In honor of an extended tax season this year, I’ve chosen to throw this back to an oldie but goodie. If you aren’t yet using an accountant for your yearly business tax needs I highly encourage you to do so. Without even looking at the numbers I’m positive ours has saved me well beyond what I’ve paid her over the years, both in money and in time. Love you Steph!
Original post: April 12, 2019
Four years ago, I decided to take the plunge and hire a tax and accounting consultant. There were two main reasons for this:
- I had just started Harmonious Union Events and NO idea what sort of tax things were all involved in being self-employed.
- We had just purchased our first home, which felt like the jumping off point into official “adulting”, and we knew that would be just the first step of many new things we would encounter in our lives that now played a big factor into filing taxes.
This is one of the best business and personal decisions I have ever made.
(Photo included because this topic is best discussed with a drink in hand)
I know that everyone has their own approach, but as a mom, entrepreneur, and someone who at least tries to have a social life, my time is one of the most valuable things in the world to me, along with my sanity. Anything that I can do to help preserve those two things nearly always comes in at a high priority.
Here is just a short list of tax/accounting related things that a consultant can guide a small business owner through:
- Filing quarterly, which you’ll want to do so you don’t have to pay a HUGE amount during your normal annual spring filling. When you’re employed by someone else, your tax owed is just taken out of your paychecks throughout the year and you don’t have to worry about it. When you’re self-employed (or get paid as a contractor, such as Uber driving, etc) you have to remember that you owe Uncle Sam around a third of every single payment that comes in.
- Deductions, which ROCK! Mileage, supplies, and meals related to your business are just a few of the categories that can be deducted when going through self-employment taxes, and you’ll want to make sure that you get the absolute most out of those as you can.
- What needs to be taxed and when. Personal services? No. Rentals, floral, and photography? Yes. Something that you purchased online that didn’t include tax? Make sure that’s added in somewhere. Also, this varies state to state and if you did business in another state from where you’re located you better believe that you’re filing taxes there too. HALP!
- General bookkeeping. How do I need to categorize this? Did that payment come in? What receipts do I all need and what info from each? There’s people out there that actually love this stuff you guys.
(Still making sure you’re with me.. just listen to the pretty music!)
And don’t forget about your personal life! A few things we’ve gotten major help on:
- All taxes related to owning a home, including what deductions are now involved in having a home office. This would also be a major tax component for you if you do Air BnB or other short term rental programs.
- Babies, babies, babies. There are all sorts of fun child related tax and deductions to consider, as well as what goes into college investments, etc.
- We’re involved in some business ventures that have unique tax forms at the end of the year, require us to file in multiple states, and also don’t release the tax forms until just a few weeks before April hits. Because our accountant is so organized and ready to just drop this info in as it comes, we feel absolutely no stress around this, even this year with a new baby due on April 6.
Of course there’s a cost to everything, but this is really for you to decide on what is the tipping point for you. Are things simple enough still that the time is no big deal? If so, that’s great! However, for me, I’m now freed up to do two major things:
- Spend ample time with my family, my friends, and be available to manage the most important and favorite aspects of our personal lives.
- When I’m not doing Number 1, growing my business in major ways, including right now devoting ample time building a social media presence, the CRM software component of my business, and my personal vendor database.
(Okay all done, time to party)
Hope this helps in your decision process – and Happy Tax Day!
If you’ve been swayed or have already considered reaching out to someone, I’d HIGHLY recommend my accountant and fellow girl boss, Stephanie Strupp, firstname.lastname@example.org, who works remote and is available for hire no matter your location.
Featured Image: XO Azuree