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Developing A Business Tax Strategy With Diane Gardner

By ListenMoneyMatters.com | Andrew Fiebert and Matt Giovanisci

Small businesses are a big part of our country’s economic growth, so you would think the government would make starting a business as easy as possible. Of course, this is not the case. If you need a business tax strategy- listen up. You might think coming up with a great idea and creating a solid business plan would be the most difficult part- that is until tax season comes along. Today we talk to expert business tax planner Diane Gardner about the importance of having a well thought out business tax strategy. After filing mountains of tax returns, Diane works as a coach the rest of the year using pro-active tax planning to help her clients keep more of their hard-earned cash. She loves creating business tax strategies to help successful entrepreneurs across the United States pay the least amount of income tax they can legally pay. Don’t Half-Ass Your Taxes If you are planning to start a small business, it is critical you research all of the federal, state and local requirements. If you don’t cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s it will cost you. There are many regulations and the rules that can vary between locations and business structures. Find out what your state requires and how often you need to file. Business taxes need to be filed throughout the year, not just during tax season. This can be challenging, so if you don’t feel comfortable submitting them on your own, there are companies out there that can take care of this for you (of course at a cost). Not filing your taxes properly can cost you and your business a lot of money. Believe me; Listen Money Matters has had their fair share of fines. Like us, many business owners starting out choose to file their taxes using products like Turbo Tax and that’s a huge no-no. Although products like Turbo Tax work ideal for simple personal taxes, using it for business is not a good idea if you don’t know what you are doing. If you have done your taxes before and fear you may not have done the best job, no fear! You can revise your returns for up to three years. Anything before that you can kiss well. Consider it a donation to your country. A good rule of thumb is to save all your tax paperwork for at least seven years in case of an audit. Structuring Your Business  When starting a business, you’ll need to figure out how you will structure your company (partnership, LLC, S-corp, C-corp, etc.awesome). Choosing a company type can be a great tax planning tool and can come with impressive tax advantages. It will also protect you from any liabilities such as a lawsuit. This part can definitely be confusing so consult your attorney to figure out what would work best for your business. Most likely you will want to go with an LLC because it can act as a Sole Proprietor, S Corp, C Corp -basically anything. However some states are not LLC friendly, like California, so do all your research before filing. The image below links to a great infographic that will help you understand the difference between each structure.     Moving From Hobby To Business  Most people are not making millions when they first start out. Actually, most are making nothing or close to it and that’s ok. When you are still working on growing your business it can be referred to as the hobby stage. So when does it go from hobby to business? You may have heard that after three years if your company has not made any profit it will be considered it a hobby and not a legitimate business. This is a myth. After a few years with no profit, the government will look at each business case by case to see if you have a well-conceived business plan they show intention to make a profit...Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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