Prepare Your Small Business for Tax Season

Tax season can be stressful enough for one person with just their personal finances. But, when it comes to a small business’s finances, tax season can be extremely stressful. So, just like you would with your personal finances, your small business is going to have to prepare for that dreaded date in April when taxes are due. Here are some things to help you prepare your business so you can tackle tax season head on.

You will want to get your records and books organized. This means getting any and all past tax forms, expense receipts, bank statements, invoices, and any other documents that you use for bookkeeping. Getting your records organized should happen way before tax season begins. You should keep all of your receipts for the year in one location. You can even digitally store all of your receipts, but you should still hold on to the original receipt in case something happens to your computer. Using file cabinets or binders to hold all of your documents can help your business out a lot when you got to file your taxes.

Be sure to contact a tax advisor. No matter how long you have been doing your own taxes, when it comes to a small business, you may want to have a tax advisor look over your taxes before you submit them. They will be able to help you get all of the proper tax deductions that you qualify for and hopefully help save your company money.

Get all of the documents that you need. For employees, you will need to send out their W-2 forms by January 31 and also send them to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The W-2 form shows the total wages that were paid and the amount of taxes that were withheld throughout the previous year. Along with sending the W-2 form to the SSA, you will also need to send a W-3 form by the end of February. The W-3 form shows the complete total of W-2s. For any contractors who have made at least $600 in the previous year, you should have a few things that you kept track of over the past year. Having records of their W-9 form, the contractor’s business licenses and certifications can help you prepare a Form 1099-MISC to those contractors. This form must be sent to the contractor by January 31. It shows all payments that have been made to that contractor.

You may also want to do some research to find out what type of deductions you can use and if there are any possible write-offs that may apply to your business. This may include any new equipment your have bought, including a company car. If you aren’t completely sure, ask a tax advisor. They should be able to tell you where you can save the most money. One deduction you may not have thought about has to do with your business insurance. For some business insurance policies, the insurance premiums may be considered as a business expense and therefore are tax deductible. If you have any questions or are worried about being audited, you should talk to your tax advisor or a trusted financial advisor.

The True Value of a Turnkey Business Package

As with a franchise, a complete turnkey business package provides most – if not all – the items required to start a business. They include marketing materials, operations manuals, document templates, established processes, training, ongoing support and much more.

In addition to all the above, the key ingredient in a quality turnkey business package is the knowledge the founders gained through trial and error. Someone else went through that long start-up process. Someone else devoted time, effort and money finding what works and what doesn’t. Someone else struggled through the exasperatingly long learning curve. Someone else has an unknown amount of lost revenue due to the fact that they spent the time learning the business before they could start doing the business. Can a cost value be placed on this?

This is all true with a franchise as well. But there is one big difference that comes with a true turnkey business package. Owner connection and attention! Most franchises have a corporate office, filled with customer service representatives. They grow so big, that they need layers and layers of employees.

A turnkey business package is known to be smaller organizationa, with very few employees. This is one of the reasons they choose not to become a franchise – the decision to stay smaller and more personal. This doesn’t mean you get less, just different, support. When dealing with the owners, you’re getting the knowledge and experience first-hand, rather than what is in a list of answers for the customer service representative to pass on to you. This also means you’ll speak to one of the owners or top member of the top management who know the business from top to bottom.

Knowledge and experience come with high value. You are investing in a lot more than that, though. You’re also investing in a support group who will be there for you when you need clarification, suggestions, ideas, support, motivation and a pat on the back for a job well done. You’ll be part of a team, rather than just a number. You’ll be a part of something bigger, while still owning your own business. You’ll be on a first-name basis with the owners. You’ll develop a friendship with them. And with some, you’ll even know you’re welcome to call whenever you have a question, and you know they’ll answer the phone themselves!

When you’re ready to start a business, consider the personal attention you will want. It is the true value of a quality, complete turnkey business package.

What Exactly Is an Australian Business Number?

An Australian Business Number is a unique eleven-digit number issued for publication on the Australian Business Register (ABR). The ABR, in turn, is operated by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Registration has a number of distinct benefits but the principle factor behind them allows for easier identification and improved interaction when businesses liaise with Governmental bodies. The Australian Business Number also allows for improved communication between different operational entities.

Although there are no legal requirements to possess an Australian Business Number, most Australians choose to apply for them because of the numerous benefits that they offer.

Withholding Taxes

If a business operates without a number, other organisations and businesses can apply a withholding tax of 46.5% to all transactions made as a means of recouping liabilities to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). By providing unique identification on all documentation, withholding taxes are waived and a business can register for PAYG (Pay as you Go) taxes independently.

Tax Registration and Credits

By possessing an Australian Business number, organisations can apply for PAYG and GST (Goods and Services Tax) registration. Additionally, there are a number of important tax credits that can be claimed (such as Fuel Tax Credits) which help businesses save money. Credits can only be claimed if a business has a unique identification number.

Activity Statements

When GST is declared or claimed back, businesses are required to complete a Business Activity Statement (BAS). A BAS will only be issued if you, or your business, have valid identification in place.

Easier Business Transactions

By displaying unique identification on invoices and order forms, other entities will be able to carry out transactions with you more easily.

Building Trust

When other companies see an Australian Business Number displayed on your documentation, your own reputation will become more credible. It will help your organisation to build levels of trust with other companies and this can ultimately result in an increased number of transactions and sustained profitability.

Showing Intent

Secure your own number, and you will be showing other organisations that you take your business seriously and this means that they will also treat your operation with the respect that it deserves. To obtain a number, there are certain federal eligibility requirements that have to be met. By meeting those requirements, your signal of intent within the business world is clear for all to see.

Encouraging Trade

Other business will have also signaled their intent as serious entities by applying for their own Australian Business Number. By having an Australian Business Number yourself, those businesses will be much more likely to consider your products and services.