"The hardest thing to understand
in the world is the income tax."
Yesterday was April 15. If you live in the U.S., you know what that means. It's one of those dates like July 4 that's stamped into your brain: tax day.
When you start a small business, doing your taxes suddenly becomes a complicated affair. No longer can you breeze through the one-page EZ form with your single W-2. You can't wait until the last minute either, so today I'm sharing some links that have helped me over the last few years so that you can get an early start on next year's taxes:
- General Business Help
- Small Business Administration: Find out there's a location near you. Mine offers classes on marketing, tax preparation, bookkeeping, branding, and many other topics. I took a general "how to start a business" class that not only gave me a great overview and a ton of resources, but it also let me meet a handful of local entrepreneurs from restaurant owners to website designers. There's nothing like being able to ask specific questions about your business in person.
- Local Etsy Teams: Search for teams in your state or city. In my area, members aren't shy about sharing names of helpful local tax professionals or pointing you in the direction of city or state offices for the documentation you need.
- Software: Outright is a cool, free accounting program that works with Etsy and PayPal. (One of its neatest features is that it will show you a U.S. map of all your sales!) If your business is large or complicated, you may need something more fully featured like QuickBooks.
- Deductions: I find it helpful to look at pages like The Definitive Guide to Common Business Deductions to help jog my memory about things I might have forgotten to list, such as business cards.
- Software: You'll need to track your inventory if you want to figure out COGS (cost of goods sold). For jewelry makers, there is specialized software for inventory. See this list compiled by Craftybase for a comparison of the features and prices of three popular programs. If your business is very small or your inventory is limited to a few different types of items, you probably can track your inventory using Excel or even in a good, old-fashioned paper journal.
Are you a small business? What resources have you found the most helpful at tax time?
Quotation source: BrainyQuote. Tax is a very hot topic in the world of quotations. I didn't even make it through all the pages of tax quotes at this one source.