There are only a few more weeks to take action to limit your business and personal tax bills for the year. Here are some Web sites to help sort your credits and deductions.
Options estimator. The SmartMoney tax guide has a couple of simple tax tools for us corporate titans - a couple of stock option tax estimators, for example. Of course, they are not much use while your company's stock is in the tank. But, hey, the year is not over yet. There is advice on how to deduct business travel, even if some of your business trip is for fun, and an explanation for when to engage in year-end dumping of loser stocks.
Small business. Words of advice for small-business owners on ways to cut the tax bill in the final weeks of the year include opening retirement accounts, making charitable gifts, and even making small deductible gifts to "legitimate business associates." This is the Web site of the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbyist group.
Don't cheat. A very huge business, Microsoft Corp., offers this Web site of tax advice for small businesses. Articles include guides that help interpret the tax rules for deducting business costs, how to avoid some common bookkeeping mistakes - such as failing to keep receipts for small expenditures, and miscalculating auto expenses. One article purports to reveal secrets of the tax pros, which boil down to suggestions about being early and organized when you go to see your accountant - and don't ask him or her to cheat for you!
We've already mentioned some things that turn up on here among Quicken's "Ten Top Year-End Tax Tips."
Tax man. The IRS's own Web page of frequently asked questions is worth a look at this time of the year. It might tip you off to matters that could have slipped your mind - like paying the nanny's Social Security tax or making your quarterly estimated tax payments.
Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.