Small Business Tax Tips
While tax time may be behind you this year, here is some advice that may make next year a little bit easier:
- Collect your records. Create one place for all of your business records. While this may seem like a no brainer, something always seems to fall through the cracks during tax season, which could result in your paying unnecessary fees or losing a potential deduction. Be sure to have all of the paperwork for recorded earnings and expenses over the year. Unsure if it’s an expense? When in doubt, hang on to the receipt. Using a computer program or spreadsheet is an efficient way to keep track of your records throughout the year for easier record compilation during tax season.
- Understand the forms. Do you know which form you’re supposed to be using? Is your organization an LLC or a corporation? Your business type determines if you can use a Schedule C attachment with your personal income tax return or if you must file a Form 1120. Our staff can offer suggestions for computer programs and resources that will help you work through the process.
- Utilize available deductions. Are you correctly recording all possible expenses for your business? There are many online resources that provide detailed checklists for what items and expenditures can count as business expenses. Be sure to keep thorough records and receipts for all potential expenses and legal deductions. Some items that can count as possible deductions are (dedicated) home office space, office supplies, furniture, computers, copiers, computer software, mileage, airfare, advertising, travel, telephone/data charges, professional fees, and many others.
- Keep expenses separate. When utilizing all potential deductions, be sure to keep these business expenses separate from your personal expenses and purchases. It is important to not cheat the IRS, yet there’s no reason not to pursue available, legal deductions. To use these deductions when filing your tax forms, they must be correctly recorded, and with proof. We recommend purchasing business items separately from personal items, as it will make the paperwork easier during tax season.
- Seek help when needed. Preparing your taxes, choosing the correct forms, and filling them out properly can be a daunting task. Don’t be afraid to seek help. GROW is happy to provide referrals to accountants, or to direct you to resources that can make filing your taxes easier.
At Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), we are here to help your business succeed. From one-on-one business counseling to entrepreneurial training, it’s our mission to be a resource of empowerment to women entrepreneurs and business owners at every stage of their business.
Contact us today to see how we can help you find your path to entrepreneurial success.