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J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2015: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line

Book Description

Eliminate confusion, maximize deductions, reduce payments, and conquer your small business taxes with ease

In J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2015, the most trusted name in tax guidance helps small business owners maximize their bottom line. Fully updated for 2014 tax returns and 2015 tax planning, this detailed guide provides concise, plain-English explanations of tax laws tailored to business owners who are experts in their field—not in taxes. A complete listing of available business expense deductions includes comprehensive information on dollar limits and record-keeping requirements, allowing business owners to quickly recognize the deductions for which they qualify and make tax-savvy business decisions year round. Sample forms and checklists allow you to organize your preparation, and clear instruction on tax form navigation helps you get it right the first time.

Small business owners have a full plate. Indeed, just keeping the business going is a more than full-time job. But when tax time rolls around, you still need to file—correctly, on time, and without making errors or leaving money on the table. Small Business Taxes 2015 simplifies the process, breaking down tax laws and the filing process. You'll get expert insight on every step of the process, from organizing paperwork to sending the check, including clear guidance on how to:

  • Create a year-long record-keeping system that will streamline the filing process

  • Clarify income and losses and deal with operational income and losses, capital gains, and property sales

  • Discover the latest tax credits and deductions that may apply to your business

  • Tailor a tax strategy to your business's size, maturity, and growth potential

  • Frustration-free filing is not a myth. With the proper planning and understanding, you can save your business a significant amount of money, without wading through volumes of tax legalese. J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2015 provides the facts, strategies, and up to date information you need to get it done right, and get back to work.

