Resources to Survive Tax Season as a Small Business

small business tax resources

Taxes are something we are all used to, but when you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, taxes are a little different and tend to be more complex. So whether you’re still deciding between doing your own taxes or hiring a professional these resources should help tremendously.

The resources below include different tax software solutions, tax related calculators and tools, small business guides and forms and much more. There are over forty resources listed below but if you notice any resource or tool that we’ve missed, please let us know so we can add it to the list.

Tax Software

  • e-file.com — $34.95 for the Premium Plus E-File, for business and personal income. Quick filing and refund, and all deductions and credits are supported.

  • eSmart Tax — $29.95 for Tax Premium Edition, for self-employed business owners and contractors. Includes business income and expenses and support from a Liberty Tax CPA in the event of an audit.

  • etax.com — $49.95 for Premium Federal Edition, for small business schedule C filers. Can store tax returns for three years.

  • FileYourTaxes.com — FREE if you file 1-4 individual forms, $35 for 5-12 forms, $67 for 13-25, $67 plus $2.50 for each additional form over 25 (26-99) and $250 plus $2.00 for each additional form over 99 (100+). Produces W-2s, W-3s and Form 1099s.

  • H&R Block $79.95 for Premium & Business, for business owners. Downloadable on Windows. Offers corporate, partnership and LLC returns, and generates payroll and employer forms.

  • Jackson Hewitt Online — $44.95 for Premium Edition. Available for small businesses, sole proprietors, single-member LLCs, S or C corporations, freelancers, self-employed, partnerships or multi-member LLCs. Depreciation and business deductions, and free phone support.

  • QuickBooks — Offer online and desktop products for small businesses starting at $12.95/month up to $39.95. Can try online products for free for 30 days.

  • Real Business Solutions — $39 for W2 1099 software or $99 for payroll software. Both softwares make it easy for businesses to prepare, file and print information and forms for employees.

  • TaxACT Online — FREE to $12.99 for sole proprietor, self-employed and single-member LLCs. Can also buy home and business bundles for $59.99.

  • TaxSlayer — $32.95 for the Premium Edition. Offers privately owned or liability business forms.

  • TurboTax — $74.99 for TurboTax Home & Business for small business owner or sole proprietor. File schedule C for business income and can file personal and small business taxes.

  • WageFiling.com — $3.49/per filing. Print, produce and file W2s and 1099s for employees.

Tax Calculators 

  • Aetna — Small business health insurance tax credit calculator.

  • Bankrate.com — Multiple tax calculators, like payroll deductions and self-employed tax.

  • H&R Block — Tax estimator, W-4 calculator, health care calculator.

  • Kaiser — Health care related tax credit calculator.

  • Small Business Majority — Tax credit calculator related to healthcare coverage.

  • SurePayroll — Small business calculators, payroll calculators, state payroll calculator, health insurance calculators.

  • TaxSlayer — Federal tax refund calculator.

  • TurboTax — TaxCaster, W-4 withholding calculator, health care calculator.

  • UnitedHealthcare — Small business health care tax credit modeling tool/calculator.

Tools and Resources

  • H&R Block — Answers to numerous tax questions.

  • IRS Tax Calendar — Businesses and those self-employed can view due dates and actions for each month. You can filter events how you want to see them.

  • IRS Video — Video clips, audio clips and webinars to answer tax questions.

  • IRS Virtual Tax Workshop — Interactive and informative online training tool for new small businesses.

  • IRS Small Business Tax Center — comprehensive tax resources for SMBs.

  • NFIB.com — Tax help for small businesses.

  • NOLO — Lists and links to state and federal resources for small business.

  • Small Business Taxes & Management — Tax and management guidance for small- and medium-sized businesses.

How To Guides For Small Business Taxes

  • Ernst & Young — EY Tax Guide 2014 in relation to SMBs

  • Full Service CPA — 2013-14 Tax Planning Guide (PDF version)

  • IRS — Publication 15: Employer’s Tax Guide

  • IRS — Filing and paying business taxes

  • SBA.gov — Comprehensive overview of small business and taxes.

  • SMB Income Tax — Record Retention Guide

  • Tax Receipts — Tax deduction guide

  • TurboTax — How to file federal income taxes for SMBs

Small Business Tax Forms

Small Business Tax Definitions

Below are some of the more commonly used terms when it comes to small business taxes. These should clarify some of the most confusing aspects of filing as a small business and provide a jumping off point to getting your taxes done in a timely manner.

