Tax Services Honolulu HI
Tucker Wealth Management, Inc.
Education: BBA, High Honors Accounting, University of Hawaii; Juris Doctor, William S. Richardson School of Law
Years of Experience: 28
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Pearl City, HI
Advantage Group, LLC
Years of Experience: 27
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Tax Saving Strategies
It's Not What Your Business Makes That Counts — It's What You Get To Keep!
By Patrick Astre
There are two things in life you don’t want to watch closely as they’re made; the first is sausages, the second is tax laws. While death and taxes are inevitable, death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. The constant push-pull of special interests, partisan, and “pork barrel” politics left us with an income tax system that is convoluted and overly complex.
There are a great number of tax-saving opportunities available to business owners. Sad to say, many of these opportunities are not well known and often ignored even by tax planners, CPAs and attorneys. By not using them, you will have “volunteered” to pay more taxes.
Let’s get one thing out in the open at the get-go: Everything this article covers is legal, audit-tested, and rooted well within the IRC (Internal Revenue Code.) So let’s get started so you can keep more of that hard-earned money from your business.
There are plenty of business tax savings in the system without resorting to illegal strategies that can come back to bite you. Stay away from tax evasion schemes. Here are a few legitimate strategies you can implement now:
• Rent part of your home to your business. Many business owners use part of their homes for business, second office, storage, etc., and yet those expenses are not deducted. Determine the portion of your home that is used for business, and rent it to your corporation or LLC. Rent should be reasonable and average for your area. You must report the income on Schedule E of your personal tax return (1040), but you will apply a percentage of deductions against that income such as utilities, home insurance, maintenance, and depreciation, etc. that you cannot use otherwise.
• Don’t fear the home office deduction. If you operate as a sole proprietor, you cannot rent part of your home to yourself; however, you can use the home office deduction. A court ruling in the late ‘80s resulted in that deduction being outlawed and denied to many businesses. Legislation two years later overturned this ruling and restored the deduction. Home office deductions are legitimate and allowed by the IRC. As in all deductions, be sure to keep documentation to back it up.
• Don’t neglect business use of your automobile. Simply because you don’t use your car often in your business, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deduct the amount that you do use. Keep a log of your business mileage, reimburse yourself by using the IRS mileage rate, and deduct it on your business tax return. Do not include commute to and from your business, and make sure to document the business reason for auto usage.
• Make your spouse part owner (shareholder) of your Sub S Corporation. A recent tax court ruling held that any money paid sole shareholders of “S” corporations from the business must be taken as payroll. That’s because “S” distributions are not subject to payroll taxes, and the...