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One of the biggest hurdles you'll face in running your own business is to stay on top of your numerous obligations to federal, state, and local tax agencies. A tax headache is only one mistake away, be it a missed payment or filing deadline, an improperly claimed deduction, or incomplete records. And, you can safely assume that a tax auditor presenting an assessment of additional taxes, penalties, and interest will not look kindly on an "I didn't know I was required to do that" claim. The old legal saying that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" is perhaps most often applied in tax settings.
Although retaining a good accountant or other tax professional may prove to be invaluable in avoiding tax troubles, possessing a working knowledge of how the tax systems work is also beneficial. After all, even if you delegate your tax obligations to someone else, you'll still bear the ultimate responsibility for seeing that those obligations are met.
We cover each of the major taxes that you or your business may have to pay. We'll include tips for avoiding problem areas and for saving your tax dollars. Even if you're not interested in doing everything yourself, you'll find the information useful for resolving a specific tax question or for identifying issues you may want to raise with your tax pro. Our coverage of business taxes encompasses the following topics:
- Your payroll tax obligations covers those federal, state, and local taxes that you're required to collect or pay whenever you hire your own employees.
- Your federal income tax obligations addresses the role that income tax planning plays in your daily business operations.
- Your sales tax obligations examines the state and local taxes that you are required to pay on your purchases and to collect on your sales of merchandise or other tangible personal property and certain services.
- Your state tax obligations contains the information you need to give you a working knowledge of your own state and local taxes, as well as the necessary licensing and initial business formation fees and filings on a state-by-state basis.