Wyoming Business Tips for March

A monthly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Steen Stovall, Wyoming SBDC Network regional director, Converse, Natrona, Niobrara and Platte counties

Tax season has arrived and, with it, the significant accounting and financial challenges it can pose for even the most organized business owners.

To prepare effectively for this year’s tax season and streamline future preparations, here are five straightforward tips for small businesses:

-- Maintain ongoing preparation. Avoid the last-minute rush by consistently tracking expenses and reviewing financial records throughout the year. Recording expenses promptly, including meals, entertainment and mileage, along with retaining receipts, is crucial. Additionally, maintaining detailed notes and daily diaries regarding expenses ensures accuracy and facilitates IRS audits. Embracing modern apps can simplify this ongoing preparation process.

-- Address ghost assets. Ghost assets, inventory or assets that cannot be accounted for due to physical loss or damage, can significantly affect a company’s finances and taxes. Employing sophisticated inventory and asset management systems can mitigate the risk associated with ghost assets, ensuring accurate reporting during tax season and potential audits.

-- Maximize deductions. Understand that tax rules offer incentives and deductions that can benefit your business. Collaborate with your accountant to identify and capitalize on potential deductions, such as car expenses, home office deductions and startup costs. Thoroughly review current regulations to ensure you are taking advantage of all available deductions.

-- Use accounting software and professional assistance. Simplify tax preparations by leveraging effective accounting software, such as QuickBooks, to manage accounts, expenses and payroll. While software streamlines accounting tasks, consulting a knowledgeable accountant ensures compliance with changing regulations and maximization of deductions. Maintain a balance between self-management and expert guidance to ensure accurate and timely tax filings.

-- Establish a strategic retirement fund. Contribute to retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA to defer taxes on income until withdrawal, thereby reducing your annual tax burden. Consult with your accountant and adhere to local laws and regulations when determining contribution limits for retirement accounts.

While tax season may seem daunting, implementing these simple tips will empower your small business to navigate tax obligations confidently and efficiently, setting the stage for success.

To learn more about tax preparation for your small business, contact your Wyoming SBDC Network adviser who is available to provide no-cost, confidential assistance. To get started, go here.

The Wyoming SBDC Network offers no-cost advising and technical assistance to help Wyoming entrepreneurs think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. In 2023, the Wyoming SBDC Network helped Wyoming entrepreneurs start 54 new businesses; support 1,857 jobs; and bring a capital impact of $3.1 million to the state. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. SBA.

To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write Dept. 3922, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071-3922.

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