Do I Really Need An Accountant For Tax Season?
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we answer one of the most common tax season Q's of all… do you really need an accountant?
There are certain things that I do not do for myself. I don't color my own hair. I don't inject my own Botox. I don't do my own taxes. I should probably just end things right here and go unload the dishwasher but I am not known for my brevity. So here are more reasons why you should consider hiring someone to help you with your taxes this year:
2020 Was Really Weird
If you are a business owner, you know how insane 2020 was. With the pandemic came the CARES Act and the lending programs — PPP, EIDL … all the letters. And with these lending programs comes along all new rules and regulations. If you tapped any of these programs, you may want to seek professional help before filing your taxes.
Hiring Someone Can Save You Time and Money
I am not sure about you, but I am short on time these days. I am also not an expert on the ever-changing tax code, tax deductions, tax credits, or the best corporate entity to have to suit my business. You know who are the experts? H&R Block and Block Advisors! Not all taxpayers have the same filing needs. But for your small business owners, I recommend finding someone with extensive training and small business experience.
"It's important to know that not everyone specializes in taxes. However, at Block Advisors, our small business certified tax pros most certainly specialize in taxes and are always up to date on federal, state and local tax laws to help you get every small business credit and deduction you deserve," said Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "Remember, taxes aren't the same year to year. There are always new changes to the tax code, new forms and new credits/deductions to consider – especially this year with stimulus impacts – so it's natural to have a lot of questions. We're here to help provide the answers."
The right expert may also be able to help identify ways to reduce your income via deductions and credits. Many times I run into people who say "well my dad has been filing my taxes for me for years" or "my dad's accountant has been filing my taxes for me for many years". Quite frankly, I am not sure which scenario is worse. I am sure your dad and his accountant are awesome but you might benefit from seeking advice from an expert you choose based on their ability to manage your small business taxes. Tax preparers have a range of backgrounds, so ask questions that vet them based on your unique needs.
Getting Help Year-Round
A few months ago, we received a dreaded letter from the IRS stating that we owed a huge amount of money from our 2018 filing. We immediately sent the letter to our accountant. Within 10 minutes, he responded with a plan of action and then he hand-held us through the process of fixing the issue. In the end, no one freaked, cried or hyperventilated and we only owed a tiny amount to the IRS. If you have questions or need help, Block Advisors tax pros are available year-round to help keep you and your business on track.
If You Owe Estimated Taxes, It Can Help to Have an Expert In Your Corner
When business owners ask me what my biggest piece of advice is for entrepreneurs, I tell them that it is crucial they have expert help. The second piece of advice is that if you are self-employed, a contractor, a freelancer or someone who only earns 1099 income, you should be paying estimated quarterly income taxes. If this is your situation, you should have a tax pro help to manage this for you. Paying quarterly taxes is complicated and is nothing to mess around with. Hire someone! Block Advisors is a great option. Their team of advisors will put a financial lens on your small business, guiding you to the best outcomes. That way, you can stay focused on what you love vs. taxes.
Final thoughts: As your business grows and changes, you need to wave in professionals to help you to do the things that you don't have expertise in. Making sure you are being efficient with your taxes and making sure you have a professional to help you through it is crucial to building a strong business. Get some help. Do not delay!
Check out more Selfmade Finance School content below:
Photo by Christiann Koepke/Windows on Unsplash
Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
Let Office Depot OfficeMax help you stand out in the crowd. From signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, Office Depot OfficeMax offers a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business get noticed.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.