Whether your are preparing your own taxes or working with a tax specialist, there are many tools and resources that can help you maximize your small business deductions, navigate tax law changes and file correctly and on-time!
Here are three online resources that every small business owner should consider as an essential part of their tax preparation toolkit:
1) IRS Virtual Tax Workshop for Small Businesses
Self-service tax training tools that help small business owners navigate their tax obligations got a boost in February 2010, when the IRS launched its Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop. This dynamic educational product, available online and on CD, consists of nine stand-alone lessons that can be selected and viewed in any sequence. A bookmark feature makes it possible to leave and return to a specific point within the lesson.
Not only can users customize lessons to meet specific needs, they also have access to a list of useful online references that enhance the learning experience by allowing the user to view references and the video lessons simultaneously. Users can access the workshop online, at http://www.tax.gov/virtualworkshop/.
According to the IRS, the Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop is the first of a series of video products designed exclusively for small business taxpayers. A new companion series called, “Your Guide to an IRS Audit” is in development with plans for a winter 2010 launch.
In addition to the Virtual Workshop, the IRS also offers online and in-person training and workshops to help small business owners understand their tax obligations.
2) Business.gov Small Business Tax Center – Consolidating Essential Tax Tools and Tips
The Small Business Tax Center on Business.gov is essentially a one-stop shop portal that consolidates tax tools, tips and resources from across government to help business owners stay abreast of tax law. Here are just some of the areas covered:
- Business Tax Forms & Instructions – Easily connect your business type (LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.) to the federal tax forms you need.
- Tax Deductions – You might be surprised as to what qualifies and what does not qualify as a tax deduction. Get the lowdown on deductible and capitalized expenses in this easy-to-read guide.
- Filing Federal Taxes – From federal forms to filing options, this guide has you covered.
- Filing State Taxes – Connects you to state tax information for sales, income and employment tax responsibilities.
3) Online Video Tutorials – Tax Administration Tips and Insights
Using YouTube channels, both Business.gov and the IRS host a whole range of brief online video tutorials that can help you get all the tax breaks you deserve and are entitled to! Tax experts and real IRS employees explain everything you need to know on topics such as vehicle tax deductions, Schedule C, home office deductions as well as Recovery Act changes and what they might mean for your business.
- New Tax Laws for the 2009 Filing Season – Each tax season brings with it changes in tax law and, given the host of Recovery Act-related tax changes in 2009, this tax-filing season is no exception. Read “Before you File your 2009 Tax Return – Take Note of Major Tax Changes that Apply this Year!” for a rundown of major changes in tax law that might impact how you file.
- Got Questions? – Ask Peers and Experts Online: If you have tax questions or tips you want to share with other small business owners, post them on the Business.gov Filing and Paying Taxes Discussion Board.
- Small Business Cents – Articles, tips and information from Business.gov’s “official word on small business grants, loans, and finance”.
- Tax Law Changes for 2010 – What’s New for Your Small Business
- A Primer in Taxable Business Income
- Cash vs. Accrual Accounting for Taxable Income and Expenses
- An Intro to LLC Tax Law
- Do you Run Your Business Out of Your Home? You May Qualify for a Tax Deduction
- Using Your Personal Vehicle for Business Purposes – Tax Deductions, Insurance and the Like!
- Charitable Giving and the Tax Benefits for Small Businesses
- When Avoiding a Tax Audit – the Best Offense is a Good Defense
Small Business Matters is brought to you by Business.gov to provide helpful and easy-to-understand tips for small and home businesses, including direct links to resources that help business owners to navigate the government maze. Business.gov is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide small business owners with access to federal, state and local government resources from a single access point. Business.gov creates a dialogue among business owners and the organizations serving them, making government resources and information more accessible to the nation’s small business community. The U.S. Government and the U.S. Small Business Administration neither endorses nor guarantees in any way the external organizations, services, advice, or products included in any external website links. Furthermore, the U.S. government neither controls nor guarantees the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in non-government website links.