I can guarantee that tax time will not make your top ten list of exciting things to do. However, the pain of putting it off may be greater than actually doing it.

Our goal here is to provide you with some helpful tips and resources, specifically designed for the small business professional, to make the process as painless as possible!

Use Free Resources: Make the most of the Internet-based resources out there. One highly recommended one is Taxsites.com (http://www.taxsites.com). You’ll see links to lots of resources, however there are specific small business-related sites and documents that will offer the most value. Try http://www.taxsites.com/topicssmall-business.html.

Also, the IRS has a specific resource for small businesses at: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html.

Free Your Calendar: A big culprit to procrastination is time. Take a look at your schedule and block out a specific day as tax day. If you need to close shop or get help to free your time, do it.

Start Small: Remember back to your company start-up. If you thought of all the tasks to start, you probably would have been paralyzed with fear. You succeeded by taking one step at a time. Apply the “start small” tactic to your tax preparation. Start with a simple task such as organizing your files and build from there.

Get a Bookkeeper: Being plagued by the amount of work to finish your small business tax return might suggest the need for a bookkeeper. He or she can help you organize your business, so every April your tax matters are easier to manage.

Use Tax Software: Tax software can automate many of the routine calculations of your tax return. Many programs come with all the necessary forms to ease the trouble of tax preparation.

Find an Accountant: As your small business grows, an accountant can help you avoid mistakes and frustration. An expert also can aid in other areas such as cash flow planning and providing practical advice.

Hire Yourself: What are you worth to your company? Calculate your earnings over the last year and divide by the time worked to get your hourly rate. Now estimate your tax return dollars divided into the hours to complete your return. If your figure is higher than or equal to your hourly rate, it should motivate you to start your tax return.

Get an Extension: Time is a rare commodity for most small business owners. Your tax procrastination may add more pressure and little time to your business. Consider filing an IRS Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return form.

Take a Tax Course: A lack of understanding often leads to delay. A one day course on small business tax can provide you with more knowledge and confidence. Consider the free IRS Small Business Workshop available online or through various partner organizations. Topics covered: recordkeeping, income, expenses, employment taxes, filing, and much more.

When you’re done with this years preparation, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about next year. Some tax management basics like records management, especially for small businesses, can make a world of difference when April 2011 rolls around. All too soon.

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