Tax Rule No.1: Don’t cheat the IRS. But that doesn’t mean you should cheat yourself. Take every legal tax deduction you can.

In addition to the numerous tax deductions the Internal Revenue Service allows, research indicates that most U.S. taxpayers do not claim all deductions to which they are entitled. Some of the tax deductions business owners can claim fall under categories such as charitable contributions/donation deductions, medical and dental deductions, moving expense deductions, deducting job costs, travel and entertainment expense deductions, and casualty and theft losses, depreciation and involuntary conversion deductions.

The wisdom of tax planning is to take advantage of all the benefits Uncle Sam has to offer. An increasingly popular federal tax savings phenomenon is utilizing a cost segregation study (CSS). These studies offer business owners of improved commercial real estate the opportunity to defer taxes, reduce their overall current tax burden, and free up capital by improving cash flow. A CSS study will identify any item that can be depreciated over a shorter period of time. These studies can result in accelerated depreciation deductions for properties including new buildings being constructed, renovations of existing buildings, leasehold improvements, and the purchase of real estate.

The primary goal of cost segregation is to identify building components that can be reclassified from real property to personal property. This results in a substantially shorter depreciable tax life and accelerated depreciation methods. Ordinarily, the cost of real, or section 1250, property is recovered over lengthy periods (27.5 and 39 years for residential and nonresidential property, respectively), using the straight-line method of depreciation. Personal, or section 1245, property is recovered over considerably shorter periods (5, 7 or 15 years), and employs accelerated methods of depreciation, such as 200% or 150% declining balance.

Tax reduction services include federal income taxes, state income taxes and property taxes. We do not prepare income tax returns. Instead, our advisors review your circumstances and suggest cost effective options to lawfully reduce your income tax liability.

Minimizing taxes includes regularly appealing property taxes and considering options for income tax reduction. In some cases, tax planning needs to occur years in advance. For estate tax planning, it may be prudent to start decades in advance. Some tax reduction options can be performed after the fiscal year has ended, including a fixed asset audit, cost segregation study and abandonment study.

Minimizing taxes requires a modest investment of time. High-income taxpayers are often reluctant to divert time from production activities. However spending two to four hours with an advisor often reduces taxes by 20 - 50 %. IN some cases, it is possible to completely eliminate taxes for several years. This modest investment of time can substantially increase after-tax income.

Author's Bio: 

O’Connor & Associates is a national provider of commercial real estate consulting services including cost segregation, federal tax reduction, due diligence, renovation upgrading cost analyses, tax return review and apartment inspections.