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RingCentral Team
April 10, 2011

8 Tax-Time Resources for Small Business Owners

taximageSaving receipts, keeping records, making quarterly payments – taxes can seem like a full-time job when you’re a small business owner. In fact, by IRS estimations, it takes the average business 52 hours to file taxes. With the April filing deadline rapidly approaching, it can be a downright overwhelming task!

While tax time is often stressful for small business owners, there are a growing number of online tools to help make it a little less problematic.  If you’re in need of a little tax assistance, the following resources are a few worth checking out.

Tax Questions
Nearly every business owner has tax-related queries. From what qualifies as a deduction to how to decrease your chances of being audited, it is often challenging to find the answers – especially if you don’t have a CPA or tax preparer. Thanks to online forums, you can now ask your questions and get answers from other business owners or tax professionals. Here are three that consistently provide helpful information.

IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
The IRS site for help on filing your business returns – this is where to go for forms, publications, FAQs, local office contact information and more. The answers to many tax-related questions can be found on this site.

Intuit’s Managing Business Finances Forum
For questions on taxes, deductions and general business financial topics, Intuit’s forum is an extremely helpful source of information and advice.

H&R Block Get It Right Community
Want help from certified CPAs and tax professionals? You can ask questions on H&R Block’s site, as well as search through lots of relevant questions and answers from other business owners.

Preparing Returns
While hiring a tax professional who specializes in small business is typically a good idea if your accounting is complex or you’re just starting out, there are many online tax preparation tools available for those who have relatively simple returns. It’s important to choose one designed specifically for business tax filing. These are some of the most popular online business tax tools available.

TurboTax
Along with its software for individual filing, Intuit also offers a product specifically for small business taxes. This is often a good option for sole proprietors, consultants and 1099 contractors, as well as those who own partnerships and corporations.

H&R Block
H&R Block also offers two downloadable programs for filing business tax returns – one for LLCs, S-Corps, and C-Corps, as well as another specifically for sole proprietors. Along with offering their software online, they also have a very helpful checklist for getting organized.

TopTen Reviews
Not sure what online tool to use for filing your taxes? TopTen Reviews offers detailed reviews and comparisons of the top tax software on the market.

Managing Receipts
Keeping track of your receipts that you’ve accumulated through the year can be a real headache if you’re not organized. If you have a habit of stuffing them in a desk drawer or a shoebox, you’re definitely not alone. However, when you consider that every misplaced or unreadable receipt is potentially a lost deduction, it pays to have a system of keeping them together and organized.

If you have difficulty with maintaining a file system where you manage paper receipts, there are online alternatives that can be very effective – particularly for business owners who are short on time.

NeatReceipts
NeatReceipts specializes in a turnkey system for keeping track of receipts. With a scanner/software solution, it’s an effective way to stay organized all year around.

Shoeboxed
Shoeboxed provides you with an account to keep track of your receipts. You can choose to scan and upload them yourself, or you can mail them in for scanning and data entry. The company also offers an iPhone app for taking photos of and uploading receipts. The online service lets you sort receipts, as wells create graphs and charts from the data.