ARTICLE TABLE OF CONTENTS
Finding the Right Small Business Tax Course for Your Needs
#1: IRS Small Business Virtual Tax Workshop
Why not go right to the source?
The IRS offers a Small Business Virtual Tax Workshop that you can complete in a matter of a few hours. This course is very basic, but it provides the foundation from which every small business should start when it comes to managing their financial operation. You’ll be able to engage in the workshop online. It includes 8 lessons that are designed to teach you about tax rights as well as responsibilities. A nice feature is that you can come back and take the lessons when you have time, so it does not have to get in the way of your day-to-day business needs.
This IRS program teaches a good deal for the short frame it offers information on:
• Federal taxes for new business owners
• Completing Schedule C of your tax return
• How to file and pay federal taxes
• Federal taxes and hiring and managing employees
• Managing payroll and withholding money for taxes
• Reporting payroll taxes
• Managing non-US citizens working for you
Here’s a tip. The IRS offers other types of educational resources free of charge as well. If you are starting a new business, check out this portal for solid information.
#2: Small Business Tax Course
Some tax schools have programs geared towards prepping just those who want to work as a tax preparer. Rather, look for specific courses geared towards small business owners. Surgent IncomeTax School offers the Small Business I Tax Course that can be a good starting point. This course requires at least some basic information (that IRS course is a good starting point!) It will provide more hands-on information and resources that can help you to make the most of managing your business taxes.
This course has two learning modules. In total, it takes about 28 hours to complete the course. You can start and stop as you need to if you have a busy schedule to manage. You can also download all of the materials you need (you do not have to buy a hardback book). Some of the content in this course includes:
• Balance sheets, asset sections, income statements, and calculating financial health
• Community property rules for partnerships, sale and exchange interest
• C corporation topics including reconciliation of income, uniform capitalization rules, and built-in gains
• S corporation elections including reasonable compensation and separately stated items
• Recordkeeping requirements including deposit and payroll reporting
This course has a lot of information about several different business formats. You may not need all of those topics – just the ones that relate to your business.
#3: Tax Planning for Small Businesses
The AICPA course called Tax Planning for Small Businesses – Tax Staff Essentials is a solid way in for business owners to get the information they need to manage their own businesses. Though it is geared towards helping in-house tax teams to manage the process, business owners (and their employees) can take it. This may open the door for more than just how to fill out tax forms. The core concepts of this program include helping the student to reduce tax obligations. A lot of the education focuses on tax saving strategies and developing planning methods to help companies of all types to reduce their overall taxes. Some of the topics in this program include:
• Taxes for new business
• Tax laws and rules
• Compensation of owners
• Buy-sell and non-compete agreements
• Accounting methods
• Depreciation and bonus depreciation
• Transactions with business owners
Tax considerations are complex, but this course does a good job of helping small business owners and tax professionals to reduce taxable income to save the company time and money. Keep in mind that format isn’t geared towards the business owner – but that doesn’t really matter in the course material.
4: ProTrain’s Small Business Income Tax Course Level 1
The ProTrain course offers a wide range of topic insight and is geared towards those who do not have any background. That is what helps to make the Small Business Income Tax Course Level 1 a good fit for those seeking out a starting course.
This course helps new companies to manage the basics such as recordkeeping, expenses, receipts, and income. It also is designed to include various tax strategies and opportunities present in the various types of business formations, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and S-corps. It can provide insights on dispositions and retirement planning tax considerations as well. Some of the topics covered in this program include:
- Employee tax
- Retirement plan taxation
- Business income
- Financial statements
- Sale of business property
- Excise taxes
- Accounting methods
This course is conducted fully online. It uses Office products and requires having access to a PDF to use it.
#5: Tax Secrets Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know
This is a fast and easy course to take with a lot of good information. If you are looking to refresh ideas on ways to reduce small business tax or opportunities to help you to save money managing your business, this course can prove to be a good option overall. The Tax Secrets Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know is on Udemy. The course is very affordable (there are often promotions to lower the cost).
