When the 2010 Tax Relief Act was signed on December 17th of last year, basic tax rules didn’t change much for 2011, but a few things are new: unemployment benefits were extended for an additional 13 months, a "patch" to the alternative minimum tax was provided, payroll taxes on employees for 2011 were cut, businesses got a 100% bonus depreciation on new equipment purchases, and the estate tax was restored with a top rate of 35% and an exemption of $5 million. Tax advisors suggest you start the new year right by knowing your options and acting early to make the most of your investments, maximize your retirement plan, and take advantage of those new business regulations. And be sure to tighten up your bookkeeping methods, because the IRS is increasingly using “hard-core” tactics such as liens to enforce tax collection laws. In fact, the national taxpayer advocate is reporting that the agency is cracking down so aggressively that it is “inflicting unnecessary harm” on working Americans. Plan early, plan smart, beware the taxman… the mantra to follow in 2011.
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