Small Business Tax Tips for Rookie Entrepreneurs

March 16, 2007

I just formed my first small business at the end of last year and spent the last few days putting together my inaugural business tax return for my eBay and blogging income. Here are some things I learned:

1) Make Friends with a CPA
One of my good friends is a tax guy and he put up with several questions over the last few days. I wasn’t actually aware that 3/15 was the deadline for filing until he recently reminded me, thanks to him I won’t have a late penalty.

2) Keep Consistent Records Year-Round
It was 1 AM on 3/15 and I was digging through receipts and taking inventory. If I’d have done a better job of organizing and entering data as I went along then doing the taxes would’ve been much easier and I wouldn’t be so stinkin tired.

3) eBay Accounting Assistant Rocks
If you’re an eBay seller, use the eBay Accounting Assistant to move your data into QuickBooks. You can import your sales and fees and save tons of time.

4) Use QuickBooks Report Center
I’m just learning how to use QuickBooks. I foolishly don’t like to read manuals so I normally poke around until I find what I need. I stumbled across the report center in QuickBooks and realized it was the dashboard I was looking for.

5) Use Certified Mail
I couldn’t eFile because I did everything last minute and my electronic filing wasn’t setup. If you send your tax return through the mail, it’s worth the extra buck or two to send your return by certified mail.

6) Don’t Procrastinate
Don’t wait until the night before the tax deadline to do your taxes. I am guilty of waiting too long but since I at least had a few days there was time to research questions and bug my CPA buddy.

7) Know Your Deadlines
As I mentioned, I almost foolishly missed the deadline for my 1120S. I’m sure over time you’ll get to know the important tax dates but when you’re starting out it’s smart to keep a list. The next date I have to worry about is the payment of estimated taxes by 4/15. Hmmm, a date I can’t wait to keep!

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Ben

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Ben
Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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