If you could only have one of the following for your child(ren), which would you choose, health insurance or an expanded tax deduction? Continue reading
Running your own business is no easy task, but it can be especially difficult during tax season. From the moment you meet with your accountant to writing that big check to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), your shoulders tend to be clenched tighter than a boxer in the middle of a fight. But, the good news is that once you pull off that band-aid, there are ways you can easily recover. The following are just a few ways to bounce back from taxes as a business owner:
How to Bounce Back from Taxes as a Business Owner
Create a Passive Income Stream
Relying on one source of income can be straining, even in the business world. When you only have one revenue stream, your business is reliant on customers buying products or services, both of which can fluctuate in different seasons. By creating a passive income for your business, you’ll stress less about sales and be able to put more into the business. Business blogging, YouTube videos, an app for your business are all great examples of a passive income that you could start utilizing this year.
Re-evaluate Your Expenses
Now is as good a time as any to really dive into your expenses. As a fellow business owner, I completely understand how daunting this is; however, it’s important to regularly check on what you’re spending money on in the business and how necessary those expenses may be. For instance, in my own business, we noticed we had a couple subscriptions that really did not give us much more value than their free versions, nor do we use them all that often. We decided to cancel these and use this money elsewhere like more advertising and growing our savings account (more the come on that later).
Reach Out to Leads
Although it may seem counterintuitive to invest in advertising right now, this is actually a prime time to do so, particularly if you are a business-to-consumer (B2C) establishment. Consumers will receive their income checks soon (if they have not already) and may feel ready to spend. For those who are business-to-business (B2B), your potential clientele may also be ready to buy now that the stress of tax season is primarily out of the way. They, too, will be looking for ways to bounce back from taxes, and you may just be the key.
If you do have a smaller advertising budget, you can still reach leads through networking. This is one of the best ways to get attention to your company. With options available both online and offline, you should be able to sign up new business in no time. (As long as you are being consistent, that is.)
Start a Savings & File Quarterly
If you dread taxes every year (and who doesn’t?), look into filing quarterly, if you do not already. This is highly recommended and suggested by many to avoid paying such a large lump sum at once. My business partner and I decided from the day we opened our virtual doors for business that we were going to keep a percentage of our revenue in savings specifically for taxes so that we were not worrying about where to come up with the money. Keep a minimum of 30% of your net profit in a separate account at all times so that you have a better idea of where you stand. This will reduce the stress of taxes and keep your head in the game so that you can do what you do best — run your business.
What tips would you add on how to bounce back from taxes as a business owner?
Write-offs are often hiding right under our noses.
If you’re a small business owner that has yet to file your 2015 taxes, you’re probably jumping for joy over the news that taxes are now due April 18 instead of April 15. And, if you do have yet to file, this also buys you a little more time to review and evaluate your expenses and potential deductions with your accountant.
As you finish the filing process, be sure to keep these write-offs for small businesses that are often missed in mind:
- Your startup costs. As surprising as it may be, if you are in your first year of business, costs accrued to start up your business count as capital expenses and can be deducted up to $5,000. If fees go beyond this limit, you can opt to write-off certain initial investments over a period of 15 years. Also, if your attempt to start your business is sadly unsuccessful, you can still deduct the costs as a capital loss.
- Health insurance premiums. While this expense would not be considered a business write-off, you can deduct this as a personal expense on a 1040 form if you are self-employed. Deductible premiums includes ones paid for yourself and your immediate family.
- Home office. You may already be aware of this one, but small businesses tend to forget about this or often surprisingly steer clear of trying to include this in their write-offs due to worry of an audit to the business owner. If the space is used strictly for business, though, and nothing else, such as entertainment for guests or other family members, this is a business deduction from your taxes. Your home office doesn’t need its own room to count; it can still be a part of another room in the home. To determine the amount that is deductible in a shared space, you would measure the work space and divide by the square footage of the room. Read more about the home business tax filing and deduction process here.
- Bank fees. Charges from your bank for ATM withdrawals, account fees and the like are completely deductible. Make sure to keep this in mind when filing and reporting your expenses throughout the year.
- Office supplies. Keep a steady record of the receipts and purchases of your office supplies used for your small business. These will help to provide a tax break for you.
- Furniture and other equipment. Office furniture or furniture and equipment used for your company can be deducted in full the same year of purchase or depreciate, which is taking a portion over a period of time. For furniture, you would deduct through the course of seven years. For other equipment, such as computers and printers, you would depreciate for five years.
- Driving your car. If your vehicle is a staple for your organization, the IRS permits you to write-off some of the costs. Even if you only periodically use your car for meeting with clients or other business-related exchanges in between your personal errands, you can still receive a tax break for related costs. Just be sure to maintain strong documentation on mileage, gas, parking and toll fees and even the justification for drive. We recommend immediately writing this information down per trip with the date included to avoid having to go back and remember these tedious details.
- Credit card interest. If you were paying for business items with your credit card, you can deduct the interest paid on the card on your taxes.
Some other expenses that can be write-offs for your small business include but are not limited to: education costs, subscriptions to industry publications or memberships related to increasing knowledge in your trade, travel charges, and even some entertainment expenses. You can read more about those tax breaks in this helpful guide.
Make sure to always inquire about what can be included as a deduction for your small business so that you can use more funds to do those bigger things we know you are all meant to do.