September 12, 2013
This guest post is brought to you by Outright, the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!
One of the gripes we hear most from our customers at online accounting app Outright is that tax time seems to come around so much more often when you’re self-employed. In fact, another quarterly estimated tax (QET) due date is right around the corner, on Monday, September 16.
To help you make QET time much easier, here are four things you can do today to prepare better. While they won’t eliminate the fact you still have to file these taxes regularly, they can make the whole matter much less painful.
1. Get Organized
One of the biggest problems small business owners run into with QETs is scrambling to find all the necessary paperwork when you need it. When you’re running your business you may not stick to a strict filing system and just stick papers wherever you can find space. However, that doesn’t do you any favors when it’s time to deal with QETs.
So before tax time actually gets here, figure out a filing system that works for you. It’s easy to think “well the system I have now works ok,” but try to imagine one that’s even better. Instead of those boxes of papers in your closet, digitize everything so it’s not only easier to find but also searchable.
2. Stay Organized
It’s easy to let everything you’ve done to prepare for this tax season slip when the next tax season rolls around. However, the real key to beating the QETs is staying on top of them at all times. Once you get a real system going they just become another part of your business ritual.
One tip is to get an account at Outright. This way you don’t have to track how much you’re making and spending yourself. Instead, it’s all right there in front of you 24/7. And if you’re an Outright Plus customer, we’ll even calculate how much you owe in quarterlies without you having to lift a calculator.
3. Figure Out Your Deductions
Do you work out of your home? Do you spend a lot of time on the road for your business? How much do you end up spending on materials for your company? If you’re not taking deductions on your taxes you’re paying way too much to the government. Look up which ones you may qualify for to help lower your responsibility. For example, if you work from home in a dedicated office room, you most likely qualify for a home office deduction.
4. Sign Up for EFTPS
Filing via paperwork can take forever and might also lead to human error. This is the age of the computer; why not take advantage of it for your taxes? The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System is provided free by the Department of the Treasury and allows you to file online in no time flat.
You don’t need any extra information that you would need if you were filing by paper. Just sign up, input the relevant info, and pay what you owe. Now you can move on with your life instead of worrying about your taxes all the time. Even better, since you’ve also performed the previous steps, next time will be a breeze as well!