• Great uses for your tax refund
• How to File Nonprofit Taxes
• 7 Common Missing Tax Return Items
• Is a Tax Surprise Waiting for You?
• School yourself on the student loan interest deduction
• The 6 Biggest Threats to Your Finances
• Last-Second Money-Saving Tax Moves
• Retirement Contributions Get a Boost in 2019
• 5 Estate Planning Myths
• Disaster Preparedness Tips for Taxpayers and Businesses
• Five Tax Breaks for New Parents
• Setting up Your Business Accounting System
• Ideas to Improve Your Financial Health
• It's tax-planning time
• Managing Money Tips for Couples
• 6 tax benefits of owning a home
• Five Great Finance Tips Everyone Should Know
• How to handle a gap in health care coverage
• Update on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
• When an extension makes sense
• Tax checklist for business startups
• Answers to commonly asked tax questions
• New FASB Standards for Nonprofit Accounting
• Boost your retirement savings now
• IRS Urges Travelers Requiring Passports to Pay Their Back Taxes
• Scam Alert: IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency
• How to Get a Green Light for Commuting Expense Deductions
• Federal requirements for substantiating charitable contributions
• How to cut taxes under the new tax act
• FBI Warns of Online Dating Scams
• IRS issues 2018 standard mileage rates
• Year-end tax checklist
• The Equifax breach and you: be proactive
• Beware of Bogus Charities
• Planning A Wedding Over The Holidays?
Plan For Taxes Too
• Don't Include The IRS On Your Gift List
• Ready To Start Year-End Planning?
Focus On The Big Picture.
• Know When To Sell
• Put Your Tax and Financial House
• Are You Prepared For These Common
• Scams Against the Elderly:
Know the Danger Signs
• Tax Benefits of Corporate Retirement
• Maneuvering the Corporate
Retirement Plan Maze
• Maximizing your Travel and
• Deducting Business Meals and
• Do Yourself a Favor by Filing
• Do I Need A CPA?
• How to Save Money on Your Tax
• What To Do If You Can't Pay
• What To Do If You Haven't Filed
Starting your own business can be equal parts thrilling and intimidating. Complying with regulations and tax requirements definitely falls into the latter category. But, with some professional help, it doesn't have to be that way. You can get started with this checklist of things you'll need to consider.
Are you a hobby or a business? This may seem basic to some people, but the first thing you'll have to consider when starting out is whether you really are operating a business, or pursuing a hobby. A hobby can look like a business, but essentially it's something you do for its own sake that may or may not turn a profit. A true business is generally run for the purpose of making money and has a reasonable expectation of turning a profit. The benefit of operating as a business is that you have more tax tools available to you, such as being able to deduct your losses.
Pick your business structure. If you operate as a business, you'll have to choose whether it will be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation or C corporation. All entities except C corporations "pass through" their business income onto your personal tax return. The decision gets more complicated if you legally organize your business as a limited liability corporation (LLC). In this case you will need to choose your tax status as either a partnership or an S corporation. Each tax structure has its benefits and downsides it's best to discuss what is best for you.
Apply for tax identification numbers. In most cases, your business will have to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) from both the federal and state governments.
Select an accounting method. You'll have to choose whether to use an accrual or cash accounting method. Generally speaking, the accrual method means your business revenue and expenses are recorded when they are billed. In the cash method, revenue and expenses are instead recorded when you are paid. There are federal rules regarding which option you may use. You will also have to choose whether to operate on a calendar year or fiscal year.
Create a plan to track financials. Operating a business successfully requires continuous monitoring of your financial condition. This includes forecasting your financials and tracking actual performance against your projections. Too many businesses fail in the first couple of years because they fail to understand the importance of cash flow for startup operations. Don't let this be you.
Prepare for your tax requirements. Business owners generally will have to make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS. If you have employees, you'll have to pay your share of their Social Security and Medicare taxes. You also have the obligation to withhold your employees' share of taxes, Social Security and Medicare from their wages. Your personal income tax return can also get more complicated if you operate as one of the "pass-through" business structures.
This is just a short list of some of the things you should be ready to discuss as you start your business. Knowing your way around these rules can make the difference between success and failure, but don't be intimidated. Help is available so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.