If you’ll be spending your weekend frantically gathering business documents for the April tax deadline, you’re not alone. The IRS is expecting 10 million tax extension requests from super-procrastinators!
Here are some last-minute tips from the National Association of the Self-Employed (and I’ve added a few of my own):
Do some digging: Look for hidden business deductions, such as the home office deduction or mileage for business errands. I suggest opening up your personal checkbook and reviewing your monthly credit card statements to see if there are any potential deductions you may have missed.
Retirement savings: You can deduct retirement savings, such as SEP contributions and IRA deposits, on your return up until the April filing date. (Translation: if you have the means to make a quick deposit in your retirement account, do it!)
Tax Extensions: If you just can’t get your act together in time, you can get an extension.
- For individuals and sole proprietors, file Form 4868.
- For partnerships and corporations, see form 7004.
One caveat: If you think you may owe, send in an estimated tax payment along with your extension, lest you be saddled with interest and late fees later on.
Plan ahead: Remember — we’re in the 2011 tax year now. What can you do this year to reduce your tax liability next time around? If you use an accountant, ask what tax breaks are available for this year. Making equipment purchases or adding to your payroll may help you in the year ahead. A good accountant can advise you on some of the best moves for your business.
Do yourself a big favor, and start a tax file for receipts and paid invoices to simplify next year’s tax filing process.
Get help: If you’re going solo on your taxes, there’s help available. Visit the IRS website, or call their helpline at 1-800-829-1040.
Don’t shoulder all of the accounting burden on your own. Try Patriot Software’s accounting software to help reduce the time you spend bookkeeping so you can get back to your business.