Did you know that the Small Business Administration offers small business owners an online forum to share information and experiences with other business owners and subject matter experts alike?
Business.gov, which has long operated as the government’s official website for small business, not only brings together resources from across government to help small businesses start-up, operate and grow, it also operates an online Community (with more than 8,000 members) that enables business owners to interact directly with government and industry professionals, while sharing information about starting and running a successful business with each other!
The Community provides a forum for you to connect with other business owners for advice, camaraderie, and even potential partnerships.
Each month we hope to bring you a round-up of what small business owners are talking about in the Community, what our experts have to say, and answers to common questions. We’re kicking off this month with tax season tips and resources!
Tax Season is Here – Get Answers to Common Small Business Tax Questions
No one says that doing your taxes is easy, but a little preparation and planning can make the process less painful. Here are some essential resources and tips from the Business.gov community of small business experts to help you get your arms around your business tax preparation and avoid common pitfalls.
New Tax Laws for the 2009 Filing Season
As you prepare to file your small business tax return, you’ll need to be aware of several new tax laws that went into effect in 2009. Read “Before you File your 2009 Tax Return – Take Note of Major Tax Changes that Apply this Year!“.
Business Income Tax Filing Tips
Small business owners have many questions about filing taxes, but here are answers that address some of the more common areas of confusion:
- A Primer in Taxable Business Income – When filing your business income taxes, you must report all income – not just income from the sale of goods, services, or property. Check out this easy-to-read guide on what is taxable income and what is not.
- Cash vs. Accrual Accounting for Taxable Income and Expenses – Are you filing your taxes and are confused about how to record your business income and expenses? Read on to learn which cash vs. accrual accounting method can work better for your small business.
- An Intro to LLC Tax Law – Whether you are newly registered LLC or have been established for some time, this 101 in LLC Tax Law can help you navigate the constantly changing tax laws that apply to your business structure.
Tax Deductions and Expenses
Tax deductions are tricky to navigate and the laws that govern them are often misinterpreted. Get the facts with these quick reference articles:
- Home-Based Business Deductions – Run your business out of your home? 52 percent of small business owners do. Read “Do you Run Your Business Out of Your Home? You May Qualify for a Tax Deduction” to get the lowdown on whether you qualify for this deduction. And get tips on how to file for this deduction in “How to Claim the Tax Deduction for Business Use of Your Home“.
- Personal Vehicle Deductions – Another important deduction to understand is how to claim a deduction for business-related use of your personal vehicle. Read “Using Your Personal Vehicle for Business Purposes – Tax Deductions, Insurance and the Like!” to help you understand how the deduction works.
- Charitable Donations – The IRS enforces strict tax laws around charitable giving, read “Charitable Giving and the Tax Benefits for Small Businesses” to understand what you can and can’t deduct.
Avoiding Tax Audits
When Avoiding a Tax Audit – the Best Offense is a Good Defense – Though fewer than 1% of taxpayers are selected for a tax audit, business filings that report year-after-year losses, large charitable contributions, or claim large tax deductions may raise red flags for the IRS. Here is some guidance to file your tax return in a way that minimizes your chances of getting audited.
Visit the Small Business Tax Center on Business.gov. This one-stop shop portal helps business owners stay abreast of tax requirements, tax changes and a whole range of tax tips to help you prepare for the year ahead.
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.