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Website offers tax tips for small businesses

January 07, 2011|By ROBERT A. "BOB" POOR | r.poor@myactv.net
  • Robert A. "Bob" Poor
Robert A. "Bob" Poor

Q: Our small business is just wrapping up our first year of operating. While we have most areas of the business under control, we realize that we do need to learn more about managing our tax obligations. Where do we turn for such assistance?

A:
If you go to the U.S. Small Business Administration's website at www.sba.gov, you will find a section under the title of Starting A Business that includes tax information. It is a collaborative effort with the IRS and includes resources that explain tax obligations that all business owners work into their regular operations.

They include these sections:

  • Operating a Business — Learn about operating a business with employees, business deductions, filing and paying taxes, record keeping, and choosing an accounting method. Additional resources include the Small Business Online Tax Calendar, Tax Topics for Business and Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Accounting Periods and Methods — Taxpayers (business or individual) must figure tax income on an annual accounting period called a tax year. Each taxpayer must also use a consistent accounting method which is a set of rules for determining when to report income and expenses.
  • Tax Recordkeeping Guide for Businesses — Unless you are a professional bookkeeper, you probably don't like to spend valuable business time keeping records. But keeping good records can actually save you money and perform financial analysis critical to your business success. This section guide also includes Setting Up Bookkeeping Software, Your Basic Bookkeeping, and Small Business Expenses and Tax Deductions. Business expenses are the cost of conducting a trade or business. These expenses are common costs of doing business and are usually tax deductible if your business is profitable. Learn rules established by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for making deductions on business income taxes.

Locally, SCORE and Smith Elliot Kearns and Co. LLC, Certified Public Accountants, are sponsoring a small business tax workshop Tuesday, Feb. 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Elizabeth Hager Center, 14 N. Potomac St., Suite 200, in Hagerstown. Snow date is Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Additional details are available at www.scorehagerstown.org. Register by sending name and phone number to info@scorehagerstown.org. Submit no later than Friday, Feb. 4. Seating is limited.

Robert A. "Bob" Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is chairman of the local SCORE chapter, a small-business counselor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column. Questions may be e-mailed to him at r.poor@myactv.net or by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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