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(Wall Street Journal) — 1. Bring your books up-to-date. Before any tax planning can be done, it’s vital to know whether your company made or lost money for the year. To do this, accounting records must be up-to-date. Some business owners I know let this task slide for months and, unfortunately, may not be prepared to think about year-end tax planning at this time.  2. Consider a retirement plan. Profits can be sheltered in qualified retirement plans, and the 2010 rules remain relatively unchanged from 2009. For example, a corporate owner or self-employed person whose salary or net earnings are sufficient can contribute a maximum of $49,000 to a SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) plan, scoring a tax deduction while saving for one’s golden years. For more information, read my previous column on “Retirement-Plan Options for Business Owners.”

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