Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tax Tips

As 2009 draws to a close, taxes take on greater importance.  Remember all those expenses and costs incurred during the year?  Do you have a record of those?  Have you accounted for all revenue generated?  Are you taking all the deductions you are entitled to as a small business?  Do you have employees or contract workers and are their year-end forms in the works?  These questions and many others are vitally important and in some cases, a legal obligation.

Here are some tips to help you along the 'taxing' path:

- If you haven't already, consultant an accountant or tax adviser.  This is especially important for start up companies and will save time, grief, legal problems, and quite possibly save you money.

- KEEP GOOD RECORDS.  This is the single most important issue that is overlooked and disregarded.  Nothing is worse than trying to find receipts (if you kept them) in some random paper pile on your desk.

- Pay estimated taxes (federal and state) during the year, probably on a quarterly basis.  The tax adviser you consulted in the first step will recommend an appropriate strategy for each situation.  Nothing is worse than a huge tax bill at the end of the year.

- Discuss any special deductions you are entitled to.  These many include home office deductions, charitable contributions or work, self-employment taxes, and health insurance deductions, among others.

Taxes do not have to be a major headache, provided the planning and records are in place and appropriate people are part of your business team.  Remember, Big Brother is watching you!

- AJ

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