  • Accrual Method — Type of business accounting where you report income in the year you earn and expenses in the year you acquire them, instead of reporting income and expenses when you receive the payment or pay the expenses. If your business maintains an inventory, you must use the accrual method for your purchases and sales.

  • Active Income — Kind of income like wages, tips and profits from your business that you physically take part in, as well as portfolio income like dividends and interest. In most cases, you can’t offset active income with passive losses. Also referred to as nonpassive income.

  • Business expenses — Expenses acquired during the normal course of business. They are deductible.

  • Business tax credits — Federal income tax credits available to businesses that are grouped together and can be claimed with IRS Form 3800. You can subtract these credits from tax.

  • Calendar year — A one-year period that starts January 1 and ends December 31.

  • Capital asset — Some item you own for investment or a personal purpose. When selling a capital asset, you earn a capital gain or capital loss, depending on the price.

  • Clear business setting test — A test that determines if business-related dining and entertainment expenses are deductible.

  • Cost of goods sold — An expense representing the cost of a business’s inventory sold during a certain period that appears on a business’s income statement.

  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System — Way to make tax payments if you don’t want to pay with a credit card or write a check.

  • Electronic Funds Withdrawal — Method of electronically paying the IRS the taxes you owe.

  • Expense — Current cost of operation that’s distinguished from capital expenditure for long-term property and equipment.

  • Federal Insurance Contributions Act — An act consisting of payments to the Social Security retirement supplement system and the Medicare hospital insurance program. A tax for each component is taken out of employers, employees and certain self-employed individuals paychecks and done so separately from income tax.

  • Federal Unemployment Tax Act — Tax employers pay to fund the unemployment compensation programs.

  • Fiscal year — A one-year period that an organization plans the use of its funds for.

  • Form 7004 — The IRS tax form a business has to submit if it wants to receive an extension to file its taxes.

  • Itemized deduction — Deduction for money spent on certain goods and services throughout the year taken from a taxpayer’s taxable adjusted gross income.

  • Late filing penalty — Penalty charged by the IRS if you file your tax return after the due date, which includes tax extensions.

  • Late payment penalty — Penalty charged by the IRS if you don’t pay your taxes on time.

  • Life-kind exchange — A tax-deferred exchange of items of the same type, don’t have to be the same grade or quality, that you use in your business or hold for investment. Securities and other indebtedness or interests aren’t included.

  • Line of business limitations — Federal income tax rule applying to fringe benefits that employers provide their employees. This rule says if a company takes part in various lines of business and an employee receives a fringe benefit from a line of the company’s business that he or she doesn’t work in, he or she has to pay taxes on such benefit.

  • Medical savings account — An account meant to help self-employed people and employees of small businesses save for and pay medical expenses not covered by health insurance.

  • Mileage allowance — A deduction of automobile expenses for people using their vehicles for business purposes.

  • Ordinary dividends — Fully-taxable dividends that are distributions of a business’s profits.

  • Refund — Payment from the government for overpaid taxes.

  • Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees — Retirement plan that allows employees of businesses with fewer than 100 employees and self-employed people to make contributions to an IRA.

  • Self Employed Contributions Act Tax — Type of tax self-employed business owners have to pay based on their net earnings from self-employment.

  • Self-Employment Tax — Money a small business owner has to pay the federal government to fund Medicare and Social Security. The business and its employees are taxed to pay for these programs.

  • Simplified Employee Pension Plan — Retirement plan that’s like an individual retirement plan for self-employed individuals and their employees. The SEP is set up by the employer.

  • Sole proprietorship — Business where one person owns all the assets of that business.

  • Tax credit — Money a taxpayer can subtract from the tax amount they owe the government. Certain types of tax credits are given to businesses in specific locations, industries or classifications.

  • Tax deduction — Expenditure deducted from taxable income.

  • Tax liability — Total tax amount a business must pay the IRS for the tax year.

  • Withholding tax — Income tax that’s withheld from an employee’s wages and then paid directly to the government by the employer.

  • Work opportunity tax credit — A separate, nonrefundable credit that’s a part of the general business credit. It encourages employers to hire workers from different minority groups that have higher-than-average unemployment rates.

Dustin Heap

Before Signs.com, Dustin had several jobs after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. These included positions in two different SEO agencies and Everyday Health, a leading online health brand. He’s worked with both big and small businesses and lived in New York City, Toronto, and Salt Lake City. He currently does the marketing for Signs.com and has experience in a variety of areas under the digital marketing umbrella. Outside of work he loves spending time with his family, sports, books, wood fired-pizza, grilling and smoking meat, and the geopolitics of the Middle East.