Though it’s still a few months away, you’re probably already starting to feel some anxiety about tax time. Adding one more thing to a busy business owner’s to do list is bad enough but the stress of making a mistake on your taxes can be maddening. The good news is there are many helpful tools for business owners to better navigate this “taxing” process. Here are a few to check out.
This may not be the time of year you look at the IRS favorably but, in fact, the IRS website actually provides many great resources for small business owners and other taxpayers. There are workshops, videos, e-newsletters, and more all designed to keep you educated so that you can avoid making costly mistakes and take advantage of available deductions.
As tax season approaches, do you start having flashbacks of last year’s pile of receipts or a desk covered in invoices? If so, it’s time to digitize all that paper that keeps your business running. Expense management software are helpful tools for doing so. They allow you to scan in and organize everything from receipts to business cards and can even track your mileage. Digitizing tax time necessities such as receipts and invoices will make your life and your CPA’s life a lot easier when it comes time to start your tax prep.
Make sure to get into the habit of digitizing your records now so that next year you don’t have to worry about organizing your records. Having digital backup not only keeps you more organized, it’s a weight off your shoulders all year long. Taxes are a lot less scary when everything is in order from the moment you sit down to prepare your return, so make scanning receipts, expense reports, and anything else you might need a formal step in your everyday processes.
Preparing taxes as an individual is overwhelming, but the stress can definitely be compounded as a business owner. A lot of that added stress comes from the fact that you also must play a role in preparing your employees’ taxes by making sure they have the necessary forms. W-2 software is designed to streamline this process – helping you organize everything from data entry to printing. With the help of this kind of program, you can feel less worried that you’ll make a mistake that could affect an employee’s tax refund.
Keep in mind that these programs will often seem a lot more complicated than they actually are. Though you might appreciate having tangible forms you can touch and double-check by hand, you’ll quickly realize just how much time and energy tax software can save you. Most programs will let you skip extra steps without losing accuracy, and once again, having the information digitized and thus backed-up can only prevent future problems.
If your employees are struggling with their own tax returns, have them try an online tax calculator. It will take them through the basics of the process so they know what to expect as well as what information they’ll need handy when filing time comes. If you have any kind of back-to-school program where you help your employees attain a degree, make sure you discuss specifically how this will be reflected on both their returns and the company’s.
Smartphones are proving to be very useful for business. There are many great apps that can help you prepare your taxes. From general personal finance apps, like Mint, to expense management apps, like Expensify, you’ll want to see what’s out there that could be of most use to you. The IRS even has an app that will allow you to track your refund.
If you dread tax time each year, check out these helpful tools. You do not have to go it alone when it comes to tax prep. The more help the better. So, go ahead and give your CPA a call to schedule your tax prep appointment, and in the meantime, use these tools to help you get ready for it.
Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts.