Once just the domain of downloadable tax forms and a prime candidate
for a Plain Language overhaul, the IRS.gov web site has
undergone a low-key, yet shout-out worthy, transformation in recent
years – and this is good news for small business.
The IRS web site (www.irs.gov) is in fact now the home of numerous
online tools designed to help small businesses and the self-employed
better understand their tax obligations as well as help them improve
their overall financial literacy.
This new customer-centric approach is all about using the speed, ease
and accessibility of the Web to reduce the administrative burden that
can weigh so many entrepreneurs down.
So without further ado, here’s a summary of some the most invaluable
online tools and resources that IRS.gov has to offer small businesses.
1) IRS Virtual Tax
Workshop for New Small Businesses
I first wrote about the IRS Virtual
Small Business Tax Workshop earlier in April when tax season was in
full swing. But, in fact, this interactive online tax information and
training tool can help small business owners understand and navigate
their tax obligations year-round.
February 2010, the Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop (also available
on CD) consists of nine stand-alone lessons that can be customized by
users to meet their specific needs. It literally covers all aspects of
being a responsible tax payer and business owner – from record-keeping
to filing, managing payroll taxes to maximizing business expenses and
home office deductions.
Users can access the workshop online at http://www.tax.gov/virtualworkshop/.
There are lots more IRS small business online learning and education products
including the downloadable (and print edition) of the IRS Small Business Tax Calendar, resources in
Spanish, and more.
2) IRS Video Portal for Small Business
I actually stumbled on this gem by accident when I entered www.tax.gov
in my browser instead of www.irs.gov. What I found was the official IRS Video
Portal which houses a library of video clips of tax topics, archived
versions of live panel discussions and webinars, as well audio podcasts
on a range of topics that are relevant to the small
From income tax preparation and filing guidance, to tips on starting
or changing your business, this site is a real goldmine for any business
owner who really wants to get their arms around running a financially
3) IRS Retirement Plans Navigator
Finding and managingthe right retirement plan for you business
(whether you have employees or are a sole-proprietor) is a huge
undertaking and one not to be entered into lightly.
In addition to helping you choose a plan, the tool also helps you
maintain your plan in accordance with changing tax laws. You can even
make the appropriate plan changes without having to notify the IRS.
When it comes to money management and retirement planning, it doesn’t
get much easier than this!
4) Sales Tax Deduction Calculator