Taxes are a challenge that need careful planning. Here are some resources to help build a strong foundation for your business.
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For a start, you will want to bookmark places that are useful resources. U.S. Federal Tax Information Sources and State Tax Forms are links you will need to visit regularly to keep up with the tax laws that affect you. If you don't have one, you also may need to learn about who needs to have an Employer Identification Number and how to get one.
One of your first tasks is to get organized, including looking at the possible deadlines you may be facing throughout the year. Organizing for Tax Management helps you set up and organizational scheme and a calendar of deadlines that you need to meet.
Part of your calendar should include taking one last look at your tax strategies just before the end of the year. End-of-Year Tax Planning looks at end tax planning strategies for your business that need to be part of your planning.
When you are ready to prepare your taxes, Tax Software makes the job much easier. Many of the tax software packages integrate directly with business accounting software to make your tax preparation simply a matter of transferring data that you have been accumulating monthly into the tax program. Most of the programs also have extensive help features and tax advice, but a book can also be helpful in understanding is what your best strategy.
In doing your taxes you also need to be aware of the IRS Business Tax Audit Secrets to find out what the IRS is looking for if and when it audits your business. The IRS makes this information readily available to help you stay out of trouble.
The IRS has also prepared a number of useful guides to help with specific issues that your business may face. Some of my favorites are:
Bankruptcy Tax Guide
Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Daycare Providers)
Starting a Business and Keeping Records
Tax Guide for Small Business (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ)
Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses
Some you may be on overwhelm already and ready to turn this over to someone competent who just takes care of everything for you, but where do you turn to find the right person for that job? The best place to find someone competent is to ask around. If you do not have business friends you can turn to, ask your banker or an attorney. The best strategy in choosing the right one for you is to get a number of names, draw up a list of what you would expect them to do, and interview each outlining what you need done and inquiring about their fees. Once you find the right match for you, make certain to draw up a contract that clearly states what will be provided when, and the penalties that will occur should the obligation not be met. One clause you might want to be certain to include is who is responsible should you be audited and how an audit would be handled in both financial terms and preparation time.
There is an interesting analogy that has been drawn between the taxes time it takes to prepare taxes and the time it takes to earn the money to pay those taxes - both approximately four months. Hopefully, some of the advice found here can help you can shift the balance to spending more time making money and less time reporting it. Good luck on your taxes both this year and throughout the year!