You’ve given up working for the man, started your own business, and things are going great, until tax time rolls around. The 2014 tax time is approaching faster than you think. For small business owners, it’s stressful to worry about the long hours and sleepless nights that it takes to read publications 1518 and 4591, and put together forms 940, 941, or 944. Before you get bogged down with the details, check out these essential resources for small business owners:
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
In the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, the IRS has links to educational webinars, tax forms, and videos to help small business owners and independent contractors with their taxes. There, you can download your tax forms, apply for an employer EIN, and learn about e-filing. You can also find out about small business events and get access to online tools and educational products.
Able to sync with your Intuit or other accounting software, Shoeboxed is a state of the art receipt tracking service. Users can submit receipts using their smartphones, email accounts, or snail mail. ShoeBoxed organizes them, and creates images that can be used in an audit. The app for iPhone, iPad, and Android is free, and the service starts at $9.95 per month, according to its site.
If you have employees, your taxes are even more complicated, but software offered by Intuit allows anyone to do their own accounting, regardless of how little tax experience they have. The company’s payroll tax filing is essential whether you have salaried or hourly employees.
If you run an Etsy store or work as an online writer, you already have a lot of experience using PayPal accounts. However, the company is busily expanding into other markets, and now, anyone can use PayPal to process their clients’ payments. With the PayPal Here app, you can accept credit cards, checks or PayPal payments from anyone anywhere. The company charges a mere 2.7 percent per transaction for each payment run through your card reader, and when tax time rolls around, you will have a tidy account of all of the payments you accepted throughout the year.
The busier your business gets, the less likely you will be to deal with everything directly. Regardless of who does payroll or who writes the expenses spreadsheet, DropBox allows their work to be immediately saved to your account. The program works across PCs, phones, and tablets, and it allows you to share all of your business documents as easily as if you used the same computer. When tax time rolls around, you will have everything you need organized in one spot, and it will be safe regardless of how many employees left the company or how many computers died. DropBox is free, and DropBox Business is available for $705 per year.
Using incredibly well designed software, TurboTax turns confusing IRS tax forms into a series of easy to answer questions. You can buy the company’s software on a CD or download it directly to your computer. TurboTax offers forms for LLCs, partnerships, corporations, and trusts, and the fee starts at $99 to $149.