The National Society of Accountants offers 12 strategies to save your business money.

Here are 12 year-end tax strategies that can help you save taxes and secure your business thousands of dollars, according to the National Society of Accountants:1. Accelerate deductions from 2007 into 2006. Make payments now for expenses such as office supplies, repairs, maintenance and advertising.

2. Consider setting up a qualified retirement plan. It is one of the best ways for businesses to save on taxes. Some plans must be set up by year's end.

3. Reduce or defer year-end income. For cash-basis businesses, deferring the billing for services until the end of December or January can shift the income into the next year, as the income is reported in the year it is received. Also, delaying shipments of merchandise until January moves that income into the next year.

4. Accelerate equipment purchases. If you anticipate business income to be higher in the current year versus next year, it makes sense to accelerate the purchase of equipment and other assets into this year. The benefits of Section 179 depreciation can mean large tax deductions.

5. Review fringe-benefit plans. A Section 125 "cafeteria" plan can benefit both the employee and employer with pre-tax savings for health and dental insurance, out-of-pocket medical costs, dependent care and other benefits.

6. Write off bad debts. Businesses that use the accrual basis method of accounting may have uncollectible past-due accounts. These businesses can deduct these bad debts when they become partially or totally worthless.

7. Write off old inventory. Review the business inventory for obsolete and unsellable items. A business may write down inventory below market if in the regular course of business the company has offered the merchandise for sale at below-market prices.

8. Review building depreciation. If your business has purchased or substantially renovated a building in the past 10 years, conduct a cost-segregation study. The study analyzes the components of a building or renovation to gain larger depreciation deductions based on shorter depreciation lives.

9. Explore like-kind exchanges. If you are considering replacing old equipment or buildings with newer ones, take advantage of the like-kind exchange rules. Trading assets is one of the best tax shelters available to businesses and investors. The section 1031 like-kind exchange rules are very strict and must be followed exactly.

10. Review your business-entity classification. Check to see if your business classification (sole proprietorship, c-corporation, s-corporation) and your accounting method options (cash basis vs. accrual basis) are the most advantageous for your business. Tax laws change constantly, so reviewing the alternatives could significantly affect your taxes.

11. Finish next year's budget. Compare income and expenses for the current year to the previous year and prepare a budget for the coming year. A budget will help a business reach its goals.

12. See your accountant or tax adviser. There are many ways to save tax dollars, and consulting with a tax professional can help you maximize your bottom line.

The National Society of Accountants represents accountants who specialize in providing accounting and tax services small to midsize businesses. For more information visit www.nsacct.org or call 800-966-6679.

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