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Washington Watch - March 23, 2010

Editor's Note: Congress On Spring Break

Congressional lawmakers are back in their home districts for two weeks. When they return, they will continue to discuss current small business legislation, such as the reauthorization of technology and research programs, as well as the ever-popular 1099 issue.

Stay tuned to Washington Watch for the latest updates.

NASE Featured On SE Tax Deduction

The NASE was recently featured in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in an article by Marcia Heroux Pounds. Please view an excerpt from that article below.

The self-employed can take a tax deduction for health insurance premiums for 2010 -- a one-year benefit through the Small Business Jobs Act.

The deduction also can be taken for small firms with 10 or fewer employees.

The 2010 deduction will put about 15 percent of the premium back in the pocket of the self-employed, said Kristie Arslan, executive director of the National Association for Self-Employed.

To read the entire article, click here.

Self-Employed: How To Survive An Audit

The IRS expects 145 million tax returns to be filed for the 2010 tax year and, of those, one in six will be self-employed Schedule C filers. A small percentage of those self-employed businesses will be subject to an audit each year.

The NASE knows that many self-employed business owners meet their tax obligations fully, so the audit process need not be feared. The IRS can review tax returns for up to three years, so now is the time to make sure all of the necessary paperwork and documentation is stored with the 2010 tax return.  

“As long as taxpayers dot their I’s and cross their T’s when preparing their return, then there is no reason to worry about an audit,” says NASE National Tax Advisor Keith Hall. “It’s possible that you might even get a refund.”

The audit selection process can be a complicated one. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Math Errors – This is the most common reason for an audit. Check and re-check the return to make sure all numbers, dates and Social Security numbers are included. Using tax preparation software can help eliminate these errors.
  • Prior Audits – Prior audits and matching tax indicators - e.g. you have the same small business and same typical deductions - might increase the likelihood of being audited again. This is particularly true if last year’s audit included an additional tax assessment.
  • Statistical Sampling – This accounts for most of the returns that are selected for an audit. The more complicated the tax return, the higher the chance of audit selection.

The NASE offers numerous tax tools and other tips to help you get through current and future tax seasons. For help organizing your taxes, visit the NASE's Tax Resource Center. NASE members can ask our Tax Experts their questions.

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