Many small business owners are unknowingly filing the wrong tax return form for their business, do not file their business tax return, incorrectly file their business return by themselves, do not properly keep records, and do not have a spreadsheet or do not use any software to track their profit and loss from their business venture. This is not standard practice to run a business because you could not have an overview of the performance of your business.

Several business owners believe that the statement they could get from their banking institution is enough. That is not true because the information from your bank statement is not as detailed as that from your spreadsheet or any software program that you would use. In many cases, business owners commingle their business expenses with personal expenses. It is very time consuming and costly to reconstruct a profit and loss statement from bank records and receipts. You could miss some deductions and incorrectly recorded some expenses. It would cost much more to get a professional to correct the mistakes. Further, when business owners wait until tax filing time to bring all the receipts and bank statements to the preparer, it takes longer time to prepare the returns, which would cost more money for preparation. Some expenses and and income might not be accounted for or not properly reported.

Regardless of the type and size of your business, you must conduct some research and seek professional advice. You could learn a lot from a successful business owner. Many professionals offer free initial consultation.

Do not alone act on the advice of friends, family members and others who might know as much as you do. You could be in the same business as your colleagues, but your financial transactions are very different.

Another consideration should be the legal protection of your business income from high tax liability. If you do not plan strategically and carefully, your business income will be subject to high tax liability. You must have a good accounting system that ensures your business is ready to benefit from any unforeseen opportunity and to keep track of income and expenses.

A good accounting system ensures that your profit and loss are correctly recorded and your expenses are properly classified. When you start your business or have a current business, you incur several expenses that are treated differently for tax reporting purposes. Tangible and intangible items of expenses might require to be amortized or depreciated. You must keep track of the cost of all items, the date that you placed them in service, and date you sold them, if appropriate.

Your business financial records set you apart from other business owners who do not have a good accounting system for their business. A business financial record is needed to apply for loans, grants, credits, mortgages, and to conduct other financial transactions. A good accounting system is also a great protection in case of an audit.

You must know your business entity and the tax consequences. Each business entity is different. Tax laws enacted in 2017 and some temporary laws enacted as a result of Covid-19 have changed many rules.

You should keep your receipts or evidence of expenses for as long as necessary to administer the provisions of the tax code. As most receipts fade after a certain time, it is advisable that you scan your receipts.

Your tax filing obligation starts once you register your business with the Internal Revenue Service even if you have not actively running the business or you have no income from the business. The IRS will not know until you file. Each business requires a different tax form. Be sure to file the correct tax form. When you register your business with the IRS, you receive a letter telling you the tax form you must file and the date that it is due. The IRS also advises you to keep the letter in a safe place because they will not provide you with another copy.

The first tax return for your business is the most important tax return. It must be legally and accurately done. Not all tax returns are due on April 15.

A taxpayer could be good at preparing a personal tax return and a personal budget. However, a business bookkeeping and tax return should be entrusted to a tax and accounting professional. Do it yourself would take away valuable time required to run the business and could cause costly mistakes.

Do you know that you could reduce your tax liability by proper tax planning strategy as individual or business owner?

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