Have you begun planning your tax strategies for 2009? Better yet, have you even begun thinking about them? If not, then perhaps you may want to put tax planning on the top of your to-do list - saving you from scrambling to implement your tax-saving strategies at the last minute.

Planning for Tax Savings in Advance

It is important to devote some time now to implementing your tax-saving strategies so that your tax liability will be reduced when it comes time to paying taxes. It is also important to remember that there are a number of tax provisions which are set to expire this year. Take advantage of them now to decrease your business' tax liability.

For many businesses, 2009 has proven to be quite challenging, to say the least. Therefore, for many companies, the standard race to accelerate deductions and defer income at the end of the year may not work so well this year.

Special 2009 Tax Strategies

For example, in a typical year, small businesses may choose to record income when it is received, not when an order is made, in an effort to defer income at the end of the year. However, those businesses that struggled to make a profit in 2009 may find that this is not the best course of action, as they are hoping that next year will be more profitable than this year.

  • One of the tax benefits set to expire this year includes a research tax credit and a provision that allows for a 15-year amortization on any leasehold, retail or restaurant improvements.

  • Another deduction involves the $250,000 Sect. 179 deduction, which gives businesses the opportunity to write off up to $250,000 worth of qualified machinery and equipment purchases; this deduction has a few provisions, however, including the fact that the equipment and machinery must be up and running before the end of the year. Both of the above deductions may be extended.

  • Don't forget, of course, about making a charitable contribution before year's end. Corporations can claim a deduction of up to 10 percent of their taxable income for charitable contributions.

  • Finally, get your employee bonuses in order before January 1, but pay them out in the early part of next year, before March 15. If you have a business trip scheduled for the early part of next year, consider rescheduling it to take full advantage of your business travel deductions.

As the end of the year approaches, make sure all your tax ducks are in order to enjoy the most benefits before April 2010 arrives.