Free Online Tax Tools for Small Businesses

19 Jan, 2017 / Comments: Comments Off on Free Online Tax Tools for Small Businesses / By

The tax season is nothing to take lightly, especially when you own a small business. Paying someone to prepare your taxes might be outside of your budget, but the good news is there are free options available. The internet offers a wealth of information that can help you figure out the best way to go about your taxes this year.


Start with the IRS

What better place could you start than with the IRS? Check out the IRS Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop. Not only will this course help you figure out your taxes for this year, it will also help you moving forward. You will find courses on understanding your tax obligations throughout the year as well as the best way to set your business up so that you are not in over your head with taxes in the future. Take the course at your own pace and pick and choose the tools you need to use for your specific business.


Get Accounting Help

Having your affairs in order is crucial to successful tax filing. If you don’t want to pay an accountant high fees there are free software options out there. One good one is Accounting from Wave. This program offers a simple way to create and organize invoices and receipts. If you want to pay a little for the program, you can also get support for payments and payroll. Using the free services, however, will help you be organized when it comes time to claim your income and write off your expenses.


Track Your Expenses

Keeping track of your expenses is often a business owner’s nightmare. When tax time rolls around and you are surrounded by numerous receipts, the process can be overwhelming. Mint, a free app for many smartphones, helps to eliminate this mess for you. It helps to keep track of your expenses as well as organize them. This way come tax time, you have everything in one place. It also provides charts and graphs to help you forecast future expenses, which may help you minimize your tax liability if you time everything right.


Track Your Donations

Businesses often have lower tax liabilities when they donate money or items. If your business is in the practice of doing this, you have to carefully track your donations. The free app, iDonatedIt helps you to easily track your donations throughout the year. This way you don’t have to scramble the following year to remember what you donated and find the receipts. Everything is stored electronically, so you can painlessly prepare your taxes come tax time.


Track Your Miles

A deduction many business owners overlook because of the complexity of it is the mileage deduction. Rather than overlooking this beneficial deduction, though, you can use an app such as MileIQ. This free app automatically tracks your trips. All you have to do is input whether it was for business or personal purposes. The app does the rest for you, painlessly sorting out which miles you can write off and which you have to eat the costs of because they were for personal use.


The more prepared you are throughout the year for tax time, the easier your tax preparation will be. Take the time to look at the above apps and see how they may benefit you. Keeping track on your smartphone of expenses, miles, or donations is a great way to have everything in one place, decreasing the need to freak out when tax time is upon you and your receipts are strewn everywhere between your home and office.


William Mahnic
William Mahnic is a Finance Professor at Case Western University and has spent more than 20 years in the finance industry before becoming a professor. Mahnic has appeared as a commentator on both TV and radio talk shows including NPR, Crain's Cleveland Business, WKYC 3 and The Washington Post. He has been interviewed in BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.

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