With April 15 firmly in the rearview mirror, we wanted to give our friends in the US a little reprieve by way of a quick (and fun!) post-Tax Day quiz and contest. Complete these five questions by 5:00 PM PST on April 30 and you’ll have a chance to win one of 10 $50 Amazon or iTunes gift cards! Good luck!
If you’ve put off finishing up your tax returns until the last minute (yes, today is April 15, you individual U.S. filers!) and still need some help, don’t fret. Take a deep breath and know that there are a ton of great resources out there that can help you navigate the tax filing world and get your stuff in on time. To get you started, we gathered a few last minute tax help resources… Happy filing!
The Internal Revenue Service – For those of you in the US, irs.gov actually has a multitude of resources covering lots of information on everything from forms and publications to help finding free tax assistance. There’s even a section just for small businesses.
The Canada Revenue Agency – The Canada Revenue Agency also has a site with handy information and tips. They have a section on e-services for businesses and break down information by specific business type, so you can easily find information according to what industry you are in. (Please note though that the CRA is currently dealing with the Heartbleed vulnerability. See the message they have posted on their homepage.)
IRS Small Business Taxes: Virtual Workshop – This is a literal class on how to do your taxes. You can start any time because it’s video based and you can just watch sections where you need help.
The U.S. Small Business Administration – This site has a plenty of easy-to-read resources specifically geared toward small business owners.
Canada Business Network – Here you’ll find a number of tutorials, tools and resources for all your Canadian small business tax needs. You’ll even find help in navigating that oh-so-fun GST!
Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center – Another helpful tool from the IRS, soup to nuts, for small businesses from figuring out what qualifies you as a small business to events and e-news.
Kashoo Support – A clean tax filing relies on clean accounting. Our support center has a ton of help articles both for the Kashoo software and accounting/bookkeeping in general.
No go forth and file—especially if today’s your deadline! And always remember: the best source of help for tax-related questions is an accountant or tax prep professional. If you need help finding one, drop us a line!
Yes, the internet is rife with lists but since we are all in the tax time crunch, we wanted to provide you with a tax time survival checklist that’s a quick and easy read. Let’s get to it!
For most entrepreneurs, tax return filing isn’t a quick and easy task. And that’s OK. The key is being patient. Know that you will likely encounter things that you might not have last year or the year before that. And if you think about it, that’s a good thing: as your business grows, so to will the complexities of your tax situation. Things like new employees… new expense… new locations… they all have an impact on your tax situation. So be patient as you wade through it all. (Of course you don’t want to be too patient…)
Or some other form of caffeination. Need we say more?
When you are jamming on your finances for hours on end without a break, mistakes will be made. Make a commitment to take some time every 2-3 hours to step away. Even a quick walk around the block will be sufficient enough to help you focus better on the tax task at hand.
A Good Chair
While most of us here at Kashoo are big fans of the standing desk, we realize it’s not for everyone. That said, a good chair for those hours spent sifting through tax materials is crucial. And don’t forget to capture the receipt for your chair! It’s a write off for this year!
The Right Tech
Gone are the days of filing your tax return by hand (or at least they should be gone). Naturally we’re biased as to what accounting software you should use, but it goes deeper than that. If you’re relying on the web for managing your business finances and tax work, make sure you have a reliable internet connection. (Another write off!)
Tax time always feels like this big scary thing. Deadlines, money out the door, the fear of getting something wrong… the list goes on! But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not the be all end all. Sure, it’s to your benefit to file on time and pay what you owe, but it’s also important that you don’t freak out about it to the extent that your nibbling your nails away, incapable of sleep. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be OK.
Could we keep going with this list? Without a doubt. But we’ve got accounting software to run and you’ve got tax returns to file!
If by now you’ve come to the realization that you’re just not going to be able to get your tax federal return filed on time, here’s some insight into how to file for a federal tax return extension. (As a reminder, your accountant or tax prep professional is your best source of knowledge when it comes to this and all tax-related topics. Talk to them!)
Visit the IRS Website
You may be surprised at how searchable and useful irs.gov is. When it comes to learning more about how to file for a tax return extension, the website has information for individuals as well as “corporations, partnerships, REMICs, and certain trusts.” You’ll also be able to find the requisite forms you need. The “Extensions” section of irs.gov also hammers home an extremely important piece of information: “Please be aware that an extension of time to file your return does not grant you any extension of time to pay your tax liability.” Basically that means that even though you’re requesting to take some extra time to get the paperwork done, you still have to pay on time.
Understand How Long Your Extension Is
If you’re seeking for an automatic extension to file your federal individual income tax return, you get six (6) months. It’s also important to note that in order to get a filing extension for your federal individual income tax return, you need to supply the following information:
- “Properly estimate your 2013 tax liability using the information available to you,
- Enter your total tax liability on line 4 of Form 4868, and
- File Form 4868 by the regular due date of your return”
And for your business filing extension request, Form 7004 is what you need. For this form, you’ll need to know what the form for which you’re requesting an extension. For example, if you need an extension to file form 1120, you’ll need to indicate such on form 7004. (Isn’t this fun!?!?)
BONUS TIP: The IRS will not notify you if your extension has been granted; only if it has been declined.
As always, your accountant or tax prep professional is the best source of advice for this stuff. Additional resources include sba.gov, irs.gov, your state’s revenue website (i.e., tax.ny.gov) and your local chamber of commerce.
Everybody knows that we’re in the thick of tax time. For most entrepreneurs, filing deadlines are coming up quick and there might even be a shoebox of receipts involved. Well, the good folks over on the App Store know that tax time is looming too so they whipped up a Money Management feature section. You might recognize at least one featured tax app…