Tax season survival tips

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Tax day is looming, and it’s closer for some types of businesses than others. If your small business is incorporated, we trust that you’ve already filed your taxes or requested an extension. Sole proprietorships, single-member LLCs and partnership businesses have until April 18, the general filing deadline for individual taxpayers.

Whether you’re behind in tax preparation or on track for a smooth tax season, a few steps can make the process easier:

File returns and required forms online
When you file online, processing of your return is faster and more accurate — a definite plus if you’re owed a refund! In some cases, certain state and federal forms must, by law, be filed online, so it makes sense to complete the entire process electronically.

Be mindful of the Affordable Care Act
Chances are, no matter how small your business, health care reform has impacted it in some way. You may be eligible for a tax credit for a portion of the premium you pay to provide your employees with health insurance. Be sure to talk to your tax professional about compliance requirements and tax implications for your small business.

Focus on deductions, credits and exemptions
You may be entitled to more than you realize. For example, some businesses in Texas can qualify for a sales tax exemption on electricity. If you’ve made charitable contributions throughout the year, had business property that depreciated in value, or made energy-efficient improvements to your business facilities, you may be eligible for a deduction or credit. Talk to your accountant to determine what you can claim.

Finally, as this year’s tax season draws to a close, it’s never too early to begin thinking about next year. Start keeping a digital record, review your tax payment timeline, make full use of online banking tools and automate your business accounting. Everything you do this year to improve your tax preparation processes takes you one step closer to an easier tax season in 2017!