For small business owners, preparing today can make tax season less stressful

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As residents throughout New York State prepare to gather with family and friends next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, Jan. 1 and 2016 are just around the corner. Also not far off, or far enough for most people’s liking, is the dreaded April 15 tax filing deadline. For small business owners, there are important steps that should be taken today regarding end-of-the-year tax planning that can make the upcoming tax season much less stressful.

For any business owner, having an organized and partially automated process for keeping track of financial records is a must. Today’s marketplace is flooded with accounting and tax-preparation online software programs that make it much easier to organize and keep track of a business-related expenses, income and deductions. For a small business owner, not only is it important to use one of these programs, but it’s also wise to input related financial data on a regular and consistent basis.

In addition to ensuring that one’s financial records are organized and up-to-date, business owners are also advised to, based on a business’ financial situation, plan and save for expected tax liabilities. Doing so will ensure that a business is able to meet its tax obligations and can prevent a business from incurring fines and penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.

The end of the calendar year is also an opportune time for business owners to become educated about any current or impending tax law changes. For example, many small business owners will be impacted by changes related to the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of any and all tax-deadline changes.

While ensuring that financial records are organized, planning for tax-related expenses and keeping abreast of tax changes can greatly benefit a business owner and his or her bottom-line, come tax time, it’s wise to turn to a tax professional. Likewise, small business owners who have questions or concerns about tax issues are advised to consult with an attorney.

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