Check off these top ten tax to-dos
Tax season is here, and your to-do list is likely getting long. Tax experts from Maine find that early planning pays off in the long run. Here are the top ten tasks that can help small business owners or the self-employed save substantial time:
10. Learn about resources available. Seek advice or information from the IRS and Small Business Development Centers.
9. Consider life changes. Whether these are changes to your business or your personal life, they can affect your taxes, and being aware of them can save time later on.
8. Find and use tools and templates. Maine Small Business Development Centers have many resources available online 24/7.
7. Estimate your taxes. Use the IRS calculators to determine your possible tax payments. Compare to taxes from previous years to help you figure out how much and when to save for future payments.
6. Establish a relationship with an accountant. Someone like a CPA can help you make business decisions well in advance of seeing the consequences at the next tax season.
5. Get organized with receipts and revenue. “Being able to do your bookkeeping from your computer, or even your smart phone, saves time, so you can spend more time on other important things to build up your business,” says QuickBooks instructor Sharon Foss.
4. Keep adequate records. “One of the most common mistakes is not keeping an automobile log to track mileage while on the job,” says Sam Davidson, CPA.
3. Get started early. The sooner you start on tax forms, the more time you’ll have to find answers to questions as they arise.
2. Meet with your accountant early. “Ask your accountant whether there’s anything you can do before December 31st to reduce your tax bill,” says Davidson.
1. Make quarterly estimated tax payments. Even if full payments can’t be made, spreading out tax payments can help avoid one full payment around the holidays.
The more you prepare, the more money you can save by not paying an accountant to do all the preparations. Planning ahead can save a lot of time when you’re up against tax deadlines. Be proactive to control your financial future as much as possible!
Resources for businesses and the self-employed
Be prepared this tax season:
- SCORE lists the Important Tax Changes in 2018.
- New Ventures offers workshop on Tax Readiness for Self-Employed.
Learn more about small business taxes:
- SCORE shares tips and tricks for Easy Tax Planning.
- SBDC information on IRS First Time Penalty Abatement.
- Check out our Commercial Currents February 2017 edition.
What We Do
The Island Institute’s Small Business Team provides business and financial planning, to help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business.To inquire about our Island and Coastal Small Business Launchpad, feel free to contact Stephenie.
Commercial Currents is an email and blog newsletter that shares buoyant stories from Maine’s island and coastal communities about economic stability and resilience. To find archived editions, go to islandinstitute.org/blog/economic.
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