    Table of Contents

    1. Preface
      1. How to Use This Book
    2. Introduction
      1. Special Rules for Small Businesses
    3. PART 1: Organization
      1. Chapter 1: Business Organization
        1. Sole Proprietorships
        2. Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
        3. S Corporations and Their Shareholder-Employees
        4. C Corporations and Their Shareholder-Employees
        5. Employees
        6. Factors in Choosing Your Form of Business Organization
        7. Forms of Business Organization Compared
        8. Changing Your Form of Business
        9. Tax Identification Number
      2. Chapter 2: Tax Year and Accounting Methods
        1. Accounting Periods
        2. Accounting Methods
        3. Uniform Capitalization Rules
      3. Chapter 3: Recordkeeping for Business Income and Deductions
        1. General Recordkeeping
        2. Specific Substantiation Requirements for Certain Expenses
        3. Records for Depreciation, Basis, Carryovers, and Prepaid Expenses
        4. How Long You Should Maintain Records
    4. PART 2: Business Income and Losses
      1. Chapter 4: Income or Loss from Business Operations
        1. Business Income
        2. Income for Service Businesses
        3. Income from the Sale of Goods
        4. Income from Farming
        5. Investment-Type Income
        6. Miscellaneous Business Income
        7. State Income Taxes on Business Income
        8. Net Operating Losses
        9. Limitations on Business Losses
      2. Chapter 5: Capital Gains and Losses
        1. What Are Capital Gains and Losses?
        2. Tax Treatment of Capital Gains and Losses for Pass-Through Entities
        3. Tax Treatment of Capital Gains and Losses for C Corporations
        4. Sales of Business Interests
        5. Special Situations
      3. Chapter 6: Gains and Losses from Sales of Business Property
        1. Section 1231 Gains and Losses
        2. Installment Sales
        3. Recapture
        4. Involuntary Conversions
        5. Abandonment, Foreclosure, and Repossession of Property
        6. Sale of All the Assets of the Business
    5. PART 3: Business Deductions and Credits
      1. Chapter 7: Employee Compensation: Salary, Wages, and Employee Benefits
        1. Worker Classification
        2. Temporary Workers and Outsourced HR
        3. Deductible Employee Compensation
        4. Compensation to Owners
        5. Stock Options and Restricted Stock
        6. Deferred Compensation
        7. Disallowance Repayment Agreements
        8. Employee Benefits
        9. Nonstatutory Fringe Benefits
        10. Cafeteria Plans
        11. Employment Tax Credits
      2. Chapter 8: Travel and Entertainment Expenses
        1. Local Transportation Costs
        2. Travel within the United States
        3. Foreign Travel
        4. Conventions
        5. Living Away from Home on Temporary Assignments
        6. Meal and Entertainment Expenses
        7. Business Gifts
        8. Reimbursement Arrangements
        9. Recordkeeping Requirements
      3. Chapter 9: Car and Truck Expenses
        1. Deducting Car Expenses in General
        2. Actual Expense Method
        3. Standard Mileage Allowance
        4. Leasing a Car for Business
        5. Arranging Car Ownership
        6. Employee Use of an Employer-Provided Car
        7. Vehicle Trade-In
        8. Trucks and Vans
        9. Credit for Plug-In Electric Vehicles
        10. Reimbursement Arrangements
        11. Recordkeeping for Car Expenses
      4. Chapter 10: Repairs, Maintenance, and Energy Improvements
        1. Ordinary Repairs
        2. Rehabilitation Plans
        3. Special Rules for Improvements for the Elderly and Handicapped
        4. Lists of Deductible Repairs and Capital Improvements
        5. Energy Improvements
      5. Chapter 11: Bad Debts
        1. Bad Debts in General
        2. Collection of Bad Debts
        3. Business versus Nonbusiness Bad Debts
        4. Loans by Shareholder-Employees
        5. Guarantees That Result in Bad Debts
        6. Special Rules for Accrual Taxpayers
        7. Reporting Bad Debts on the Tax Return
        8. Collection Strategies
      6. Chapter 12: Rents
        1. Deducting Rent Payments in General
        2. The Cost of Acquiring, Modifying, or Canceling a Lease
        3. Improvements You Make to Leased Property
        4. Rental of a Portion of Your Home for Business
        5. Leasing a Car
        6. Leveraged Leases
      7. Chapter 13: Taxes and Interest
        1. Deductible Taxes
        2. Nondeductible Taxes
        3. Deductible Interest
        4. Nondeductible Interest and Other Limitations on Deductibility
      8. Chapter 14: First-Year Expensing, Depreciation, Amortization, and Depletion
        1. First-Year Expensing
        2. Other Expensing Opportunities
        3. General Rules for Depreciation
        4. Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System
        5. Depreciation Methods
        6. Bonus Depreciation
        7. Limitations on Listed Property
        8. Rebuilding Incentives for Certain Disaster Victims
        9. Putting Personal Property to Business Use
        10. Amortization
        11. Depletion
      9. Chapter 15: Advertising Expenses
        1. Ordinary Advertising Expenses
        2. Promotion of Goodwill
        3. Prizes, Contests, and Other Promotional Activities
        4. Help-Wanted Ads
        5. Websites
        6. Social Media
      10. Chapter 16: Retirement Plans
        1. Qualified Retirement Plans
        2. Added Costs for Retirement Plans
        3. Retirement Plans for Self-Employed Individuals
        4. Regular 401(k)s, Designated Roth Accounts, and Db(k)s
        5. Individual Retirement Accounts
        6. MyRAs
