As with every new governing administration, tax giants such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are constantly being ordered to change details big and small. So how do you stay abreast of the changes that pass?
Below outlines some of the ways you can easily get to grips with and stay on top of this ever changing environment.
Tax filing deadline – This changes from year to year so check with your financial advisor or you can do a quick online search and get the result instantly.
Income tax bracket – Every now again we see this amendment, so confirm yours a few weeks or even months in advance of filing to ensure you’re withholding enough taxes to cover your payments, if any.
Trust yourinformation source – If you don’t have an accountant or other financial advisor it is wise to go directly to the policing body of taxes for your information, i.e. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the States. Congress passes the laws but the IRS enforce. They put policies old and new, into words that individuals can understand. There are taxpayer assistance centers based around the country if you want to speak to an actual person and/or have some paperwork you need reviewed.
State laws – Don’t forget to check in with your state’s Department of Revenue to track and confirm changes to laws and forms. Again, do this long before tax deadline so you have all your ducks in a row.
Digitize Your Books – If you haven’t already, look into purchasing software or online solution for you to manage your accounts and taxes. These are specifically designed to make your recordkeeping easier and more accessible.
Tax/Accounting Software Updates – If you are already managing your accounts and preparing your taxes using computer software, keep on top of version updates. Most of these service providers keep the information up to date on federal and state laws so any changes made will be reflected in your numbers after an update.
Take a Workshop, Seminar or Class – This is a good idea for any business owner, especially starting out but it is never too late to get educated on the topics of accounting and taxes. It certainly will not harm your business in doing this so you have nothing to lose really. The IRS website is a good starting point for locating seminars and they cover topics from general tax overview, to bookkeeping to retirement plans.You might also be surprised to learn that, like many other institutions, the prestigious Wharton School of Business offers free introduction classes to financial accounting. Don’t forget about your local library. They might have weekly or monthly workshops designed to help small businesses for tax season. If you pay for a class or workshop, you might even be able to claim it on your taxes as it is something that benefits your company and not just a “hobby”.