3 Resources for Small Business Tax Help

You can get small business tax help from a number of free, or near-free, sources. However, you should be wary of where you go for help. The implications of filing taxes are not just financial, they are also legal. If you go to the wrong source and get bad advice, you could face harsh penalties in the future. To stick with ethical resources, take advantage of the SBA, get informed through do-it-yourself programs and consider using a small business accountant.

#1 Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration will not file your taxes for you, and there are no accountants provided in-house. However, the SBA is designed to be a resource for small businesses, and it delivers on that promise. Through the SBA, you will have access to two key tax helping options: one, financial courses; two, recommendations and referrals. You will have the option to attend seminars in business finance. This can help you learn about deductions, capitalization financial reports and other key information. These classes are especially valuable to business owners who did not specifically receive a degree in the business field. They present a "crash course" in running your own operation. Further, the SBA can provide a list of licensed, qualified accountants in your area. You may even be pointed to non profit tax services. These services often offer peace of mind to a small business owner who is concerned with overpaying for an accountant.

#2 Tax Software Programs

If you are going to "do it yourself" when you file your annual taxes. Consider starting with a good software program. The program purchase is tax deductible, so you can spend more money on a more expensive option instead of going for the discount programs. Recommended programs include TurboTax and any program that carries the brand of a successful accounting firm, such as H&R Block's software programs. Look for a program that offers a "one stop shop," both calculating and filing your forms for you online. You should also search for guarantees. For example, H&R Block offers a guaranty to review your taxes if you have any problem getting the return accepted by either the state or federal revenue service.

#3 Small Business Accountant

Many business owners have an independent, do-it-yourself attitude. This is what makes them entrepreneurs, but it can be a problem when it comes time to ask for help. If you are hesitant to hire an accountant, think about the expense in terms of opportunity cost instead of just in terms of cost to your pocket book. The time you spend filing your own taxes could be allocated to working on your business or spending time with your family. Similarly, an accountant may be more efficient at minimizing your tax obligation. This alone can make up for the additional expense. Many business owners use the option of completing their own taxes through a software program then having an accountant look those forms over before submission. This is a "best of both worlds" approach that reduces cost while still capitalizing on tax benefits.