        7. State-Sponsored Plans for the Private Sector
        8. When to Take Action
        9. Actions to Avoid
        10. Comparison of Qualified Retirement Plans
        11. ESOPs
        12. Correcting Plan Defects
        13. Nonqualified Retirement Plans
        14. Glossary of Terms for Retirement Plans
      11. Chapter 17: Casualty and Theft Losses
        1. Casualties and Thefts
        2. Condemnations and Threats of Condemnation
        3. Disaster Losses
        4. Deducting Property Insurance and Other Casualty/Theft-Related Items
        5. Certain Disaster Victims
        6. Disaster Assistance
      12. Chapter 18: Home Office Deductions
        1. Home Office Deductions in General
        2. Special Requirements for Employees
        3. Actual Expenses or Safe Harbor Amount
        4. Actual Expense Method
        5. Simplified Method
        6. Special Business Uses of a Home
        7. Ancillary Benefits of Claiming Home Office Deductions
        8. Impact of Home Office Deductions on Home Sales
      13. Chapter 19: Medical Coverage
        1. Health Care Mandates
        2. Deducting Medical Insurance for Employees
        3. Deducting Health Coverage by Self-Employed Persons and More-Than-2% S Corporation Shareholders
        4. Using Medical Reimbursement Plans
        5. Tax Credit for Contributions to Employee Health Coverage
        6. Shifting the Cost of Coverage to Employees
        7. Setting Up Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
        8. Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)
        9. Health Reimbursement Arrangements
        10. COBRA Coverage
        11. Wellness Programs
        12. Reporting Health Coverage on W-2s
      14. Chapter 20: Deductions and Tax Credits for Farmers
        1. Farm Expenses
        2. Farm Losses
        3. Farm-Related Tax Credits
        4. Nondeductible Farm-Related Expenses
      15. Chapter 21: Domestic Production Activities Deduction
        1. Background
        2. Qualified Producers
        3. Figuring the Deduction
      16. Chapter 22: Miscellaneous Business Deductions
        1. Other Business Expenses in General
        2. Job-Seeking Expenses
        3. Moving Expenses
        4. Educational Expenses
        5. Charitable Contributions Made by Your Business
        6. Licenses and Permits
        7. Dues and Subscriptions
        8. Legal and Professional Fees
        9. Bank and Merchant Fees
        10. Supplies, Materials, and Office Expenses
        11. Uniforms and Clothing
        12. Insurance
        13. Commissions
        14. Outsourced Workers
        15. Payments to Directors and Independent Contractors
        16. Penalties, Fines, and Damages
        17. Meal Costs for Day-Care Providers
        18. Expenses of Disabled Persons
        19. The Dividends-Received Deduction
        20. Other Expenses
      17. Chapter 23: Roundup of Tax Credits
        1. Employment-Related Credits
        2. Capital Construction–Related Credits
        3. Other Tax Credits
        4. General Business Credit
    6. PART 4: Tax Planning for Your Small Business
      1. Chapter 24: Income and Deduction Strategies
        1. Tax-Saving Tips
        2. Common Errors and How to Avoid Them
        3. Tax Assistance
      2. Chapter 25: Tax Strategies for Opening or Closing a Business
        1. Initial Tax Decisions to Make
        2. Investing Your Own Resources
        3. Debt versus Equity Financing
        4. Tax Identification Numbers
        5. Tax Reporting for the First Year
        6. How to Write Off Start-Up Costs
        7. Setting Up a Business Bank Account and Credit Card
        8. Moving a Business
        9. Aborted Business Ventures
        10. Bankruptcy
        11. Expenses of Winding Up a Small Business
        12. Tax Reporting in the Final Year
      3. Chapter 26: Tax Strategies for a Sideline Business
        1. Reporting Sideline Business Income
        2. Hobby Losses
        3. Business Expenses
      4. Chapter 27: Tax Strategies for Multiple Businesses
        1. Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Entities
        2. When to Run Multiple Activities within One Business
        3. Treatment of Multiple Corporations
        4. Tax Rules for Owners of Multiple Businesses
      5. Chapter 28: Alternative Minimum Tax
        1. Alternative Minimum Tax Basics
        2. Deduction Limits for Alternative Minimum Tax
        3. Credit Offsets
        4. Minimum Tax Credit
      6. Chapter 29: Other Taxes
        1. State Income Taxes
        2. Employment Taxes
        3. Self-Employment Tax
        4. Sales and Use Taxes
        5. Excise Taxes
      7. Chapter 30: Filing Income Tax Returns and Paying Taxes
        1. Filing Deadlines and Extensions
        2. Online Filing of Business Income Tax Returns
        3. Estimated Taxes
        4. Making Tax Payments
        5. Online Filing of Other Business Returns
      8. Chapter 31: Retirement and Succession Planning
        1. Retirement Planning
        2. Exit Strategies
        3. Financing Options to Fund Buyouts
        4. Consulting Agreements
        5. Estate Taxes
        6. Estate Planning Concerns
    7. Appendix A: Information Returns
      1. Dividends
      2. Large Cash Transactions
      3. Payments to Independent Contractors
      4. Pension and Retirement Plan Distributions
      5. Retirement and Employee Benefit Plans
      6. Small Cash Transactions
      7. Wages
      8. Merchant Transactions
    8. Appendix B : Checklist of Tax-Related Corporate Resolutions
    9. Appendix C : List of Dollar Limits and Amounts Adjusted for Inflation
      1. Items Adjusted Annually for Inflation
      2. Items Fixed by the Tax Code
      3. Items Set by the IRS
    10. Index
    11. End User License Agreement