The average Joe in Louisville is done with taxes as of today. No more scrambling for receipts, reading that small print on W-2's, or trying to remember if you donated $20 or $25 to that "Save the Whale" charity.
Unfortunately for business owners, the tax season never ends.
So, as estimated tax day for the first quarter of 2011 comes and goes, we've compiled some tax tips for our local small business owners.
I spoke with Eric Shadowens, a tax manager with Rueff & Associates here in the 502, and he said that one of the biggest mistakes a small business owner makes is that generally they do not have the resources to have their own accounting department so they attempt to do it on their own.
"Most may be really good at running their business, but do a poor job of the administrative functions such as accounting," Eric says. "They don't have the extra time to put a lot of effort in maintaining their books and staying on top of changing tax laws. Therefore, when they have their taxes prepared at the end of the year they may have missed a lot of tax savings as well as providing poor accounting data for their accountant to prepare a return or provide analysis of what type of year it was."
Tax tips for small businesses*
-Eric says the best thing a business can do is to hire a professional accountant to handle their books. Then schedule time for the accountant to visit on a quarterly basis to review financial data. This allows them to catch any potential problems before they get too big by year's end.
Here are some more tips from SCORE
-Keep track of deductions (business losses, trips that combine pleasure and business, etc.)
-Keep tax documents for at least seven years.
-Know the tax deadlines (April 15 isn't the only one; June 15, September 15 and January 15 are all quarterly estimated tax due dates.)
-Let the IRS help. They have a small business website that has a wealth of information.
For more tips, visit SCORE here.
Tax questions for Eric Shadowens? Call 502.896.2451
*these tax tips are from independent agents/organizations and are not tax advice from Louisville.com
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