Calendar year-end is a good time to think about tax season. Not surprising, the most important element of tax preparation is maintenance. There are many tools to help small business owners maintain their taxes throughout the year. Awareness paired with maintenance is a large portion of tax preparation. The IRS Small Business Calendar assists freelancers and general small business owners to stay on top of current and upcoming changes in tax law. The calendar is available as a physical product or an online application for greater accessibility. Likewise, the resources and strategies below make tax preparation far more manageable for your small business.
Tax Preparation Gone Mobile
TurboTax offers the SnapTax for mobile tax preparation. Its value is in its seamless integration. Users can take a photo of their W-2, answer a series of questions and e-file the return. This is effective for large businesses who have an employee base where most employees are given W-2 forms upon hire. It is also useful for those who own a home, but it may not be right for small business preparation. This is because it’s most effective for people who have income from interest, unemployment or W-2 work.
In the lives of business owners, they have little time to micromanage. Those who filed taxes with SnapTax can download a PDF version of the file for easy consumption and review from anywhere. Furthermore, the SnapTax log-in is the same as TurboTax.
To enhance the mobile offerings, TurboTax for iPad is nearly identical to the desktop version and costs $29.99. Furthermore, SnapBox and iPad’s TurboTax work perfectly with the Intuit software platform. It allows for easily integrated payroll preparation and complements small businesses with an employee base of any size.
There is also Intuit.com Payroll Online, which allows users to calculate all payroll tax deductions, print paychecks and, most importantly, withhold the payroll taxes automatically without oversight at the end of the year for tax collecting season. Payroll Online is essential in seamlessly obtaining payments and paying appropriate taxes for the business.
Tax Advising: Help along the Way
The intangible and abstract nature of tax law forces some individuals to opt for a tax professional. The tax law is even more dynamic for small business which incorporate payrolls, insurance and online state restrictions into their tax forms. These come in the following forms: 940, 941 or 944.
An enrolled agent is formally certified to handle higher-end tax forms and specifics. Enrolled agents are certified in taxation, tax representation and business ethics before obtaining the designation. Many companies and resources offer free or premium tax advising with their initial services outside of enrolled agents.
Paper to Digital: Storing Receipts the Smart Way
One of the biggest hurdles in tax preparation is receipt collection. The mobile app, Capturengo, allows users to take a photo of a receipt and have it posted to an online database. The database can be exported to Excel for even easier tracking, and the program itself already comes IRS-approved. Furthermore, the service is free for up to 50 receipts, and is $99 per year after.
The popular app, Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker, also allows for uploading receipts. It also organizes receipts into categories and by overall date. The plan is $9.95 a month and includes unlimited prepaid envelops and year-round tax advice. The official website also reports that it can easily manage the tricky area of mileage tracking with a one-click verified tracker. An easy exporting to QuickBooks and Excel, among others, has allowed it to be a major player in mobile receipt collection.
In summary, there are many affordable tools to help small businesses and their owners navigate tax compliance throughout the year and make the tax season at least a little bit less painful.