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Small businesses overpaid about $185 billion in taxes last year, according to Sandy Botkin, a CPA who wants to end such rip-offs by showing U.S. and Canadian business owners how to take advantage of tax breaks they routinely overlook.

In his set of audiocassettes, "Tax Strategies for the 1990s," the former IRS legal specialist points to good tax laws enacted to help small businesses. "But most small-business owners don't know these laws exist or how to benefit from them," Botkin says. Among his tips:

  • Do you own two cars? Increase your tax deductions by alternating the use of each car in your business from month to month.
  • Hire your children at fully deductible wages with no Social Security or Federal Employment tax; they can earn $4,250 annually, tax-free.
  • Entertain clients at home? Deduct 50 percent of everyone's meal. If a sales presentation is involved, you can deduct 100 percent.
  • Travel much? Sandwich a weekend between business days, then deduct expenses incurred on Saturday and Sunday as well.
  • Dry-cleaning and laundry expenses on a business trip are deductible; so is your first dry-cleaning bill after returning home (but only for clothing soiled on the trip).

Replete with dozens of tax reduction strategies and a 175-page workbook and reference guide, the audiotape set costs $195 and offers a money-back guarantee if you don't save at least $5,000 in new deductions.

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