The filing deadline for “S” and “C” corporations may be just a couple of days away, but it’s as good a time as any to take a look at small business tax issues.
Jamie Bsales at Small Business Computing offers a number of tips for small businesses at tax time. Here are 10 of them.
- Keep close track of all business expenses throughout the year and enter them into your accounting system in a timely fashion.
- As you work with vendors or outside contractors, anticipate which ones you will pay more than $600 to over the course of the year so you can send them 1099-Misc forms.
- Offering fringe benefits such as health, vision and child-care assistance instead of standard raises can reduce tax burdens.
- When faced with a choice of deducting either your actual auto expenses or the mileage deduction for business-related driving, take the mileage deduction. It’s a better deal with gas prices so high. Mobile apps such as Outright can make it easy to log your mileage as you go.
- If you have unsold or unused inventory, instead of spending money on storing it, donate it and get the tax deductions. But keep in mind that goods donations greater than $500 have more rigorous reporting rules.
- Hire your kids and spouse and save on next year’s taxes. For example, if you pay a minor child up to $6,000 from your business profits for helping you with business tasks, that amount is not taxed the same as your ordinary income. Also, if you hire your spouse, then as his or her employer you can pay for the healthcare of their family – i.e., yours – and deduct those payments.
- Keep business and personal expenses separate. That means maintaining separate checking accounts and credit cards for your business.
- The costs of launching a business are considered capital expenses, and you can deduct up to $5,000 your first year in business.
- You can deduct educational expenses that maintain or improve skills required in your present employment, including seminars, classes and convention fees.
- Finally, look at the Small Business Jobs Act Tax, signed into law in 2010. The law has nearly 20 initiatives aimed at decreasing the tax burden and providing savings for small businesses.
Adapted from Small Business Tax Tips and Resources for Today & Tomorrow by Jamie Bsales at Small Business Computing.