As the not so old saying goes, “That which does not kill me only serves to make me sleep until 3.30 the next afternoon.” When Jim Carroll was spinning off of Nietzsche he was not likely talking about New Year's day, but as you are waking up later then normal on New Year’s Day remember that if you are in the United States. That means you have until the end of the month to get your employees (including temps and freelancers) their W-2s.
This is not meant to scare you. Even if you are taking January 1st off, you will still have 30 whole days to get the forms to your employees, and unless you need to mail them off, you can hand them directly to employees on the 31st if you really want to push it.
We all know that taxes are one of the more annoying things you have to deal with when you run a business, but they are a fact of life and there are plenty of tools and resources out there to help you out:
- The biggest player in the game is Intuit’s QuickBooks and their Payroll option. Their software allows you to not only track sales, but you can also pay your employees, and out tax forms for your employees.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can do it yourself with the help of the government. Check out the form here and help here.
- There are more software options for W-2 out there and they vary greatly, so you may want to look into different ones to find which one fits you best, but here are a few of the ones that are out there:
- 1099 Pro - An expensive option, but it comes with a number of extras that might be useful to you.
- W2 Mate - A simple and inexpensive option for owners who want to take care of their own taxes and they even include eFiling for an additional fee.
- eFile4Biz - A cloud option, so there is no need to download any software or save data to your hard drive.
Another option you can do is hire someone to handle your tax prep for you. Similar to hiring a freelancer, you can just find an accountant who can take care of this for you, but you will want to ask them a few questions:
- What kind of training do you have?
- Is this person a CPA (Certified Public Accountant)?
- Or a CFP (Certified Financial Planner)?
- Or a EA (Enrolled Agent)?
- Or a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistant)?
- What kind of experience do you have?
- How long have they been in business?
- Do you have experience with my kind of business?
- Have you dealt with the IRS before?
- How do you bill for your time?
- What software do you use?
- Is it compatible with your system?
You may also hire an accounting firm. In that case, you will to ask potential accountants the questions listed above. If you are working with an accounting firm, you will want to be sure you have a direct contact at the firm and have all of their information. That way any issues will go through the same contact.
Now go ahead and get those forms done and to your people so they can get their taxes done too. After all, no one wants to be at the post office on the afternoon of April 15th.
And as always… Good Luck and Good Sales.