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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:

We know that most charitable donations are tax deductible. And we're always looking for ways to lower our small business' tax rate. So what if your small business wants to make a charitable donation? Or better yet, set up a tithing?

A small business tithing might be tax deductible, but it will depend on what organization your small business is contributing to and how your small business is organized. Here are a few keys to whether your small business can deduct tithing:

Tax Benefits for Businesses With Disabled Workers

Accommodating disability is not just the right thing to do -- it could earn you credit with the IRS. The tax authority has a few options for accommodations that may give you a break on business taxes.

Whether you incur expenses providing access or removing obstacles to accessibility, your business can qualify. But we are talking tax codes, so it's not super clear. Here are some basics.

Now that you've submitted your tax filing to the IRS, what do you do with your copy of the paperwork? What about the filing for last year and the year before? How long should you keep your business's tax records?

While the IRS has its own recommendation, there are a few other considerations you might want to take into account before sending your old return paperwork through the shredder.