Small business owners shouldn't have to do their taxes on their own. Tax solutions provide a do-it-yourself way to easily prepare and file taxes — without all the guesswork. If you don't have an accountant, or tax services are way out of your budget, there are several tax apps, software and other tools specifically created with small business tax needs in mind. Here are 12 tax solutions to get you started.
Deductr is a free tool that simplifies expense tracking. As a small business owner there are inherent tax advantages but having proper documentation for every possible deduction is crucial to ensure you keep more of what you earn. Deductr removes complex record keeping with a mobile app using GPS to track mileage, and the ability to record time, activities and mileage in a single event with a drag and drop calendar. This expense tracking tool even provides real-time personalized feedback on financial metrics of your business including tax savings, as well as instant tax reporting.
NeatConnect keeps you organized and ready for tax time. This wireless scanner doubles as a digital filing system that stores all your financial documents in one place. It eliminates all the clutter, headaches and time wasted looking for receipts and other financial information, lessening the stress of preparing your taxes. It features direct-to-cloud capabilities, enabling users to scan documents directly to NeatCloud and other cloud storage providers like OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), DropBox, Box and Google Drive for anytime, anywhere access. Documents can also be scanned directly to Evernote, email or FTP. The NeatConnect wireless scanner costs $499.95 and includes three months of free NeatCloud storage.
TaxJar aims to make e-commerce sales taxes easy for businesses that sell online and collect sales tax from customers everywhere. It offers automated sales tax reporting, taking the hassle out of breaking down sales taxes by jurisdiction. It also shows if you've been collecting the right amount of taxes by comparing the amounts you should have collected versus those in your books. TaxJar can also pull up data from multiple e-commerce channels like Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, Bigcommerce, eBay and PayPal, so you have all the information you need come tax time. Other features include state-based data for business that need to file in multiple states and transaction histories to stay compliant in the event of an audit. TaxJar plans start at $9.95 a month for up to 1,000 transactions a month. [Accounting Solutions for Small Businesses]
TaxMate is a free mobile app that provides quick, quarterly estimates to avoid surprises during tax season. Users type in their state, filing status, number of dependents, income, expenses and payments made. The app automatically calculates federal and state taxes, giving users instant, real-time estimates. TaxMate is ready to use straight from any smartphone's browser — no signups or downloads required.
5. GoDaddy Bookkeeping
GoDaddy Bookkeeping, formerly Outright, integrates your books with tax preparation. This Web-based bookkeeping tool automatically organizes sales and expense data into IRS categories, then fills out a worksheet you can use for your Schedule C. Other features include quarterly estimated and annual tax calculations, tax deadline alerts, data backup and more. A free account with automatic IRS categorization is available; a $9.99 a month paid account is required for full access to other tax features.
6. Snap Payroll
Snap Payroll makes it easy to keep up with payroll tax regulations. This free iOS app is automatically updated with the latest tax changes, eliminating the headaches of figuring out deductions on your own. Simply enter the hours worked and pay rate and the app calculates pay amounts and how much to withhold. Users can also save employee and payroll data, which includes paycheck histories with payee names, dates and paycheck amounts.
7. Payroll Tax Service by Wave
Payroll Tax Service by cloud-based accounting software Wave is a payroll- and tax- filing platform made for small businesses. In addition to payroll services, Wave also helps small business owners stay compliant with tax regulations. Wave also takes the worry out of when or how to file by automatically paying and filing federal and state payroll taxes. The service will also notify you before taking any action and will withdraw funds only when taxes are due. Payroll Tax Service by Wave starts at $25 a month, plus $4 a month per employee for the first 10 employees and $1 per employee thereafter.
8. TurboTax Home & Business
Turbo Tax Home & Business is an all-in-one solution that helps self-employed individuals and sole proprietors file their taxes with the most deductions possible. This online software both tells small business owners which expenses are tax-deductible and walks them through industry-specific tax write-offs that are often overlooked. It also takes into account vehicle tax deductions and simplifies asset depreciation to help determine which calculation methods are best for the highest deductions. A wide range of additional tax features are also available. TurboTax Home & Business costs $74.99 for federal and $36.99 for state. Free E-file is included in both packages.
9. H&R Block Premium & Business
H&R Block Premium & Business is a tax software made for small business owners. It guides users in preparing and filing partnership and LLC returns (Form 1065), as well as produces payroll forms for the IRS (Forms 940 and 941) and employer forms for employees (Forms W-2 and 1099). The software also lets businesses maximize tax benefits from business expenses, vehicle deductions and equipment and asset depreciation. Included are free, unlimited state program downloads and business e-file, federal and state forms. H&R Block also guarantees 100 percent accuracy, offers audit support and provides free advice from H&R block tax experts. The software can be downloaded for $79.95.
ETax.com is a tax-filing platform that guarantees maximum deductions and offers free tax return storage. It features a step-by-step wizard that helps users complete tax forms, as well as free federal E-filing and free customer support. Although eTax.com is directed more toward individual filers, its $49.95 Premium package includes advanced tax returns for small business Schedule C filers. For an additional $29.95, a review by a certified public accountant is available to check for common mistakes and to ensure all eligible deductions and credits are applied.
11. TaxACT Small Business
TaxAct Small Business is a do-it-yourself, Q&A-based tax preparation and filing software for all types of small businesses, such as sole proprietorships, single- and multimember LLCs and partnerships. It uses simple interview questions combined with a broad list of expenses to gather information, then automatically inputs your data into the correct tax forms and maximizes deductions. The TaxAct Small Business software is free to try over the Web or by download. Filing costs vary based on the type of business and filing — federal, state or both — and includes free phone support and price lock guarantee.
12. Avalara AvaTax
Avalara AvaTax provides automated sales tax rates and calculations for businesses that have customers in the U.S. and all over the world. Rates are based on hundreds of thousands of taxability rules and precise geolocation in more than 10,000 jurisdictions. Its cloud-based databases are always accurate and up to date based on U.S. Postal Service-approved addresses. This means that wherever your customers are, you'll get the accurate tax rates automatically and easily. AvaTax also lets users generate detailed reports and integrates with a wide range of business apps, such as Salesforce, QuickBooks, Magento, NetSuite and Sage. Contact Avalara for pricing information.
Originally published on Business News Daily.