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April 2019
The Best Tax Tips and Software for Small Businesses
By: Brian Roberts
Use a Separate Account to Pay Taxes.
This is one of the simplest decisions you can make in your business life — setup a separate tax savings account. For most banks, if you have a checking account already, you can just call and open a savings account up over the phone.
As a small business owner or freelancer, I get it, it’s nice to have everything draw from one account. But when it’s time to sift through and tally everything up come tax time, things can get messy. Spare yourself the headache. Make estimated tax payments straight from a separate account.
Use Apps to Automate Tax Savings.
This is another one of those simple decisions you’ll be kicking yourself for not having thought of sooner. Use apps like Digit or Acorns, you can setup up recurring withdrawals weekly, bi-weekly or whenever you get paid. And these recurring withdrawals should go straight to your tax savings account. Name all the accounts something simple (i.e., “income tax”) so you aren’t scrambling every April or every quarter.
Best Tax Software for Freelancers.
If you file a Schedule C or 1040, TaxSlayer is a great option. There’s a few reasons TaxSlayer is the best tax software for freelancers, in my opinion. Unlike TurboTax — and more on them in a bit — you don’t have to pay $200 for all your filings or pay additional money for support.
The functionality is similar, but it’s just $47 at the federal level, an additional $29 at the state tax filing, and they have representatives available 24/7 to walk you through questions, via phone, email or live chat. Customer service is where they really shine, considering that, as a freelancer, taxes are often the last thing on your mind — until it’s time to do them, at least! But if you’re disciplined about adhering to those first two tips above, and use a service like this, you won’t have anything to scramble about.
Best Tax Software for Small Businesses.
TurboTax was started in 2001, eons ago in internet years — who remembers buying the those TurboTax CDs? Although TurboTax Business might be overkill for an independent freelancer, it’s a great option for a growing small business.
For instance, if you use QuickBooks, Intuit allows you to import all of that data directly. You can also TurboTax Business to manage taxes for LLCs,
C-corporations, S-corporations, estates and other company structures.
While most of the so-called “best tax software for small businesses” focus on filing by April 15, with TurboTax Business you can file quarterly, pay estimated taxes and even submit returns to individual states where you may owe.
The biggest downside with this? Cost. It’s $169.99 and you have to pay $24.99 for each state tax return you file, plus, should you require a tax professional to assist, you’ll have to fork up an additional payment. But given how robust the software suite is, it may be worth the cost.
USBC Press Mentions
California Black Chamber commends new bill to end natural hair discrimination against Black women & men
Photo Credit: Blavity
The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed a bill by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, to end a centuries-long history of racial discrimination based on hairstyles.
Senate Bill 188 amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act to prohibit employers from enforcing purportedly “race neutral” grooming policies that disproportionately impact persons of color.
The California Black Chamber of Commerce praises SB 188 as legislation that improves “access to economic opportunities for African American businesses and the communities in which their employees work, live, and play.”
Protecting hair texture and protective hairstyles under race will prohibit an employer from withholding or terminating employment or promotion based on discrimination against the protected employee’s or applicant’s hairstyle. Read the full press release here.
Save the Date:
USBC’s National Business Conference
August 19th-21st
National Harbor
Maryland
Attend USBC’s 2-day National Conference to learn business insights, identify collaborations, and make power connections. Full conference registration grants you access to all receptions, plenary sessions, luncheons and the USBC’s 10th Anniversary Awards Banquet. Register today!
March Recap:
During USBC’s March conference call, members learned how to:
Increase Sales, Generate Leads, & Create Partnerships
USBC President Ron Busby attends the National Association of Workforce Boards’ #Forum19 to discuss the future of entrepreneurship and the importance of an innovative workforce.
The U.S. Black Chambers is a part of a diverse chamber alliance including the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.
Pictured: USBC president Ron Busby along with Wells Fargo and diverse chambers of commerce speaking about the importance of diverse chambers uniting to make a larger impact in diverse business communities.
Congressional Update:
Provided by: Prism Group
According to an update filed by the government in federal court on April 3rd 2019, businesses with 100 or more employees will be required to submit pay data broken down by race, ethnicity, and gender to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by September 30th. This amends the previous deadline of May 31st. Also at EEOC, more than 2 dozen business groups, including the National Restaurant Association, have written a letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell urging him to confirm Janet Dhillon for a seat on the EEOC, stating that delays have prevented the agency from moving forward on regulatory matters.
Yesterday a bill was introduced Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) to amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). H.R.2058 would remove certain restrictions on advertising and public relations. Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s office issued a press release this morning on her new bill The Microloan Program Expansion Act of 2019.
Coming up next week on the Hill, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on SBA’s 7(a) budget proposal and the impact of fee structure changes. The hearing will take place on April 10th at 10AM and will be live streamed here.
For those of you who missed it, yesterday the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on the SBA’s capital access programs, which can be viewed here. Special thanks to Connie Evans of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity for her excellent testimony on the Microloan Program.
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