox.comIn the past year, a massive, predominantly left-wing backlash to mega-philanthropy has broken out. Writers like Anand Giridharadas, Rob Reich, and Rutger ...
Firms may save $1 billion from buyback tax exemption  Economic TimesMore than 70 companies had announced or completed buybacks totaling $5.2 billion before July 5.
Taxes are the least of Elizabeth Warren's 'Medicare for All' problems  CNBCDemocratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has been given more than one opportunity over the past two weeks to clarify her response to a key question ...
Is interest paid on foreign home loan tax-deductible in India?  Moneycontrol.comInterest on housing loan paid outside India can be claimed as a deduction in calculating income from house property, only if some important conditions are met.
New corporate tax rates give companies flexibility to choose between tax structures: Seshagiri Rao, JSW Steel  Moneycontrol.comDepending on its capex cycle, a company can choose between existing tax rates with payment of MAT or, the reduced corporate tax.
Google will pay over $1 billion after French investigation over dodged taxes  The VergeGoogle has agreed to pay a $550 million fine to settle an investigation in France over its tax practices, Reuters reports.
Government to tweak Income Tax Act, won’t replace it with direct tax code  MoneycontrolNEW DELHI : The government is unlikely to replace the Income Tax Act with the direct tax code, and will only incorporate select suggestions from the draft law to ...
New income tax rule on insurance maturity proceeds: 5 things to know  LivemintThe new income tax rule on receipt of maturity benefits from insurance policy came into effect from 1st September.A higher TDS will be levied if the insurance ...
Nirmala Sitharaman press conference highlights: Corporate tax relief to help stabilise economy, says Tech Mahindra's Gurnani  Moneycontrol.comAddressing her fourth press conference to revive the economy, the FM announced a cut in the corporate tax rate for domestic companies and new domestic ...
Sensex sheds 3.5% in 4 days on concerns over slowdown, lower tax mop-up  LivemintMumbai: Indian equities fell over 1% on Thursday as investors remained concerned over slowing consumer demand and lower-than-targeted tax collection.
Income tax benefits on costs of education under Section 80E to Section 80  LivemintThe Income Tax Act allows tax benefits for a loan taker for higher education when certain conditions are met.Tax benefits have been laid down under Section ...
Federal judge halts California law forcing Trump to release tax returns to qualify for ballot  CNNA federal judge has ordered a temporary injunction against the California law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to secure a spot on ...
Tax cut seen making domestic firms more competitive globally  LivemintMove to tax new manufacturing firms set up after 1 Oct at 15% is expected to strengthen the MSME sector.The move is likely to help the Centre achieve the target ...
Realtors likely to offer incentives to spur demand as base corporate tax rate reduced to 22%  Economic TimesMumbai: The government's decision to reduce corporate tax base rate to 22% is expected to provide real estate developers a buffer to offer further incentives ...
No input tax credit on long-term land lease: Firms drag Centre, state to HC  Business StandardThe Rajasthan High Court (HC) has agreed to hear companies, which have challenged a provision that denies input tax credit (ITC) under goods and services ...
Is it time to switch income tax with a sales tax?  The GuardianIs it time for the US to consider switching from income tax to a progressive consumption tax as a way of addressing growing wealth inequality? Many economists ...
7 changes in income tax laws that come into effect from Sept 1  Economic TimesHere is the list of the seven main changes in tax laws that will come into effect from September 1.
Government needs to clarify on angel tax exemption, tax capital gains alike: Mohandas Pai  Economic TimesBENGALURU: Venture capitalist TV Mohandas Pai has urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to treat capital gains from both unlisted and listed ...
Welcome tax cuts but for the wrong persons!  The Financial ExpressFew firms will invest till there is a strong demand-revival. that needed a cut in income tax rates; the fm has frittered away money on corporates & the ultra-rich.
Corporation tax cut a big positive, but demand recovery may take time  Business StandardThe finance minister's announcement on Friday brought cheer to stock market participants and gave a boost to the broader markets, which recorded their highest ...
Tax bonanza will prove to be a game-changer: Anil Agarwal, Vedanta  Economic TimesThe tax level has been brought to global level and on the top of it, incentives have been given for the new industry. This will give boost to the sentiment, says Anil ...

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