We know this time of year can be ‘taxing’ for the small business owners out there. However, tax season this year doesn’t need to be as stressful as seasons past with our helpful tax and budgeting tips for 2017. Using the tips below, you’ll be able to take on tax season with confidence!
Small Business Tax Tip 1: Get Organized
The most important step to surviving tax season is organization. Don’t just stuff all those receipts and records into an old shoe box or desk drawer! Rather, create a folder for each type of form so that you can easily refer to them when you need. Clearly label each folder. Color coding may help to separate the forms into different categories such as healthcare, payroll, and client information. Update the information in each folder on a regular basis. If you are a small business owner, make sure you separate your personal tax information from your business information. This will ensure you fill out both returns properly.
Small Business Tax Tip 2: Use Tax Software
Once you organize your files, you need to find tax software that is specifically geared to business owners. There are a variety of programs to choose from for this year including TurboTax, TaxSlayer, and H and R Block. Look for one that fits your business needs. A helpful note for when you are choosing the software, consider one that allows you to file online. This way you avoid the last-minute rush to the post office and save the cost of postage.
Small Business Tax Tip 3: Choose the Right Accounting Software
As you search for your tax software, consider purchasing accounting software that will help you throughout the entire year. Many programs like Quicken and Sage 50 help you keep all of your financial documents for tax season, as well as any other reason you may need to quickly access those records. In addition to traditional accounting software, you may consider purchasing an accounting calendar. You can print the form out and keep it next to your desk or wherever you handle payroll so that you can see what you need to do for the year at a glance. This is yet another organization tool that keeps your stress to a minimum during tax season and even throughout the rest of the year!
Small Business Tax Tip 4: Pay Attention to Tax Deductions
After you have your software, it is time to open the forms themselves. As you go through the forms, check for all the deductions your business is eligible for. Some of these may include the meals you purchased for a business meeting, travel expenses if you use your car for work, healthcare for you and your workers, and deductions that apply to your equipment. These are important! Go through your year with a fine-tooth comb and deduct as much as possible. In the end, it will save you money that you can put back into your business!
Small Business Tax Tip 5: Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Time is crucial during tax season. You don’t want to rush yourself as you file because you want to avoid making any careless mistakes. The best thing to do is to plan on starting early in the year with gathering the needed information. Reserve a day that your co-workers handle the daily business while you file the taxes. Keep a paper trail of everything you do including times and days if it becomes a multiple day process, whether it’s computer generated or handwritten. This allows you to have information in case someone disputes you. And, of course, don’t wait until the last-minute. You’ll eliminate a lot of stress for yourself by staying on top of things. Aim to have your taxes done by early March so that you can rest easy knowing they are done and filed well before the deadline.
As a friendly reminder, the Tax Day deadline to file for 2017 is Tuesday, April 18. Taking care of your taxes in a timely and efficient manner helps keep your business running smoothly. At My Annapolis Office, we are invested in seeing your business run smoothly with the services we offer as well. Wondering how we can help with our clients’ taxes? We can help with copies, faxes and even mailing to keep our clients from having to deal with those pesky post office Tax Day lines! And that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our client services! Contact us today to find out how we can help you. We look forward to assisting you!