If you’re a small business that doesn’t have an accountant lined up for tax season, you have a few options.
In this article, we’ll discuss how different finance professionals can help you during tax season as well as your options for filing your own business taxes.
Option 1: Find a certified tax professional ASAP.
There are two primary types of tax professionals you can seek out to complete your business taxes:
- Enrolled agents – These tax pros are certified by the IRS
- Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) – These tax pros are licensed by state boards of accountancy
When it comes to choosing a tax professional between these two options, it depends on your other needs. If you just need a tax professional during tax season or if you are facing advanced tax issues, you will want to find an enrolled agent. If you want someone to provide guidance on financial matters throughout the year, you will want to hire a CPA.
If you received aid from the CARES Act, then your taxes will be more complicated for the next couple of years, including this year. To work through additional tax compliance details, it’s best to hire a certified tax professional.
Option 2: Hire an accountant or bookkeeper ASAP.
If you cannot find a certified tax professional, you have a few more options:
- Unenrolled preparers
While not certified tax professionals, accountants and bookkeepers can help you manage your finances and may be able to provide you with guidance for filing your taxes.
While searching for someone to help you with your taxes, you may also come across tax preparers who are not enrolled agents. These unenrolled preparers may have legitimate businesses, be very knowledgeable, and may have worked as tax preparers for many years. However, it’s best to proceed with caution if you choose to use an unenrolled preparer because they can prepare your taxes, but they cannot represent you before the IRS if you face tax challenges.
Option 3: File your own business taxes.
If you’d prefer to file your own business taxes, there are a few different ways you can file:
- Use accounting software
- Paper file (if you have 100 or fewer 1099 forms)
The format you use to file your business taxes depends on your timeframe, tax knowledge, and budget.
Accounting software will typically walk you through the process of filing your business taxes, but this software can be expensive and you will need to upgrade every year or pay a monthly subscription fee.
If you have few forms to complete, you may opt for paper filing. You can get tax forms online, at your local library, the post office, and IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. You can also paper file hassle-free using eFile360. However, if you paper file, your deadline is sooner than if you e-file.
Whether you have just a few forms or thousands, e-filing is your best filing option. According to the IRS, e-filing is accurate, easy, secure, and convenient. Plus, the e-filing deadline for most forms is later than the paper filing deadline. There is no software to download or paper forms to purchase. To e-file with eFile360, you just need to create a free account to get started. All of the data you enter is secure.
Questions to Ask a Tax Preparer
When you speak to a finance professional about your tax preparation needs, it’s important to ask them a few questions before handing over your business’s tax documents and sensitive information.
Ramsey Solutions recommends asking these questions:
- How long have you been a tax preparer/CPA/enrolled agent/e-file provider?
- Are you available year-round?
- Can you represent me in front of the IRS?
- Who will I be working with? You or a member of your team?
- How much do you charge?
File with eFile360
To help you during your decision-making process, here are eFile360’s answers to the above questions:
- eFile360 is an IRS-authorized e-file provider. We have served business owners and other professionals since 2009.
- You can access efile360.com and your eFile360 account year-round, but you can only file taxes (on time) during Tax Season.
- eFile360 cannot represent you or your business in front of the IRS.
- eFile360 is a self-service platform for you to file your tax forms. However, we do have a friendly customer service team who can help you use this platform at no additional cost.
- File forms with eFile360 starting at $3.50 per form. Learn more about our volume pricing here.
Whether you want to get a jump-start on your taxes or you’re running out of time before the deadlines, sign up for a free eFile360 account.