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Small-Business Owners Fear Tax Hikes, IRS Audits

owners-fear-tax-hikes.jpgIt may seem early to be stressing about taxes, but many business owners are already worrying about April 15. 
One reason? A complex Web of new tax regulations they may not understand. Another? The fact that many stimulus-related tax breaks are expiring after this year.

There's been a whirlwind of tax changes, and more seem to be coming down the pike every day, including the possibility that ecommerce sales may need to start collecting sales tax in all 50 states and sending it off to the IRS.

Some are supposed to be good for small business owners, but are so complicated it's hard to know if your business can benefit. Examples include the HIRE Act, which gives qualified employers a break on the cost of hiring specific classes of unemployed workers.

Is your business located in an area that's had a recent natural disaster? There'll be yet more tax breaks to consider. 

After this year, personal income-tax rates are slated to rise, as will the number of families who pay the onerous Alternative Minimum Tax. The federal subsidy that covered most of COBRA payments for laid-off workers goes away, to name just one of nearly 70 different tax breaks due to disappear after 2010.

To top it all off, the IRS has taken to auditing more small businesses, even though it doesn't find much. 

Let's just say it's a good year to have a crack accounting pro doing your taxes, and helping you with tax planning. 
What's your tax outlook -- are you nervous, or feeling like you're on top of your business's tax scene? Do you think you'll be paying more tax in 2011? Leave a comment and let us know.

Carol Tice, a freelance writer, is chief executive of TiceWrites Inc. in Bainbridge Island, Wash. She blogs about freelance writing at Make a Living Writing. Email her at carol@caroltice.com.

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