Why You Should Keep Your Business and Personal Financial Worlds Separate

Why You Should Keep Your Business and Personal Financial Worlds SeparateThis post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

Be honest: how difficult were your taxes this year? Did you have trouble figuring out how much you made and how bad your expenses were? Were you afraid you missed something? How many fistfuls of hair did you pull out?

Many sole proprietors start their businesses as a hobby or side income. It might not seem worth it to go to the hassle of opening a whole new business bank account. But keeping your personal and business finances combined can lead to some pretty bad headaches. And not just at tax time, either. There are several reasons why you should consider splitting your two financial worlds up immediately. Here are a few that could be affecting your business right now.

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3 Different Ways You Can Pay Your Taxes

3 Different Ways You Can Pay Your TaxesThis post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

Think there’s only one way to pay your taxes when you have an amount due? Sure, in years past that was the case. You could send a check along with your filed tax forms and that was pretty much the extent of it. Paying taxes was part of the reason why tax time was such a pain for every hard working person in America.

Now, though, technology has made it where you have lots of options when it comes time to fork over your hard-earned money. However, you can’t utilize them if you don’t know what they are, so we thought we would take a quick look at your options to help you out. One of these should help you comply with your tax obligation with no problem.

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Why Did I Just Get a 1099 MISC in the Mail?

Why Did I Just Get a 1099 MISC in the Mail?This post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

You probably thought you were done getting mysterious tax forms in the mail, yet this one shows up and ruins your day. You weren’t expecting any more forms at all and were even close to finishing up your taxes once and for all. What are you supposed to do with this thing?

The answer is you must have done some freelance work at some point in the last year, because the 1099-MISC is the form that independent contractors and freelancers receive in lieu of a W-2. Whether or not you remember performing a freelance job or not is irrelevant – it’s time to deal with it.

If this is the case or if you’re still learning about tax documents, we’re here to help! Let’s take a look at what the 1099-MISC is and how you can use it.

What it is

As stated above, the 1099-MISC is what independent business owners like freelancers get at tax time instead of a W-2. But why do you get a separate form? Why don’t your clients just send a W-2 and be done with it?

The answer is in how different parties handle taxes. When you have an employer, they handled most of your tax liabilities for you. They withhold the portion of your taxes the government agency needs and pay it in for you. This doesn’t happen with freelancing. You have the pleasure of paying the necessary taxes to state and federal taxing authorities yourself.

So when April rolls around, employers send a W-2 that has not only your income info but also how much tax they paid in for you. A 1099-MISC, though, only has how much money you made through that particular client. So if you charged someone $1000 to write blog posts for a year, they will send you a 1099-MISC that shows your total income through them as $1000.

What to do with it

You’re probably wondering why you need a tax form to tell you how much you made through clients. After all, you keep good small business bookkeeping records, so what’s the big deal?

Well, this information also goes to the IRS so they know how much income they should expect to see you declare on your income taxes. So don’t file it away just yet.

The first thing you should do with the form is to check your records. Are you sure that 1099-MISC is correct? If you got multiple forms, have you checked that they’re all correct? Verify independently that the form matches your records; otherwise, you’re going to have a big problem on your hands when the IRS comes knocking.

For example, say a client accidentally recorded that they paid you twice for a job. They’ll send you and the IRS a record that they paid you $2,000 this year, while you were actually only paid $1,000. The IRS will expect to see you declare that $2,000 on your income taxes, and will make noise if you don’t.

When you’re sure your 1099-MISC forms are correct, file them away for a few years. Even though the IRS ostensibly has a copy of your 1099-MISC forms, you never know when you might get a “dreaded letter” fro the IRS and need to make your case.

How many 1099-MISC forms did you receive this year? Were they all correct?

Important Tax Dates for Businesses in 2014

Important Tax Dates for Businesses in 2014This guest post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

When tax season begins, many business owners struggle to keep all the dates they have to remember in order. We thought we would give you a quick list of all the  major tax days coming up through April so you never forget a big tax milestone again.

January

15th – 4th Quarter Quarterly Estimated Taxes

When you’re a business owner or a freelancer, you don’t pay taxes like most workers do. Instead of money coming out of your paycheck every period, you pay taxes on the work you do or items you sell. You pay this money, called quarterly estimated taxes (QETs), every few months.

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7 Invoicing Best Practices for Small Business Owners

7 Invoicing Best Practices for Small Business OwnersThis guest post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

Running a business only works if you get paid. Sending out invoices with no answer from the client or customer can cause you to pull your hair out and stay up all night wondering how you’re going to pay the bills.

Now that GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping also includes a new Invoicing feature, we’ve taken a marked interest in how our customers invoice. And we’ve come up with several best practices that seem to get invoices paid promptly and in full.

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