While tax preparation is probably not one of the most enjoyable things you need to handle as a small business owner, it is one of the necessities. If you have prepared well during the year then actually getting your returns filed will be considerably easier. If you have not, then now is a great time to start.

The Internal Revenue Service offers a free Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop that is designed to help small business owners understand tax rules, regulations, and procedures. The course is constructed to provide a new entrepreneur with the basic information needed when a business is first started, and to provide help with new tax requirements that become relevant as a business grows.

The course is divided into 9 lessons that cover:

  1. The basics of obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), general bookkeeping and accounting practices, and tax preparation. 
  2. Help with making tax calculation and payment easy, including calculating profit and loss, deductions, depreciation, disability access credits, self-employment tax, and estimated tax. 
  3. How to file and pay taxes online using IRS e-file
  4. Home-based business tax topics, including determining deduction eligibility and deduction limits. 
  5. Setting up retirement plans for yourself and your employees, including SIMPLE IRAs and SEP plans, which are designed for small businesses. 
  6. Small business employer tax responsibilities for employees and independent contractors including filing W-2s online, verifying employment information with the Social Security Administration, and using the State New Hire Registry. 
  7. How to manage payroll, identify wages subject to employment taxes, and calculate payroll taxes. 
  8. How to deposit and file payroll taxes electronically. 
  9. What you need to know about Federal Unemployment Taxes and how to calculate, file, and pay them electronically.

Each lesson contains a References section that includes tax forms and informational guides related to the topic. You can view the entire course in order or skip around to particular areas of interest.

Of course if all this tax stuff sounds too boring and tedious, you can always hire someone to take care of it for you. Two posts from the Small Business Administration (SBA) offer help with this topic: both How to Find an Accountant Who Can Help Your Small Business over the Long Haul, and The Bigger Financial Picture – Is it Time to Hire a CFO and Where Should You Look? provide useful ideas for finding the right person.

This Small Business Tip from PaySimple offers one more way to optimize and accelerate your business. For more tips like this one, subscribe to our newsletter.

Lisa Hephner

Lisa Hephner

My name is Lisa, and I'm the Vice President of Knowledge, responsible for the management of corporate, product, competitor, marketplace, legal, and regulatory knowledge, and creation and dissemination of knowledge tools using these assets to PaySimple prospects, customers, employees, and partners.

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