With the April 15 tax deadline quickly approaching, KHTS spoke with Julie Sturgeon, a certified public accountant, about tips for small businesses come tax time.
She offered these tips based on situations she regularly sees:
1. Preparation- Sturgeon says that it may be a little late for a small business to maximize their 2009 taxes, but they can still be done. She recommends getting a jump-start on the 2010 tax return by keeping detailed records.
"Record keeping is vital," said Sturgeon. "And it's really important to keep them fresh."
Detailed record keeping will better allow businesses to itemize next season, and will also keep them prepared for any tax changes that may occur.
2. Cuts- Most business are no doubt feeling the pinch of the economy and cuts are a necessary to keep afloat.
"Businesses often want cut advertising, and I don't suggest that," said Sturgeon. She says advertising is important for a small business because it keeps you in the public's eye.
"People forget you're there and you want to keep your business in front of people," she said.
She also recommends looking at other areas to make cuts, not just in payroll.
3. Be smart- A key to keeping a business running smoothly throughout the year according to Sturgeon is to be smart and efficient with your business.
She recommends, hiring quality people who are team oriented, and taking a look at streamlining processes to cut out excess fat.
Get a solid outside look at how your business is run, it may be time for a tune-up.
4. Get proper information- Although your friend may be a very smart guy, he is not an expert in taxes.
"There is a lot of concern over no conforming on federal cancelation of debt," says Sturgeon. "There's a lot of misinformation from friends and non-CPA's and people get upset that they owe."
This issue has to deal with taxation on cancelation of debt, and how on people aren't taxed on federal forms but will be taxed by the state.
"People come in and say 'well my friend said this and I think your wrong,'" she said. "It's important to talk to the right people."
Julie Sturgeon prepares taxes for host of business and individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley.
To learn more about Julie Sturgeon and her tax services click here .