Every year you tell yourself you will not wait until the last minute to file your business’s tax return. Every year, though, you still find yourself scrambling to complete it. If you are ready to break the procrastinating cycle when it comes to filing your business’s tax return, implement the following tips into your business plan.
Enlist professional help
Even if you’re able to complete your business’s tax return, it might save you some stress and help you get it in on time if you enlist the help of a professional. When you have too many responsibilities on your shoulders, whether they are easy or difficult, it’s hard to prioritize tasks.
“Unfortunately, divided attention often leads people to procrastinate in a sneaky way: They engage first in low-value activities such as emptying the inbox or checking social media,” according to Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP and founder and CEO of JotForm Aytekin Tank.
Asking for help is never a sign of weakness; being able to delegate tasks is a hallmark of a successful business owner.
“Accountants and other tax experts are swamped between now and the tax deadline and may not be in a position to take on new clients, so ask a financial adviser or attorney to provide a recommendation,” advises Kiplinger writer Jason R. Cross, CFP, CTFA.
This way, you might have a better chance of working with an accountant you can trust even if you wait to the last minute to reach out for assistance, he adds.
Download tax software
If you prefer to handle your tax return in house, tax software that caters to your specific business is a smart investment. Make sure the software includes Schedule C if you’re an owner of a small business, advises The Balance writer Jean Murray. You’ll need to educate yourself on any new tax laws, too, so you won’t miss ways to save money or the correct way to report deductions, she adds.
“All business owners must also complete Schedule SE to calculate the amount of self-employment taxes (for Social Security and Medicare). Schedule SE must be completed even if your business had no profit for the year,” notes Murray.
Ask for an extension
If making the IRS’ deadline is impossible despite your best efforts, file for an extension. Form 4868 from the IRS allows you an extra six months to submit your return.
“While it might be uncomfortable to put off a tax return, it’s better to file a correct return instead of rushing headlong to beat the deadline and making mistakes in the process,” warns Cross.
Filing an extension gives you extra time to submit your return, but the IRS still wants any money you owe by the original tax deadline.
“You still must estimate and pay what you owe by April. You will be charged interest on any amount not paid by the deadline,” he adds.
Even if you work best under pressure, when it comes to filing your tax return for your business, you cannot afford to wait until the last minute. Use these suggestions to help make filing your tax return less stressful and minimize the chance you’ll miss the IRS’ deadline.