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Last Minute Small Business Tax Tips From NASE National Tax Advisor, CPA

Monday, April 02, 2012

For Immediate Release: Contact:  Kristin Oberlander
(202) 466-2100
koberlander@NASEadmin.org
Twitter: NASEtweets


Entrepreneurs Expected To File Over 24 Million Returns In 2012

Washington, D.C., April 2, 2012 – Small-business owners who have put off doing their 2011 tax return so far this year have a couple weeks until Tax Day. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) has one piece of advice – don’t panic. 

“As long as you have all of your paperwork gathered in one place before starting and take the time to check your math, you’ll likely have no problem getting your return filed by April 17th,” said Keith Hall, NASE’s National Tax Advisor. “If you don’t think you’ll make it in time, you can get an automatic 6-month extension by filing Form 4868 and pay the tax you think is owed by April 17th.”

Hall offers these last minute tax tips for small-business owners who are starting to sweat: 

  • Check for hidden deductions: If you work out of your home, your office may qualify for a deduction. Do you drive to the post office or a client site? Those miles may add up to a sizable deduction, too.
  • Retirement Savings: Retirement savings, such as SEP contributions and IRA deposits, are deductible for last year’s tax return up until April 17, 2012. That means you can count money deposited into these accounts, up until the day you file your 2011 tax return. In the case of SEP contributions, those can even be made up until an extended due date, as late as October 15th. 
  • Filing Date: If, despite all your rushing around, you still can't make the April deadline, relax. All tax filers can get an automatic 6-month extension by filing Form 4868 by April 17th, which you can download from the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov/. However, an extension of time to file is not an extension to pay. If you do not send the IRS what you think you owe, you'll be stuck with late fees and interest.
  • Can’t Pay the Tax That You Owe?  If you can’t pay the tax that you will owe with your return, don’t let that be a reason not to file by April 17th.  There are late filing penalties as well as late payment penalties.  So file the return even if you can’t pay.  You can even request a payment plan with the IRS by complete IRS Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.  
  • Proofread the form: Most of the mistakes on tax returns are simple addition and subtraction errors. Check your math. Then, check your math again.
  • Start thinking about next year:  While micro-business owners may be tempted to finish their return and not think about taxes again until next year, now is a great time to reflect on how to reduce your 2012 tax liability. Consider deductions for a home office or employing your children; create a health reimbursement arrangement, which would enable the business to reimburse bona fide employees for all out of pocket medical expenses; and research retirement plans designed specifically for the self-employed, including an IRA, SIMPLE, SEP, Single 401(k), and Keogh plan.


Look for help: Sole proprietors doing their own taxes can find help from a number of sources, including the NASE’s Tax Resource Center, where small-business owners can ask the NASE’s CPAs and tax professionals any question at any time. The IRS also offers a Web site (http://www.irs.gov/) and toll-free help line, 1-800-829-1040, for your tax questions.



About the NASE
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's website at NASE.org.



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