The day we all love (ok, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration)- Tax Day is right around the corner. As you know by now for a small business it takes a lot more work than simply entering in a few numbers to TurboTax. Depending on your employee and business structure you’re responsible for making sure employees receive their W-2’s, contractors their 1099’s, and then filing for your company federally and most likely in the state you reside. Did I mention you should probably start another pot of coffee?
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t mess with the IRS- but do take every legal deduction that you can. Various deductions may include your home office, furniture, equipment, mileage- even travel, meals and gifts.
- Just started your business? Don’t forget that startup expenses can be deducted. Once your biz starts logging sales you can deduct up to $5,000 for the first year, and the rest repaid over 15 years. Just make sure you have kept precise records.
- In case you missed it, the IRS just announced free tax software if you made $60,000 or less last year. Bonus: there are 14 different software programs to choose from. Check it out here.
- Totally confused by healthcare tax credits? Check the IRS’s page for forms, a tax credit estimator and additional assistance.
- Be sure the check the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website for updates, paperwork, tax obligations, etc.
- Utilize the Small Business Jobs Act Tax. Included in the law are around 20 tax initiatives aimed at decreasing the tax burden on small businesses.
- It never hurts to bring in a professional, i.e. an accountant. They may see something you’ve overlooked and find ways to maximize your refund. Plus, while you should still be vigilant, it may just eliminate some nail-biting in your life.
- E-file your return instead of snail mailing it. It’s more secure and will speed up getting your refund.
- Double and triple check the details. Make sure you’ve signed the return, your social security number is correct, you’ve attached all the required documents, and be sure your payment is made out to the U.S. Treasury NOT the IRS.
- Finally, by now you’ve probably figured out this can all be summarized by three words: records, records, records! Ok, so that’s really one word, but you get my drift. Detailed record keeping is essential to ensure you get the pennies back you deserve and will also make your life much easier in the case of an audit.
Keep in mind there are different tax implications depending on your business and/or personal goals and the state you live in. You should always do your own research and seek the advise of a professional when in doubt.
Disclaimer: The above is intended as a general guide and is not intended nor should it be taken as legal or professional counsel.