10 Tax and Technology Tips for Growing Companies

As the tax deadline looms, small business owners are turning to technology to make the April 15 cutoff. Whether you use a packaged software or a tax preparer, chances are technology can make tax season a little easier for you. Before you tackle this year’s tax return, here are a few technology tips to help make tax season easier this year…and in years to come.

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Information and opinions are presented solely for informational purposes, and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as a substitute for legal, accounting or tax advice.  You should consult an attorney or tax advisor for individual advice regarding your own situation. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.

As the tax deadline looms, small business owners are turning to technology to make the April 15 cutoff. Whether you use a packaged software or a tax preparer, chances are technology can make tax season a little easier for you. Before you tackle this year’s tax return, here are a few technology tips to help make tax season easier this year…and in years to come.

  1. Research. Tax preparation services and online services should be researched thoroughly before entrusting them with your tax reporting. Check online reviews and determine that the service can handle your specific needs before making your choice.
  2. Track deductions. Consumer Reports’ Tobie Stanger recommends ItsDeductible, a site that keeps up with your charitable deductions throughout the year. It interacts with TurboTax, but it can also be used independently.
  3. Track expenses. Expensify allows you to scan your receipts and register credit cards for automatic expense tracking. Once the information is imported, expense reports can be submitted through e-mail and reimbursed online through QuickBooks.
  4. Automate payroll. Payroll automation software like RUN allows small business owners to run payroll from any device. The software ensures the correct amount of tax is taken out of each employee’s paycheck as the year progress to avoid underpayments.
  5. Access information. CPA Practice Advisor recently reviewed this tax app and gave it five stars for its access to a variety of law topics. Business owners can get answers to their most pressing tax questions with just a few taps on a mobile screen.
  6. Collect sales tax. Avalara automates the sales and use tax collection process to take the burden off of you. There are more than 11,000 tax jurisdictions in the U.S. and many of them are unpredictable and confusing. Avalara helps businesses figure out which rates apply to their particular region to make “sales tax less taxing.”
  7. Utilize free resources. Former IRS officer Michael Raanan swears by IRS2Go for his business, Landmark Tax Group. Raanan states that business owners can type in simple questions like, “Where is my refund?” or, “How should I file my return?”and get immediate answers.
  8. Use the Cloud. Rebecca Berneck of Officeheads recommends Cloud-based accounting services like Hosted QuickBooks to keep your data safe and accessible from any device.
  9. Seek help. Sometimes even the most adamant do-it-yourselfer needs help. As a small business owner, your time is money. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a tax professional, which will free you up to spend time on your business.
  10. Keep data safe. Cybercriminals know that tax season is the prime time for swiping information, with so much data sailing back and forth. Be sure you use trusted tax preparation software and change passwords to online accounts frequently. If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS, take caution. The IRS emphasizes that it never sends out e-mails requesting personal information. If you receive one of these e-mails, review the IRS’s warnings before responding with any information.

Tax time can be one of the most stressful times of the year. But thanks to modern technology, preparing and filing taxes has never been easier.

 

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook