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When do valuable gifts to charity require an appraisal?

If you donate valuable items to charity and you want to deduct them on your tax return, you may be required to get an appraisal. The IRS requires donors and charitable organizations to supply certain information to prove their right to deduct charitable contributions. How can you protect your deduction? First, be aware that in…
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Pay attention to the tax rules if you turn a hobby into a business

Many people dream of turning a hobby into a regular business. Perhaps you enjoy boating and would like to open a charter fishing business. Or maybe you’d like to turn your sewing or photography skills into an income-producing business. You probably won’t have any tax headaches if your new business is profitable over a certain…
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Small businesses can help employees save for retirement, too

Many small business owners run their companies as leanly as possible. This often means not offering what are considered standard fringe benefits for midsize or larger companies, such as a retirement plan. If this is the case for your small business, don’t give up on the idea of helping your employees save for retirement in…
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Taxes when you sell an appreciated vacation home

Vacation homes in upscale areas may be worth way more than owners paid for them. That’s great, but what about taxes? Here are three scenarios to illustrate the federal income tax issues you face when selling an appreciated vacation home. Scenario 1: You’ve never used the home as your primary residence In this case, the…
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