The 5 Most Common Small Business Filing Mistakes To Avoid.

Stacy Abrams

Filing taxes for your small business can be daunting and confusing. You need to file correctly so you don’t get in trouble with the IRS, but there are a lot of rules and processes to keep track of.  

It’s time to simplify your taxes! Let’s go through the most common filing mistakes small business owners make, so you can avoid them this tax season (and the rest of the year).  

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1. Missing or incorrect information

One of the simplest mistakes is forgetting to fill out part of your tax form or entering incorrect information. Even one error could flag an audit or require you to re-file, which can cause late fees and penalties.  

The most common mistakes on tax returns include: 

  • Incorrect or missing SSN or employer ID numbers
  • Misspelled names 
  • Incorrect filing status
  • Computation errors for taxable income, withholding, and deductions
  • Withholding or incorrect estimated tax payments 
  • Failing to sign/date return  



2. Not filing or paying on time

If you miss the filing deadline for taxes, your business could face a 5% penalty per month. This fee will increase each month until you file the return. If you neglect to pay your taxes, the IRS will charge 6% interest and a late payment penalty of about .5% each month after the deadline.  

If you need extra time to pay for your taxes, you should file for an extension. Don’t miss deadlines, or you’ll end up with even more owed money on your plate! 


3. Incorrect expense tracking

The most important way to prepare your taxes for April is thorough record keeping throughout the year. Failing to properly track your expenses can be one of the costliest parts of your taxes (and the biggest headache).  

If you don’t track and categorize expenses, you could miss out on deductions that could save your business a lot of money. There are a lot of deductions you may qualify for like furniture, supplies, advertising, equipment, licenses, mileage, and more.  

Worse yet, inaccurate tracking could land you in hot water if the IRS audits you and you can’t substantiate expenses.  

Make sure you keep all receipts for expenses, payroll, sales, and other costs. This makes potential audits easier and ensures you’re receiving any applicable tax breaks.  

4. Not separating business and personal

Small business owners often pay out of pocket for a lot of business expenses. Blurring this line can actually create a problem when tax time comes around. It can be harder to prove business deductions, and you may misfile between your personal and business.  

To avoid this, you should separate expenses by using separate bank and credit accounts, tracking and storing receipts separately, and paying yourself a salary rather than using business accounts to pay for personal expenses.  

5. Not working with a professional

A lot of small business owners want to cut the expense of taxes by using tax software to do it themselves. This can work for smaller businesses, but you could still miss areas or deductions that a professional would catch. In most cases, working with a professional will actually save you a lot of time, money, and errors.

The tax process can be complicated and painful, so don’t do it alone. Start by downloading our Ultimate Small Business Tax Checklist to get started. The checklist walks you through step-by-step to organize your business taxes all-year long, so you can better avoid errors and streamline the filing process. Download the checklist here. 


About the Author

Stacy Abrams is a founder of TaxFaqs. When she’s not serving her clients, she geeks out on board games, cider, and challenging her friends to top her awesome karaoke skills. She calls Bloomington, Minnesota home.

About

TaxFaqs was created by my husband Jack and I. Combined, we have nearly 40 collective years working in the financial industry. We've unlocked unique solutions to age-old problems. After working in the industry so long, we noticed a glaring divide in customer service that consumers were longing for. We knew we had a value-driven approach to meet their needs, so we took the leap and TaxFaqs was born.

Stacy Abrams

Certified Public Accountant & CEO

Jack Abrams

Certified Public Accountant & CFO

Being a small husband-wife team as well as small business owners, we understand the intricate dynamics of relationships, business, and finances because we live them every day. We don't see our size as a setback but more-so an advantage. Our clients always get us, not an intern, secretary, or robot.

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Since graduating from DeVry University in 2001 I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of individuals as a certified public accountant. I approach every engagement with a fresh perspective and place the goals of my clients at the forefront of every decision. 

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The 5 Most Common Small Business Filing Mistakes.

Running a small business is hard enough. Filing taxes for it can feel daunting. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when filing this year.

READ MORE

What To Look for When Hiring Your First CPA.

The words 'Certified Public Accountant' can seem daunting. Fear not, they're primary purpose is to serve the public. Here's what to look for when searching for one.

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