The key topic here is to provide business owners with the information they need to know to increase their company’s growth while working to reduce legal tax obligations. You do not have to have any type of background in taxation or small business accounting to do well with it.
Some of the topics covered include:
• Types of unknown business expenses that can serve as a write-off
• How to save money on payroll taxes
• Avoiding capital gains taxes
• Turning taxable income into tax-free income
This course does not teach the basics and the fundamentals necessary to manage a business. It does not teach everything needed to complete a tax return. However, it does provide a lot of good information about how to establish and grow your business by using tax strategies that many peopled do not know much about – and that can be just as important.
#6: The Income Tax School Advanced Tax Preparation Course
The Income Tax School offers an Advanced Tax Preparation Course that may help many business owners tackle some of the more complex areas of tax law that may impact them and their business. There are several tax courses available from this organization. This particular one is geared towards small businesses and individual tax prep. That may make it a good option for those who are operating as an LLC and need to combine individual and business taxes. There is some level of understanding of tax law and obligations in this course. However, it offers a great deal of resources to help small business owners with these tax needs. Some of those topics include:
- Basis of property
- Sale of property
- Computing gains and losses
- Employment status
- Worksheet completion for various industries
- Maintaining a sole proprietorship entity
- Choosing the right type of business formation based on taxation
- Inventory and cost of goods sold management
When you complete this course, you may be able to go on to other courses that may offer more insight into topics that interest you or play a role in your success.
#7: Fundamentals of Business Taxes
There are a few key benefits of this course. The Fundamentals of Business Taxes provides a lot of information in a short timeframe. It is heavily reviewed in a positive manner by a wide range of users. The course is available through Udemy. It is a solid fundamentals course in that you do not have to have any real experience to do well with it. You can take it as you have time and complete a wide range of small business tax planning goals with it. Most importantly, it is geared specifically towards business owners who want to handle their own taxes but do not know where to start. Courses and topics include:
- Fundamentals of business tax establishment for businesses
- SEP use to reduce annual taxes
- Recordkeeping strategies and requirements, including ordering tax forms
- Monthly, quarterly, and annual business tax filing laws and requirements (including both federal and state level)
- Tax form breakdowns for most common forms
There is no requirement to take this course though it is geared towards those who own or manage an incorporated business.
Why Take Small Business Tax Courses Yourself?
Completing an online small business accounting course or tax course can be an excellent investment in your company. Virtually every decision you make as a business owner in some way impacts your tax obligations for that year. With careful decision making, not only do you reduce problems later, but you can often reduce taxes on much of your business income.
This can help your business to have more money to expand and grow. Some of the key reasons why these classes are so valuable include:
• They allow small businesses to gain insight into how to properly collect financial information so they can report it with accuracy to the IRS later. That makes tax time easier to manage.
• These classes help business owners compare the various business formations to determine which one may offer them the best overall tax advantages as well as how to manage tax obligations for each one.
• Tax courses also enable business owners to create financial documents that can help them to make better decisions for their company. This may include having more access to financial information for decision-making or even to request a loan later.
• If you plan to sell your business at any time, you will need these records available to you to help you to show your profitability and worth. Knowing what they mean and where you stand is always important in a business atmosphere.
• For many small businesses just starting out, having some tax education can help to eliminate a wide range of problems that tend to cost you money later on. That includes spending too much on taxes.
There are a wide range of tax courses online. You can take them locally in most business courses in community colleges. The online versions make it a bit easier to learn when you have time as a busy owner. At the same time, consider these courses for those who are managing your business’s financials. You may not have the time to do them yourself, but you may be able to have employees take the courses to further help your company.
Be sure to turn to a financial advisor and tax professional for all information related to your company’s needs. It is always best to defer to a professional that is up to date on the latest tax strategies and requirements while also using these tools to help you to manage the day to day process in your office. Check out these courses or seek out others that may fit your needs.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the content of this post is not intended as tax, accounting or legal advice. The information presented here is for informational and educational purposes only. Before engaging in any transaction, be sure to discuss these matters with a trained, licensed professional.