EXPERT ADVICE: It’s Tax Time!

February 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Every year around this time, individuals and businesses are scrambling to gather the necessary tax-related documents to see if they can plan vacation, or perform budget cuts in their personal lives. If you are a business owner thinking about your tax strategy, you are probably going to have some surprises ahead.  Small businesses and taxes are often uneasy bedfellows, simply because many people fear the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Having this misconception is most small businesses’ first mistake. The IRS can actually be a flexible and friendly partner for your business, if you contact them early and often. The IRS has many resources for small businesses and also offers tax workshops around the state.

As a heads up to small business owners, tax liabilities—whether it is payroll, sales, federal or other taxes—are probably the number one reason that a lender will turn down a business for a loan. Many businesses are hesitant when it comes to obtaining an accountant.  But, not only will having an accountant help you avoid tax issues, it will also be helpful when seeking financing. Lenders find it comforting when a business has an accountant to handle the fiscal aspects of their business. It implies that the business owner has thought ahead and is less likely to have future tax problems. The cost of paying an accountant can seem overwhelming for a start-up or existing small business, but the old adage still prevails, “Pay now or pay later”!  In this economy, when everyone is looking for ways to create revenue, it is possible to find affordable accountants who would be happy to work with you to help you succeed, and also would be willing to work out a reasonable payment plan for their services. Check your local community college’s Small Business Center (http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Pages/default.aspx ) or your local university’s Small Business Technical and Development Center (www.sbtdc.org ) for guidance on tax help and other business services. The NC Department of Revenue also offers a Small Business Taxpayer Recovery Program for businesses with fewer than 200 employees.

 

– by Roberta McCullough, Vice President, Business Services & Operations

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Entry filed under: Expert Advice, Small Business. Tags: , .

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