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2023’s Tax Season Is Just About Over. Here’s How to Make 2024 Better.

Well, we’ve just about made it.

The filing deadline for 2023 taxes is April 15, 2024 (April 17 for residents of Maine and Massachusetts). So as we write this, there are only a few days left. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve already filed — and if you haven’t, you’re probably going to need a tax extension.

So, how was it? If you’re in the majority, this tax season stressed you out. No wonder there. Small business taxes can be complicated. Most small business owners don’t exactly specialize in accounting. And on top of that, you have to watch out for scams.

Our advice: Don’t keep the cycle going for another year.

One of the biggest causes of tax-season stress is letting everything pile up until right before the deadline. It’s also one of the easiest problems to fix, and something you can start working on as early as today.

5 Ways to Make 2024’s Tax Season Easier

1. Know Your Tax Deadlines and Tax Rates

For most Americans, April 15 is Tax Day. But small businesses often have more than just the one — they often must pay quarterly taxes, plus they have other filing and form deadlines to track throughout the year. Our handy tax calendar can help you keep tabs. (And given the penalties and interest you might pay for missing a deadline, you want to keep tabs.)

But just as helpful is having an idea of how much you might owe so you can plan ahead for it. Our guide to small business tax rates explains what you should expect depending on how your business is structured.

2. Keep Accurate Records Year-Round

Think about what it’s like keeping a house clean. If you tackle it a few chores at a time, every so often, it’s a pretty manageable task. But if you wait a whole year before ever touching a broom, you’re going to have a long, tiring job on your hands.

The same goes for financial record-keeping. If you input receipts, log expenses and update your books consistently, you’ll be in pretty good shape when it comes to preparing next year’s taxes. But if you stuff invoices and financial forms into a box and don’t open them until tax time, you’ll likely have a miserable time crunching the numbers.

3. Adopt a Full-Year Tax Strategy

In addition to the filing deadline, the end of the calendar year is another popular tax scramble. That’s because many small businesses realize they have very little time left to capitalize on various tax credits and deductions.

You can save a few bucks with last-minute tax breaks, it’s true, but you’ll have a better chance at significant cost savings if you approach the entire year with taxes in mind. That includes knowing deductible expenses so you can save year-round, as well as understanding the spending thresholds for various tax breaks, which are typically easier to hit across 12 months of spending than a few panicked days at the end of December.

4. Consider Accounting Software

Think of this step as a way to augment your accurate records.

It’s one thing, and no small thing, to keep accurate paper records, or even keep your expenses up-to-date in Excel or Google Sheets. But one way to get ahead of the game is to purchase accounting software and utilize it throughout the year.

Accounting software programs take a complex, time-consuming task and turn it into a much simpler, much quicker process that helps cut down on errors while providing you with clean, organized reporting.

In some cases, you might even use the accounting software to prepare your own taxes. But at the very least, these apps can keep your financials neat and tidy in case you decide to put Step 5 to use.

5. Hire a Pro

Nothing relieves the stress of a job more than delegating it to someone else. A tax preparer can not only give you time back, but give you more confidence that your return will be accurate and compliant.

When it comes to taxes, that’s what we’re here for.

Our comprehensive tax services include federal, state and local tax obligations, as well as payroll taxes for both the business and business owners. We can also assist year-round with proactive tax advice that keeps you and your company on Uncle Sam’s good side.

Forget the stress. Call McManamon at 440.892.8900 or contact us online today.

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