Do You Owe Business Taxes to the IRS in September?

Business taxes and personal taxes are similar in some ways. But one major difference revolves around estimated tax payments to the IRS throughout the year.

When Are Estimated Taxes Due?

In general, small business owners and those who earn self-employment income are on the hook for paying estimated taxes. While you may be able to make these payments on an annual basis, they are traditionally due to Uncle Sam four times per year. The deadlines for estimated taxes fall on January 15th, April 15th, June 15th, and September 15th.

The September deadline is quickly approaching. This particular due date is for estimated tax payments for the third quarter of 2015, covering the beginning of June through the end of August.

Do I Owe Estimated Taxes?

The concept of estimated taxes harkens back to a keyword in this term – estimated. These estimated taxes are levied on small business owners, 1099 independent contract workers, and others who do not have taxes withheld from the income they earn. For that reason, these tax payments made to the IRS are more of an estimation of what a taxpayer would owe rather than a precise amount that would otherwise be withheld from a W-2 paycheck.

The basic group of taxpayers who owe estimated taxes includes those who have income outside of wages or salaries. This includes Schedule C self-employment income, as well as earnings from capital gains, interest, and dividends.

How Do I Make Estimated Tax Payments?

In order to file and pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis, Form 1040-ES must be submitted to the IRS by each estimated tax deadline. Of course, any money you owe must also be included when filing this tax form.

If you owe estimated taxes this month, they should be in to the IRS on time. Otherwise, you may be required to pay a larger amount when April 15th rolls around. You could also be on the hook for late payment penalties. There are some options on making these quarterly payments all at once every year, but be sure to find out if such options would work for you, or if it makes more sense to pay them each quarter.

To handle your business taxes and other accounting needs, turn to the tax pros at 1-800Accountant. Call 1-800-222-6868 or check out www.1800accountant.com for details.

5 Tips on Running a Successful Franchise Business

Taking the plunge into your own business venture can be scary – even more than the best haunted house on Halloween night. But if you find an established brand that offers small business owners the opportunity to open a franchise under its name, a little bit of work has already been done for you from a branding standpoint. However, this doesn’t mean it’s that much easier to succeed.

So in honor of Franchise Appreciation Day this week, consider these 6 tips on running a franchise business that has a good chance of prospering in the future:

1. Thoroughly research the franchiser.

Before actually launching a new franchise business in your town, conduct thorough research on the business with which you plan to become a franchisee. This business is commonly called a franchiser. Determine the biggest selling points of the franchiser’s products or services. Learn about any current locations that are already open – and how successful those franchises have been. Get to know the top dog or CEO well, and get an in-depth lowdown on his or her plans for the company. The last thing you’d want to do is get into a bad situation, so do all possible research on your part to ensure you are diving headfirst into a desirable business environment.

2. Lean on your franchiser for support.

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners choose the franchise route because a business model is already in place for them and has been shown to work. With that said, don’t hesitate to lean on your franchiser for any support you need. That’s why they are there – and why they want others to open up shops like their original one.

Take advantage of all the resources provided by your franchiser. These may include pre-opening training courses, financing, technical support, marketing, and franchise consulting. These forms of support are not always available to entrepreneurs who start ventures themselves, so utilize them to the fullest extent.

3. Make networking a priority.

Regardless of your industry, franchise business owners should make every effort to be involved in networking. Join your city’s chamber of commerce, which should be an ardent supporter of all local businesses. Network with other entrepreneurs in your local area and industry. Make it a point to find other franchisees out there so you can get the scoop from them on how they’ve succeeded under an established company name. You may not feel comfortable talking with competitors, but there are so many business-minded professionals around you who can give you some tips and tricks for your franchise.

4. Ensure your business taxes and finances are in good working order.

No matter what type of business you operate, it’s critical to keep close tabs on your business taxes and finances. Make sure you file your corporate return on time if you own such an entity. Don’t forget about estimated tax payments, either. Finally, IRS business tax deductions can help reduce your business tax liability considerably. These include deducting startup costs, the vehicle deduction, the home office deduction, and the meals and entertainment deduction.

If a franchise business must pay royalties to a franchiser based on sales, these franchise fees should be deductible on your tax return. However, franchisees generally cannot write off initial franchise fees that are paid to become the franchisee of a business.

As for business finances, franchisers often require payments every month or quarter in the form of a specific percentage of gross revenue earned by the franchisee. Be sure to make these regular payments on time, and always give up the requested amount each time that you signed off on when setting up your franchise business. In addition, maintain solid bookkeeping and payroll records.

5. Remember that it’s all about the customer.

While the phrase “The customer is always right” applies in most scenarios, the philosophy that customers are the backbone of any business is 100% on point. This is why running a successful franchise involves taking good care of your customers. Getting repeat customers and referrals from those who like what you offer can serve as an integral source of revenue for your franchise. Make sure you handle all customer requests swiftly, and be sure all of your employees or contractors are trained to do the same since they may deal with customers more directly.

If you’re just an entrepreneur, or if you’re one of the millions of established small business owners out there, turn to 1-800Accountant for all of your business tax needs to ensure you stay compliant with the IRS. Call 1-800-222-6868 or check out the “Services” page on www.1800accountant.com.