4 Tips for Filing Your Own Small Business Taxes

When it’s time to file taxes, many small business owners just rely on a local tax filing service. Of course, entrusting your tax return to a trained and experienced professional isn’t necessarily a bad move, but it isn’t absolutely necessary either, and you could stand to save money by doing it yourself. Plus, filing your own business taxes will give you a new skill set that you can apply to your ongoing accounting and budgeting processes, so it’s worthwhile to learn how to do it. With that said, here are four tips to keep in mind if you’re planning on filing your own small business taxes:

1. Take an Online Tax Filing Course

Perhaps the best way to ensure you’re not making any costly mistakes or oversights is to simply enroll in a tax school online. This will give you the same comprehensive level of training that the pros at your preferred tax service have. Being able to audit and file your own taxes is an admirable and useful skill for any business owner to have. The good news is that it doesn’t take nearly as long as earning a degree – it only takes about 15 to 18 hours of coursework to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP).

2. Become Proficient at Using Accounting Software

Once you’re familiar with the steps involved in filing your business taxes, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of records are most important to keep. It goes without saying that all transactions should be recorded, and knowing how to use an accounting software will help you keep track of everything in a neatly organized and flexible interface.

3. Generate Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Reports

After you’ve educated yourself about tax filing and the use of accounting software, it’s time to start practicing and reviewing your new skills by generating reports on a regular basis. There are a number of ways you can approach this. You can export data and generate reports in your primary software applications (i.e. – your accounts software) or you can create a spreadsheet template that makes it easy to centralize your critical data into daily and weekly summaries.

4. Double Check with a Professional

Finally, even though you should now be well-equipped to file your taxes independently, it may still be a good idea to consult with a tax professional and have them review your returns before filing, especially if this is your first attempt at going it alone. Doing this will only take a little while and it won’t cost as much as paying them to do the entire filing process for you.

Don’t Forget to Take Advantage of Applicable Deductions

Before you rush to start organizing your accounting folder, don’t forget to thoroughly research all available tax deductions that your business may be eligible for. Generally, this will include the value of anything that you purchased for business purposes during the year, such as equipment or a company vehicle. Listing all the deduction types would go beyond the scope of this article, so be sure to do your homework in this regard before continuing.

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