Small Business Taxes - Free Enterprise

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When the holidays roll around, many companies that aren't in retail or consumer services face a major slowdown in business. For companies that are not overrun with holiday shoppers, the holidays are a great time to consider doing some marketing. One popular marketing tool is the customer a gift.

While businesses may be loathe to spend money on gifts for customers, doing so can actually serve an additional purpose besides just marketing. For businesses, customers gifts are tax deductible (only to an extent, of course).

If you thought that having employees based overseas might save you a few bucks come tax time, think again. As a general rule, U.S. social security and Medicare taxes still apply to any wages earned as an employee outside of the United States.

There are, however, some exceptions to that general rule, and the IRS has recently issued an update to its FICA rules for employees of American companies working abroad. Here's what you need to know.

Even if you remember to declare the pennies on your eyes, an IRS tax lien can have a significant impact on your business. If you owe money to the IRS or state tax board, and are behind in making payments, the IRS or state tax collector can put a tax lien on your business assets. Having a tax lien can prevent your business from selling assets, or getting new lines of credit, and could potentially affect existing lines of credit.

A tax lien operates just like any other lien except that the debt owed that creates the lien is due to unpaid taxes. If you ignore the lien, the IRS may levy your assets in order to satisfy the debt. Below are the three ways that you can get rid of your business's tax lien.

Taxation and Representation: What Your Tax Bracket Reveals

If tax rates are determined relative to a person's income and assets, then you'd think everyone would want to be in the top bracket. The more you pay in taxes, theoretically, the more money you must be making, and owing the Internal Revenue Service a lot should be considered a sign of success.

But in reality people and businesses try to pay the least they can in taxes. For example, Donald Trump, who loves to boast about his wealth, is refusing to release his tax returns to the public or even reveal what tax bracket he is in, according to The New York Times. When asked last week, he told reporters, "It's none of your business," and admitted that he fights hard to pay very little tax. Let's consider.

As a small business owner, you've already got to worry about everything from inventory and advertising to hiring and firing. And now that Obamacare is in full effect, that's just one more pan in your ever-more-crowded fire. Two provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) only apply if you're an "applicable large employers" (ALE). So how do you determine if you're an ALE? And how do you comply with the ACA if you are?

ACA deadlines are fast-approaching (the 2015 Form 1095-C, Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, is due March 31), the mandatory IRS forms can be complicated, and the information required is extensive. So if your small business has more than 50 full-time employees, you've got a lot of questions to answer. Luckily, you don't have to answer them alone: a new special report from Thomson Reuters Checkpoint can help. (Disclaimer, Thomson Reuters is the parent company of FindLaw.)

Legal Loopholes: 5 Tax Tips for Small Businesses

Being in business was always your dream. Now you are doing it and it's hard. Are there things you can do to hang on to some of that money you labored to earn when tax season comes?

Yes, there are. Let's take a look at five legal loopholes suggested by Incredibly, a small business capital management site. These tips will help you make the most of the money you do make, and give you an idea of options to talk about with a lawyer.

As a small business owner, you know that tax season is here. As a smart business owner, you know it's always better to have a plan. So what's your tax plan this year? Or next?

Here's why tax planning is so important for small businesses, and a few items to add to your small business's tax plan.

States Seek Internet Sales Tax ... and Lawsuits

In an effort to get sued, officials in 12 states are moving to impose taxes on out-of-state Internet retailers. This is meant to prompt Congress to pass a federal law, uniform standards for the revenue that states consider their due. They hope that retailers will challenge the taxation and create a sense of urgency in the federal government.

Alabama's deputy revenue chief, Joe Garrett, for example, told The Wall Street Journal he wants his state to get sued soon. The desired effect is action at a national level.

IRS Small Business Tax Reviews Are Up

It's safe to say that an Internal Revenue Service audit scares most people. Even if your taxes are simple and you pay on time, and you have nothing to fear, getting a notice from the IRS is bound to make you nervous. This is all the more so for small businesses, which can have very complex finances despite being tiny.

Given this, you may not be thrilled to hear that last year the IRS increased examinations of business tax returns. Nonetheless, the agency collected less money than in previous years. Let's look at the numbers and what they say.

January 19 is the first day of tax season, so make sure your tax stand is ready and you only bag as many taxes as your hunting license allows. We kid. Actually, the Tuesday after next is the first day the IRS will begin accepting tax returns, and will continue until Monday, April 18th.

Two weeks is enough time to get everything in order, right? It is, and here's what you need to do: