Don’t just think about tax time at tax time. You can save yourself an April-long headache if you stay up to date with your bookkeeping and properly track expenses throughout the year. Listen to a few tax tips from the professionals, recently published in an article from FOXBusiness’ Small Business Center.

The article discusses the perspectives of Barbara Anderson, director of product marketing for FreshBooks, Helena Swyter, practicing CPA at Sweeter CPA, and Kristel Yoneda, a freelance writer and marketing consultant on small business tax reporting procedures.

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Should You Do Your Own Taxes?

“Is it ever a good idea for a small business owner to do their own taxes?”

While not expressly saying that it is a bad idea, Kristel Yoneda does add her two cents, noting, “I personally prefer to let a professional handle my taxes. Filing my taxes used to give me a headache, and I was always afraid of doing the forms incorrectly.”

Needless to say, working with a tax accountant will save you the headache of compiling your tax reports on your own.

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What Are Some Key Things to Remember?

“If business owners ever do their own taxes, what are some key things to remember?”

The manner in which Barbara Anderson responded to this question is extremely insightful. She highlights a key point by saying, “It’s always easiest to prepare and file your taxes when you have all of the information right in front of you. Keeping track of your income and expenses year-round in a software solution is a great way to reduce your headaches at tax time.”

In the year to come, make a point of tracking your income and expenses meticulously. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes come April.

Any Tax Code Changes?

“Are there any tax-code changes this year that small business owners should be aware of?”

Helena Swyter’s answer to this question was quite interesting and important for business owners working out of their home. She says, “…those who maintain home offices can use the simplified option to calculate the deduction… For 2013, taxpayers are able to take a standard deduction of $5 per square foot of home used for business (up to 300 square feet).”

Merely deducting a $ amount per square foot greatly simplifies the process of home business tax deductions. These are the types of changes that are incredibly helpful for a small business owner to understand. Moreover, Swyter’s insight as a practicing CPA emphasizes the fact that consulting a professional accountant for help with your taxes can save you money.

Another important point is made in Swyter’s response to the following question of, “What are the deductions small business owners most often overlook?” She encourages small business owners to keep track of mileage. Even short car trips can add up eventually. The ability to deduct 55.5 cents per mile will sum to a large amount in the long run.

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How Can You Make Taxes Easier?

“What can small business owners do throughout the rest of this year to make next year’s tax filing an easier process?”

“Once taxes are filed, it’s a good idea to reflect on any items or issues that made the 2013 tax return burdensome. Were you unsure of total income? Was it difficult to categorize expenses? Consider accounting software that will assist you with that throughout the year.”

Like we said, don’t just think about taxes during tax season. If you encountered difficulties in your tax reporting this year, be sure to plan yourself an easy April for next year by fixing the issues.

For more information about the services that Your Balance Sheet can provide, feel free to contact us with any questions.