Tax season is a stressful time for many business owners. There is pressure to make sure you have all of the necessary information to accurately report the income and expenses of your business. If you have not been diligent with your accounting duties you could spend a large amount of time catching up in order to file. If you are unable to get everything together by the filing deadline, there are some steps you need to take to avoid getting in trouble with the IRS and prevent the same thing from happening during the next tax season.
Get professional help. If you are trying to do the taxes for your business on your own and do not think you can be ready by the deadline, seek out professional help-immediately! A tax professional will be familiar with forms and process that may seem complicated and cumbersome to you. The process will go more quickly with the help of a tax professional and the extra help could allow you to meet the deadline. Getting behind with the IRS can be devastating for your business so do everything you can to avoid filing late.
File an extension. If you are truly unable to have your taxes ready by the deadline then you have the option of filing an extension. An extension will give you a little extra time to get all of your information filed. However, an extension does not mean that you get extra time to pay what you owe to the IRS. When you file an extension, you will be required to estimate the taxes due and send payment. If you underestimate what you owe when you file the extension you could face late fees and penalties when you file the correct information later. Filing an extension is better than not filing at all, but you still have to have most of your information in order to file a proper extension.
Make your taxes a priority moving forward. Do not allow yourself to get into trouble with your taxes ever again. If you make it a priority to consistently keep up with the accounting duties of your business you will not have a problem at tax time. The information will be ready and you, or your tax professional, can accurate determine what you owe in taxes. The time and expense related to consistent accounting practices is much lower than the time and expense of dealing with improperly filed taxes.
A little time spent on preparation can change tax time from a nightmare to an inconvenience. It can also save you money in fees and interest because you are less likely to leave out pertinent information when everything is kept up to date. The best protection you have against getting in trouble with the IRS is consistent and accurate accounting processes. If you do not have the time to dedicate to your accounting responsibilities then hire professional help. The relief that will come with knowing everything is in order is well worth the money you will spend for the extra help.