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IRS Installments: Deal or No Deal?

The IRS recently issued final regulations covering procedures for arranging installment agreements.

Protecting Your Business from Embezzlement

Be both proactive and reactive It seems that every other day the newspapers feature a story where a longtime employee has embezzled money from his or her employer. You may sadly shake your head and blithely continue to go about your business. After all, this cannot happen to you ... can it?

Six Estate-planning Steps for This Year

Giving your estate plan a check-up The scheduled one-year repeal of the federal estate tax in 2010, plus the related changes in the federal estate- and gift-tax system, have certainly clouded estate-planning matters this year. It is expected that Congress will eventually take some legislative action, but that does not mean you should stand by idly. It is important to have your estate plan reviewed to ensure it still meets your objectives and that it is positioned to accommodate future developments.

Sweep Away "Nanny Tax" Concern

How to avoid employment tax penalties If you employ a household worker, such as someone to watch young children, you may be liable for the so-called "nanny tax." However, you can sidestep any dire tax consequences if you pay close attention to the rules.

Combining a Business Trip with a Vacation

How to secure business travel tax breaks With the warmer weather approaching, you may be looking to spend some time at the beach, on the golf course or just relaxing by the pool. If you can add a few days of vacation onto a business trip, so much the better. Besides saving money, you may qualify for some generous tax breaks.

Facts and Figures

Timely points of particular interest *COBRA Subsidies--A new defense appropriations law extends the 65% COBRA subsidy for unemployed workers.

Nailing Down the Manufacturing Deduction

Higher deduction available in 2010 Despite its nickname, the so-called "manufacturing deduction" is not necessarily limited to traditional manufacturing companies, although those firms are certainly eligible for the write-off. It is available to more businesses than you may think. If your company qualifies, it can claim a new "high point" deduction for 2010.

New Case Allows Deduction for Business Education

Tax Court approves write-off for advanced degree No matter how old you are, you can still learn to do your job better. For example, you might take a refresher course to stay on top of the latest developments in your field. Or you may enroll in a curriculum that will start you toward a new career.

That's the Way the Cookies Crumble

Pros and cons of computer technology A lot has been said and written in recent years about computer "cookies." Much of it is misleading or confusing. In actuality, the ramifications of cookie technology can be positive, negative or neutral.

When Romantic Tension Is in the Air

Romantic or sexual tension between workers may boil over in the workplace. When that happens, your company may fire one of the workers.

A Complete View of Homeowners Insurance

When you may need supplemental coverage To protect yourself financially against catastrophes to your house, you may rely on coverage from your homeowners insurance policy. But don't think that a bare-bones policy is sufficient in every case. You may be surprised to learn that damage from certain events is not covered under your policy. Or, even if a particular event is not excluded, you still may have to pay for some losses on your own.

Do You Qualify for Hobby Loss Deductions?

Analyze tax factors for sideline activities For many individuals, a personal passion can turn into a money-making endeavor. It makes a big tax difference if the activity is treated as a business or a hobby.

Facts and Figures

Timely points of particular interest *No Apology--In a prior case, the Tax Court ruled that a taxpayer could deduct the full amount of alimony claimed on his 2004 return.

How to Choose Your Business Successor

Practical ideas for picking the next leader Say you have spent most of your adult life building a small start-up business into a thriving company. At long last, you may be preparing to step away from the business or at least scale back your heavy workload. After all, you deserve it.

Joining Together to Support a Relative

Use a special agreement for tax benefits When does the sum of the parts equal more than the whole? One time is when using a "multiple support agreement" to salvage a dependency exemption.

New Turns in Standard Mileage Rates

The IRS recently announced the standard mileage rates drivers may use in 2010 instead of keeping all the detailed records required for deductible travel. The rates either declined or stayed the same.

Computer Protection: Call a Traffic Cop

Install network firewall to filter Internet data Security is increasingly becoming a major component of running a small business. This need has been complicated by technological advances in recent years. In particular, you cannot run the risk that unscrupulous computer hackers might "steal" your company's proprietary information.

Do You Need Extra Time to File?

Due to your personal circumstances, you may not be able to complete your 2009 federal tax return on time. But fear not: You can still request a filing extension.

Facing Options on an Inherited IRA

Several choices available to beneficiaries Did you recently inherit a traditional IRA? The tax rules in this area can be perplexing, especially since you are likely to be emotional over the passing of a loved one. Take a deep breath and consider the options.

Facts and Figures

Timely points of particular interest *Tax Formula--The tax law does not allow medical deductions for expenses that benefit an individual's general health

Giving Gifts of Property to Charity

Avoid tax pitfalls on noncash donations Despite recent changes requiring stricter substantiation of monetary gifts to charity, the tax rules are pretty straightforward when you write out a check or charge a donation by credit card. In general, you can deduct the full amount of your charitable donation in the year in which you make the gift.
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