Thanks to the Internal Revenue Service, there is a wealth of knowledge available regarding filing the small business tax return. The following abstracts link to excellent articles on a variety of topics.
Beware of Tax Scams: The IRS wants taxpayers to be aware of tax scams. These scams are illegal and can lead to problems for taxpayers including significant penalties, interest and possible criminal prosecution. The schemes take several shapes, ranging from promises of large tax refunds to illegal ways of “untaxing” yourself.
Work from Home? Consider the Home Office Deduction: Whether you are self-employed or an employee, if you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office deduction. See the full article for six things the IRS wants you to know about the Home Office deduction
Read This if you Need More Time to Pay Your Taxes: Taxpayers who owe taxes may be relieved to know that there are some options for those who can’t afford to pay the full amount right away. See the article for 10 things the IRS wants you to know if you need more time to pay your taxes.
Tax-Time Errors Filers Should Avoid: Mistakes on tax returns mean they take longer to process, which in turn, may cause your refund to arrive later. The IRS cautions against nine common errors so your refund is timely.
Small business health care tax credit video: The small business health care tax credit webinar is now available in the IRS Video Portal. Related link: Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers
Choosing a Tax Return Preparer: Even if the return was prepared by an outside individual or firm, you are legally responsible for what‘s on the return you file with IRS.
Employee Business Expenses: If you itemize deductions and are an employee, you may be able to deduct certain work-related expenses. The IRS has put together facts to help you determine which expenses may be deducted as an employee business expense.
Ten Things to Know about Farm Income and Deductions: If you have a farming business, there are several tax issues to consider before filing your federal tax return. The IRS has compiled a list of 10 things that farmers may want to know.
This winter, Mercy Corps Northwest will be offering a two-part seminar series on the small business tax return. The first session (In November) covers everything you need to gather to be ready for the tax season and the second session (in January) actually walks you through the steps of filing a Schedule C tax return. Come learn how to do business taxes right, learn about new deductions, and ensure a maximum return.
Seminars can be taken separately or as a set. Both are held at the Mercy Corps Northwest Office: 43 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97204 (river side of building)
Tax Planning for the Small Business Owner
Thursday, November 18th, 2010 5:30-7pm
Good tax planning is one of the keys to being profitable as a business owner. Learn how your business income and expenses impact your tax return. In this class, you will learn what you need to know about home office, depreciation, auto expenses, etc, as well as the information you need to keep track of.
Filing the Small Business Tax Return
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 5:30-7pm
In this class, we will walk through the process of filing a small business tax return. Have you ever asked yourself, “Where do all these numbers go?” Also, learn about self employment tax requirements.
About the Presenter
Gilbert Gleason is currently a tax preparer with H&R Block. He has 25 years of management experience in the non-profit arena. His areas of expertise are Investments/Stock Options (income, sales, losses), Home ownership, purchase, or sale, Home foreclosure, Real estate rentals or vacation homes, Healthcare expenses (e.g., medical, dental), Charitable giving, Income earned outside the U.S., Retirement income, Income from multiple States, Clergy, Small Business, Sole Proprietor, or Self-employed, Trusts & Estates, Partnerships, Corporations, Not-for-Profit organizations, Help with IRS or State notices / audits, and Tax Planning.
The IRS has several resources available on their website that may be helpful for small business owners this tax season:
- The Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop is an introductory video made up of nine interactive lessons designed to help new small business owners learn their tax rights and responsibilities. It’s available online and on a CD (we have some copies in the MCNW office to share).
- Other videos are available online as well, including information about bartering income, Schedule C for first-time filers, and the home office deduction.
- There are also many many resources through the IRS Small Business & Self-Employed Tax Center, including the forms needed for paying your business taxes, and many small business publications.
- For your tax planning into the future, the IRS publishes a small business tax calendar which is available as a hard copy in the fall, and online all year long. You can download a PDF version or sync it with your electronic calendars.
Last week on the 16th we called on everyone we could to come to a last-minute lunchtime discussion about taxes. Everyone, including the presenter himself: Brian Setzler, CPA at TriLibrium Accounting. I spent a good couple weeks calling up various accountants to see who would be available before April 15th, and it was a relief when Brian offered his services.
Brian talked about the difference between employees and independent contractors, 1099s, the importance of a business plan, and some of the local and more recent tax issues. He especially talked about why it’s worth it to make the investment in your accounting practices, as it will serve you well in the long-term.
“Found it motivating to get organized and find a CPA”
“Great overview, and coverage of ethics and what NOT to do”
There were a lot of questions, and taxes is clearly not a topic we can cover in a single lunchtime class. Participants suggested having more classes – possibly a series about taxes from start to finish, as well as maybe a panel of business owners to talk about their tax-time and general starting up experience. All ideas I’d like to get finalized and set up well before tax season 2011!