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April 10, 2012
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Tax Guide 2012
It's everyone's least favorite time of year -- tax time -- and for small-business owners that frequently means filling out two returns and navigating even more tax-code complexities. Lucky for you, SmartBrief is here to help with this special report containing this year's best articles and blog posts on taxes for startups. We hope you find the report valuable and share it with your team and fellow small-business owners.

If you don't already receive SmartBrief on Small Business daily, we urge you to sign up for our timely e-newsletter. SmartBrief on Small Business delivers the latest news and information small-business owners need in their quest to build and run great businesses directly to your inbox -- for free.

And if you're looking for more information on handling your business' taxes, American Express OPEN has a white paper available for you to download for free: What Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know For Tax Season will help you learn how to navigate changes in tax legislation, leverage often overlooked deductions and strategize for the coming years.
Tax Tips 
  • The tax benefit of posting a net loss
    New and small-business owners often post a net operating loss, but a loss can "be one of your best friends" at tax time, says Mark Kohler, author and CPA. The key is to carefully track expenses to maximize the tax deduction. Entrepreneur online (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Could telecommuting affect your company's tax liability?
    Telecommuting can provide benefits in terms of morale and productivity, but a court case reveals that it could also create some unexpected tax liabilities. A court has ruled that a Maryland-based company called Telebright has to pay taxes in New Jersey because one of its workers telecommutes from the state. CBS MoneyWatch (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 4 tax breaks small-business owners should know about
    With the deadline to file taxes fast approaching, there's still time to make sure you're claiming all of the tax breaks for which you are eligible. Your company might qualify for the new-hire retention credit, the small-business health care tax credit or the research and development credit, writes Gwen Moran. Entrepreneur online (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Making sense of the 1099-K tax form
    Small-business owners subject to filing 1099-K forms need to understand the rules that cover the form, writes Bonnie Lee, owner of Taxpertise in Sonoma, Calif. Starting this year, all businesses need to separate sales from the 1099-K, used for debit and credit transactions, from payments received in cash or check. Fox Business Small Business Center (3/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The tax advantages of offering fringe benefits
    Tax breaks are available for many fringe benefits, including health insurance, writes Bonnie Lee. "The premiums owners pay on behalf of employees are tax free to them and a deduction for the business," she notes. Companies can also deduct the cost of benefits such as life insurance and commuting benefits, she writes. Fox Business Small Business Center (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Get an easy-to-manage record of your business spending for tax time with the Business Gold Rewards Card. Plus, earn 3X points on airfare, 2X points on advertising, gas, and shipping, and 1X points on everything else. Learn more.
Tax Tools 
  • Tax e-filing made simple
    Choose your software, keep your financial documents nearby, and be sure you get an acknowledgment from the IRS: These are basic steps in filing taxes electronically before the deadline. Another tip from technology writer Dave Johnson: Be wary of upsells from the software-maker if you choose to run an error check on your return before filing. Many such checks are tied to upgrades you must purchase. CBS MoneyWatch (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tax-time troubles? Keep your CPA informed
    Two of the top mistakes small-business owners make at tax time are not talking to an accountant throughout the year and not understanding their own financials, according to a survey of accountants by Xero, a small-business accounting software developer. Accountants listed several other pitfalls for small businesses, including combining personal and business deductions and forgetting to deduct for a home office. (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 A tool to help simplify your taxes
The Business Gold Rewards Card makes it easy to keep track of your business spending while providing a suite of services and benefits. Use our online tools and tips to help organize your records, identify possible tax deductions, and prepare you for tax season. Learn more.

Avoiding an Audit 
  • Red flags that could get you audited by the IRS
    The IRS may be more likely to audit you if your income seems abnormally high or low, if you have claimed many deductions or if there are disparities between your state and federal tax returns, writes J.D. Roth. You can help to protect yourself by being honest and using tax software or getting professional help. "But even if you have a pro prepare your return, review it for obvious errors, because nobody cares more about your money than you do," he writes. Entrepreneur online (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to cut your chances of being audited
    You can help to keep the IRS off your back by making sure that your return doesn't include any expenses that seem abnormally high, writes accountant Mark Kohler. Also, be sure to file all of your tax returns and to respond quickly to IRS requests, he writes. Entrepreneur online (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Your Plans 
  • Are you ready for tax day?
Yes -- my taxes are already filed
Yes -- my taxes will be done in time
No -- I'm in panic mode

  • Are you filing your taxes on tax day or filing an extension?
I'll be done in time
I'm filing an extension

More on Tax Season from OPEN Forum 

A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform."
--Russell B. Long,
U.S. senator

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 John Jantsch, Editor at Large
John Jantsch is author of "Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide" and "The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself." John is a marketing and digital technology coach and creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small-business marketing system.

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