New year, new tax season—and there are always little tweaks in the rules and regulations that can affect your small business. Let’s face it, filing your taxes is never fun, but you can make it as painless as possible by keeping up with the latest changes in tax law. Not sure about what’s new for filing taxes in 2017? Here’s what you need to know as a small business this spring when submitting your return.
Know When to File
Falling under IRS scrutiny becomes a lot more likely if you don’t file in time, but filing dates have changed, so take note of the new deadlines for 2017. The changes in the deadlines were intended to make tax season easier on business owners, but you’ll need to be aware of what those changes are. Here are the changes relevant to business owners:
C-Corporations now have until April 15 to file, granting an extra month. However, Partnerships now have to file earlier, by March 15, and FBAR (foreign bank account) businesses have to file by April 15, more than a month earlier than before. S-Corps stay the same, and must file by March 15.
If you need to, you can file for an extension for your business (giving you until September 15 to file), but you need to know when the initial deadlines are so you don’t find yourself missing an opportunity to apply for your extension. Managing your finances can be one of the most difficult aspects of owning a business, so be sure to get the advice of a tax professional when you need it.
Take Note of Applicable Tax Breaks
Take advantage of pro-taxpayer breaks whenever possible, like the The PATH Act extension. This allows for deductions of the full cost of qualifying equipment, as long as it is put into service that tax year and is used more than 50% of the time for business. This is instead of making small deductions each year for five years, for depreciation.
For capital equipment that is expected to last beyond 2019, businesses can deduct 50%–but this amount will decrease every tax year by 10% until 2020.
Other tax breaks are available under certain circumstances, such as for businesses hiring some individuals who have been unemployed for longer than 27 weeks (including military veterans). R & D companies can also get special deductions that can help reduce the tax burden in 2017. If you are working toward a more sustainable business, you may also be able to find some tax credits to reward your business for “going green”. There are so many different deductions available, so it’s important to work with your accountant to find anything that could be applicable to your business.
Check Your Local Laws
Remember, tax laws vary from state to state and even county to county or city to city. In addition to keeping up with federal changes to tax laws, it’s important to check your local laws as well. Questions? First, visit the IRS’s site for small business owners. If you’re still confused about anything related to filing, be sure to communicate with an accountant or other tax professional. It’s worth the expense to have the peace of mind and avoid any penalties from the IRS.