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For Tax Day, here's something for small business owners to consider: Your business could be paying much less in taxes by taking some tips from big corporations.

Some of America's most profitable companies like Apple and Microsoft have effective tax rates lower than 30 percent, as Forbes points out.

So what can you do to effectively lower your small business' tax rate? Here are five ideas that may pay off for you:

Congress Talks Bitcoin, Small Business: 3 Tidbits

Congress held a hearing on Bitcoin and small businesses Wednesday. Though no action was taken, the discussion could impact the virtual currency and businesses that currently accept it (or are considering it) for payment.

In case you're still in the dark, Bitcoin is the world's first decentralized, peer-to-peer virtual currency. This means that it's not backed by any banks, credit card companies, or governments, according to The Washington Post.

So before you get on board with Bitcoin, here are three tidbits to ponder from the House Committee on Small Business' Bitcoin hearing:

Home Office Tax Deduction Made Simple for 2013

If you use part of your home for your business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. The home office tax deduction is available for homeowners and renters, and applies to all types of homes.

The best part is that the IRS has now simplified the method for determining the home office tax deduction.

But do you qualify for the simplified deduction?

Businesses Add 'Obamacare Fee' to Customer Bills

Some businesses -- mainly restaurants -- "are asking customers to help foot the bill for Obamacare" by adding an Affordable Care Act surcharge on their tabs, CNNMoney reports.

Case in point: At least eight Gator's Dockside restaurants in central Florida are now charging a so-called "Obamacare fee" that amounts to 1 percent of a customer's check.

Should your business include an Obamacare fee or surcharge on customer bills?

Top 5 Tips for Your IRS 1099 Forms

For small business owners, IRS tax forms can be confusing -- especially when it comes to 1099 forms.

A business' 1099s need to be sent out by the end of January. And with the increasing nuances in forms, employers more than ever need to be on top of their tax games.

To help avoid tax penalties and blunders, here are five tips you'll want to consider when sending out your IRS 1099 forms:

Small Business Taxes: 10 Basic Tips for Startups

Starting a small business can be taxing, both literally and figuratively. That's why our Starting Your Own Business series is concluding today with an introduction to small business taxes.

Figuring out your business tax obligations is one of the biggest hurdles facing small business owners. You never know when Uncle Sam is going to conduct an audit on your business, so it's best to make sure you cover all your bases.

But with so many tax rules in place, where should you begin? Here are 10 basic tax tips for small businesses that can help keep you off the IRS' radar:

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down appeals by online retailers to be exempted from New York's sales tax law, despite the companies having no physical presence in the Empire State.

Amazon.com and Overstock.com had appealed a decision from New York's highest court which held that both companies need to collect sales tax from their customers -- regardless of the companies not having any physical operations in the state, reports Entrepreneur.

What does this development mean for your small business' online sales?

7 Year-End Tax Tips for Small Businesses

Small business owners, it's time to consider some year-end tax tips.

As a business owner, this may be one of the busiest times of year for you. With less than two months left in the tax year (for most of us), you'll want to ensure that everything is in order, tax-wise -- and that you'll be able to take advantage of as many potential tax deductions as possible.

Consider the following seven tips for your year-end "to-do" list:

It's NaNoWriMo! Top 10 Legal Tips for Writers

It's NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. While we can't offer expert tips on how to tackle writer's block, we can address some common legal concerns for those who make writing their business.

This November marks the 15th year for NaNoWriMo -- a month for aspiring and established writers to band together, support each other, and, well, write their hearts out in an effort to complete an entire novel. The goal: 50,000 words in 30 days.

Of course, with such a huge effort comes many legal considerations. Here are 10 legal tips every writer should keep in mind:

IRS to Tax 'Automatic Tips' as Regular Wages

According to the IRS, "automatic tips" will be classified as service charges instead of tips beginning in January 2014. This means they will be treated as regular non-tip wages for tax purposes, The Wall Street Journal explains.

"Automatic tips" are pre-calculated gratuities, typically added to restaurant bills for large groups. Currently, "automatic tips" are still considered tips, meaning it's up to the tipped servers to report them as income.

But those days are numbered. Here's what you need to know about the IRS ruling: