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When it comes to waiting until the last minute to accomplish something, English actor and television presenter Christopher Parker may have summed it up best.

Procrastination is like a credit card.  It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.

The time is now to cue the grim music. The holidays are behind us, it is a new year and tax season is upon us whether we like it or not. And if there is something a small business owner should never procrastinate on, it’s filing taxes.

It’s a headache for most, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you do your own accounting or hire some help, staying organized throughout the year is a good place to start. The same can be said of the process of physically filing taxes as well.

Regardless of what process works best for you in your business, there is one tool that is worth its weight in gold: knowledge. Understanding what’s new, different and important each year will help save you time and money, particularly following an election year.

That is among the reasons why we have taken some time to research and highlight a few of the things to be aware of as tax filing deadlines loom in the horizon:

1)     Deadline changes. Research conducted by Business News Daily suggests there may be some changes to filing deadlines for C-Corps, Partnerships, LLCs and S-Corps. With a new deadline of April 15, C-Corps will have an extra month to file, while Partnerships, LLCs and S-Corps are now required to file on March 15.

2)     Tax breaks. Most small business owners are no strangers to deducting business expenses, and several qualifying deductions have been extended into 2017. That includes everything from basic home office supplies, furniture and other equipment to computer software. In addition, changes to Section 179 now allow the cost of computer software to be fully expensed in the year it was purchased as opposed to depreciating the cost over three years. Bonus depreciation is also extended through 2019, allowing businesses to deduct 50 percent of the cost for new capital equipment in 2017.

3)    Consult the experts. While the incentives for small business owners are plentiful, it is important to tread especially carefully following an electrion year. Changes to the structure of the corporate tax rate could be possible under the Trump Administration, and experts consulted by Business News Daily agree that that is one of many possible changes for small business owners to be aware of not only in 2017, but in the years to come. This is one of several reasons why it is important for entrepreneurs to discuss tax strategies sooner rather than later with their tax advisors whose job it is to be knowledgeable about the current tax climate.

In summary, Business News Daily offers the following tips for small business owners:

1)     Tax time may be a recognized time of year, but smart accounting practices and expense tracking is necessary year-round. The IRS maintains a helpful guide for new and experienced small business owners alike, offering resources, tips and the latest information that could impact tax filing in spring.

2)     The investment in a tax attorney or accountant can ultimately help save you money and maximize deductions. Tracking expenses is a constant necessity for small business owners, a practice that should occur consistently throughout the year. Tools like Expensify and Shoeboxed can help facilitate that process and integrates well with a partnership with a virtual accounting service like what we offer at Cloud Friday.

3)     Staying in the loop as tax laws change is always a good idea, even if you opt to involve the pros. The U.S. Small Business Administration maintains a guide to help small business owners stay on top of tax code changes and offers resources on tax responsibilities.

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