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!
On January 16th, we had our first Saturday morning seminar with Suzanne Feucht, accounting coach and trainer, to talk about basic financial tools. There were lots of participants and even more questions, so it was hard to get through everything Suzanne had on the agenda. They appreciated that she emphasized the basics: using the right accounting software, keeping track of paperwork, etc. The big message was they wanted more accounting and financial seminars in the future.
January 21st, Susan Rich joined us for a new addition to her Write it Rich! series. This presentation was on benefit-based copy, and how small businesses can think about what their product or service provides, and use that message to market themselves. We got to look at (and laugh about) some vintage ads, and point out where the key message was and what we were being sold… not a product, but a benefit. There was a lot of great discussion, so much so that we went a little over time. But no one seemed to mind too much – they were busy practicing their benefit-based copy and writing up their own blurbs and ads.