by Mielle Sullivan, Janus Networks

Now that 2009 and January behind are us, the tedious tax season is in full swing. Even if you’ve been fling taxes for your small business for years, here are some basic tips in answer to frequently asked questions that have probably crossed your mind.

Where do you start?
Before beginning your taxes every year, it is a very good idea to spend some time on the IRS website for Small Businesses. You can find a wealth of information including recent court rulings that may affect your taxes, other business tax news, changes to forms and credits etc. There is even a list of year-round resources including–a television network on the Web devoted exclusively to providing engaging streaming video content to small businesses. Check out:

What Tax Software is best for your small business?

TurboTax–Most reviewers including Consumer Reports, The New York Times and CNet agree, that TurboTax is the best tax preparation software for anything more than the most basic personal returns. TurboTax is best for small businesses because: it handles complex tax returns better overall, has a more intuitive user interface and guides users through the deduction process with ease. There’s a recently added feature that asks about specific topical issues like natural disasters, layoffs and debt to vendors leading you to any deductions or credits you are entitled to. The Home & Business version, tailored specifically to home businesses, is $99.95. The Business version for LLCs, Partnerships and C or S Corps, is $129.95.

What CPA or Tax Adviser is right for your small business?

Not all Tax Advisers are CPAs and not all CPAs do taxes. So the first thing to do is consider what sort of services you will need. Do you just need help with taxes or do you need other accounting help as well? Would your business benefit from a professional with a specialized knowledge in your industry?

Also, knowledge of current tax regulations may vary quite a bit from one individual to another. Ask any professional you are thinking of hiring how they keep up on tax education and what classes they have taken recently.

For Bay Area small businesses, we at Janus Networks recommend the services of Fred Madriaga of Madriaga & Associates, 311 Oak Street, Suite 101, Oakland, CA 94607 510.985.1445,

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