Top Small Business Tax Tips to Prepare for Tax Season

Top Small Business Tax Tips to Prepare for Tax Season

The top small business tax tips are here to help you prepare for tax season. Even if it’s a little late for you to take advantage of this year, it’s never too early to plan for next year. 

In this article, we’ll share “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to tax season. There are some common mistakes small business owners make that you’ll want to be sure to avoid. Finally, find out how data verification can save you time and money and help make filing taxes a breeze.

9 Small Business Tax Tips for Preparing for Tax Season

1. Keep Detailed Records 

Good record-keeping is essential for small businesses. Maintain accurate records of all income, expenses, receipts, invoices, and financial transactions throughout the year.

2. Know Your Deductible Expenses, Deductions, and Credits

Familiarize yourself with which expenses are deductible for your business. Common deductible expenses include office supplies, equipment, rent, utilities, travel expenses, and marketing costs.

Additionally, many small businesses are eligible for various tax deductions and credits, such as the home office deduction, business vehicle expenses, and the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. Research which deductions and credits apply to your business and take full advantage of them.

3. Separate Personal and Business Finances

Open separate bank accounts and credit cards for your business to keep personal and business finances distinct. This makes it easier to track business expenses and ensures you don’t mix personal and business funds.

4. Consider Your Business Structure

The structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation) can impact your tax obligations. Consult with a tax advisor or accountant to determine the most tax-efficient structure for your business because it matters!

5. Plan for Estimated Taxes

Small businesses are typically required to pay estimated taxes quarterly. Estimate your tax liability for the year and make quarterly payments to avoid penalties and interest.

While it might be late to plan for this year’s taxes, it is still a good small business tax tip for next year. You can also use this year’s data to more accurately estimate future quarterly payments.

6. Maximize Retirement Contributions

Contributing to retirement accounts, such as a SEP IRA or Solo 401(k), can reduce your taxable income and help you save for retirement. Maximize your contributions to these accounts if possible.

7. Stay Updated on Tax Laws

Tax laws and regulations can change frequently, so it’s essential to stay informed about any updates that may affect your business. Consider working with a tax professional who can help you navigate complex tax laws and identify opportunities for savings.

8. Meet Filing Deadlines

Missing tax filing deadlines can result in penalties and interest charges. Mark important tax deadlines on your calendar and make sure to file your tax returns and pay any taxes owed on time.

9. Review Your Tax Strategy Annually

As your business grows and evolves, your tax strategy may need to be adjusted. Regularly review your financial situation and tax planning strategies with a qualified tax advisor to ensure you’re maximizing tax savings opportunities and staying compliant with tax laws.

Now, while these small business tax tips can provide general guidance, it’s always a good idea to consult with a tax professional or accountant who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific business circumstances. 

Small business taxes can be complicated. And although there are many tips and tools available to help you file by yourself, you could be overpaying and missing out on credits and deductions!

Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make Around Tax Season

Some common mistakes small businesses make around tax season are simply the inverse of the tips listed above. For example, it’s important to keep detailed records because poor record-keeping can lead to errors in tax filings and potential audits. Second, it’s important to meet tax deadlines because being late can result in penalties and interest charges.

Additionally, don’t ignore or overlook deductions and credits. Otherwise, you suffer higher tax liabilities than necessary. Furthermore, mixing personal and business expenses can make it challenging to track and report business expenses accurately (avoid using business funds for personal expenses). And failing to keep up with tax law changes can lead to non-compliance and potential penalties.

But there are some other mistakes to avoid as well. 

Misclassifying Workers

Misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees (or vice versa) can result in tax penalties and legal consequences. It’s essential for small businesses to understand the criteria for classifying workers correctly and to comply with IRS guidelines.

Underestimating Tax Liabilities

Failing to accurately estimate tax liabilities can lead to cash flow problems and financial difficulties for small businesses. Don’t let yourself be surprised or caught off-guard. It’s essential to plan and budget for taxes throughout the year and to set aside funds for tax payments.

Inaccurately Filing Taxes

Rushing through tax filings or submitting incomplete or inaccurate information can lead to errors and discrepancies on tax returns. It’s crucial to review tax filings carefully and ensure all information is complete and accurate before submission. 

Planning ahead and scheduling deadlines is a good way to avoid rushing. If you aren’t scrambling to finish everything last minute, you are more likely to do things right the first time.

Overlooking Self-Employment Taxes

Self-employed individuals are responsible for paying self-employment taxes, which include both the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Small business owners may overlook these taxes or fail to budget for them, leading to unexpected tax liabilities.

Neglecting Professional Advice

Small business owners may attempt to handle tax matters themselves without seeking professional advice from accountants or tax professionals. While DIY tax preparation may seem cost-effective, it can lead to mistakes and missed opportunities for tax savings. It’s essential to consult with professionals to ensure compliance and optimize tax strategies.

How Data Verification Can Help Small Businesses Prepare for Tax Season

Now, those small business tax tips are nice, but how can you implement them easily? Data verification is a good start. Data verification can play a crucial role in helping small businesses prepare for tax season in several ways.

Identify Discrepancies

Through data verification processes, small businesses can identify discrepancies or inconsistencies in their financial data. This could include discrepancies between bank statements, receipts, invoices, and accounting records. Resolving these discrepancies before tax season helps ensure that the business’s financial records are reliable and trustworthy.

Comply with Tax Regulations

Data verification helps small businesses ensure compliance with tax regulations and reporting requirements. By verifying financial data against tax laws and regulations, businesses can identify any areas of non-compliance and take corrective action to avoid potential penalties or legal issues during tax season.

Maximize Deductions and Credits

Data verification can help small businesses identify all eligible deductions and credits available to them. By thoroughly verifying financial records, businesses can ensure that they are claiming all applicable deductions and credits, thereby minimizing their tax liability and maximizing potential tax savings.

Prevent Fraud

Data verification processes help prevent and detect fraudulent activities within the business. By verifying financial data and transactions, small businesses can identify any unauthorized or fraudulent activities, such as embezzlement or unauthorized expenses, and take appropriate measures to address them before tax season.

Prepare for Tax Audits

In the event of a tax audit, having accurate and verified financial records can significantly simplify the process for small businesses. Data verification provides evidence of the accuracy and integrity of the business’s financial records, which can help expedite the audit process and reduce the likelihood of additional taxes, penalties, or fines.

Ensure Accuracy of Financial Records

Data verification ensures that the financial records of the business are accurate and free from errors. This includes verifying income, expenses, deductions, and other financial transactions. Accurate financial records are essential for filing accurate tax returns and avoiding potential audits or penalties.

You can use SSN lookups, for example, to verify tax information. You will need accurate SSNs for your employees to correctly pay wages and report them on W-2 forms. 

SSN and Name Match allows you to match an SSN to an individual by indicating whether or not the number matches the given last name. This search can be used to verify employees, customers and clients, or anyone you need to send a tax form to. 

Since you need accurate SSNs for your employees to correctly pay wages and report them, you will also want to use SSN lookups to verify this tax information. However, you want to make sure you get them sent to the correct addresses, too. You can use a data append tool to update your list of employee contact data to ensure that all information is accurate on tax forms.


Overall, data verification is essential for small businesses. It ensures the accuracy, reliability, and compliance of financial records, thereby facilitating a smoother and more efficient tax preparation process during tax season.

Having accurate, up-to-date information is central to many of our small business tax tips as well as helping prevent mistakes. Create a business account today and apply for SSN verification access. Then, expect a less stressful tax season this year.