As a small business owner, staying on top of your taxes is crucial yet challenging. The tax code is complex, and it's easy to miss opportunities to maximize your deductions or run afoul of regulations. At Portali, our mission is to help small businesses leverage technology to simplify their accounting and unlock new levels of efficiency. Here are some insider tips to help you navigate the tax landscape like a pro this year.
Choose a Business Structure Wisely
Your business structure—sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation—determines which tax forms you file and your personal liability. An LLC tax as an S-corp is a popular choice for small businesses. An LLC offers liability protection for business owners while an S-corp allows business income, losses, deductions, and credits to pass through to owners' personal tax returns. Owners can avoid double taxation and take advantage of certain tax deductions. However, S-corps do come with some restrictions like limits on the number of shareholders, types of shareholders, and ownership of subsidiaries.
Automate Wherever Possible
Manual data entry and calculations are tedious and prone to errors. Automating as many accounting tasks as possible is key to efficient tax compliance and planning. Cloud-based accounting platforms like Portali use AI to automatically categorize transactions, track deductible expenses, calculate depreciation, and more. Linking your business accounts, credit cards, and billing systems to your accounting platform means transactions are imported and categorized in real-time—no more scrambling to collect receipts at the end of the year.
Automating your accounting processes through AI-powered software provides several benefits for tax time. Connecting all your business accounts and credit cards allows for automatic import and categorization of transactions. Your records will be organized and up-to-date in real-time. Cloud-based software also gives you and your accountant access to the same records simultaneously, allowing for better collaboration. Automated tools can calculate complex depreciation schedules for you, ensuring you maximize deductions. Overall, automation helps minimize errors, saves time, and allows for a smoother tax filing process.
Maximize Your Deductions
As a small business owner, you're entitled to many valuable deductions, but you must properly track expenses to claim them. In addition to standard deductions like office supplies, travel, and utilities, consider:
Business use of home: If you use part of your home regularly and exclusively for business, you may deduct some expenses like rent, insurance, and utilities. You'll need to calculate the square footage of your dedicated office space.
Business meals: Meals with clients or business associates are 50% deductible. Keep records of the time, place, purpose, and attendees.
Vehicle expenses: Mileage and other vehicle costs are deductible if used for business purposes. Track your mileage and total vehicle expenses to maximize your deduction.
Depreciation: If you purchase expensive business assets like vehicles, equipment, or machinery, you can deduct a portion of the cost each year as depreciation. Our AI-powered accounting platform automatically calculates depreciation schedules to ensure you take the maximum legal deduction.
With the right tools and know-how, managing your small business taxes doesn't have to be taxing. Follow these tips to navigate regulations confidently and leverage every deduction you deserve. Let us know if you have any other questions! We're here to make tax compliance as painless as possible so you can focus on what really matters: growing your business.