When you’re busy running your business all year, you’re probably not spending much time considering which specific state and federal forms you’ll need to file. But in the game of business taxes, you need to be organized and timely..
inDinero’s tax solution is designed to streamline the annual tax preparation process. Our cloud-based Tax Questionnaire gives small business owners something they’ve never had before: A self-guided place to gather all the information our tax team needs to build their business tax returns.
If you’ve ever filed individual taxes (Form 1040) with big name software companies like TurboTax, H&R Block, or TaxAct, you know it’s pretty straightforward. These systems are ideal for filing personal taxes of minimal complexity (especially because they offer a free option). But businesses and business owners deserve the same smooth experience, along with the robust features built to handle the varying intricacies of SMB tax compliance.
Follow along to see how the inDinero tax questionnaire simplifies the tax filing process for small businesses starting with a few game-changing features.
What makes the inDinero Tax Questionnaire different?
Built-in support saves you billable hours with a CPA
When you file your own business taxes, you’re liable to make mistakes. When you work directly with a CPA, they bill you for the time spent collecting information and asking questions. With inDinero’s tax questionnaire you have on-demand access to a helpful representative via our live chat support desk. That means if you’re ever stuck on a question, you can work directly with someone who can guide you to an answer or escalate the issue.
In addition, the help box on each page includes tips, examples, and extra guidance for each section of the questionnaire. You can also add questions or comments if you aren’t sure about an answer and want to follow up with your tax preparer after completing the rest of the questionnaire.
If you’re already an inDinero client, this support may feel like it’s par for the course. But in the grand scheme of working with a tax preparer, this level of availability is hardly common practice. Traditional tax professionals typically bill clients for the time spent answering even the simplest questions. While there are cases where a question’s complexity requires enhanced CPA support (which inDinero may bill for), the live chat and help box features have effectively minimized billable hours with our clients.
What’s Included in the Questionnaire?
The questionnaire collects information related to a number of federal and state forms. The data you provide will be used to fill out your:
- Income tax filings (federal and as many states as needed)
- Extension filings
- Foreign filings (Forms 5471, 5472, and 8865)
- Delaware and California franchise tax forms
- Conversion forms (e.g. from an LLC to a corporation)
Where does the tax team step in?
While we’re focused on automating this process, the tax questionnaire does not cover every piece of information related to your business’s taxes. Your accounting team will ask for the following via email:
- Estimated tax payment documentation
- Sales tax and related forms
- Dissolution information
- Delaware franchise tax if you have authorized additional shares more than once during the tax year
What types of questions does the Tax Questionnaire ask?
Just as every business is unique, no two filings are the same. Depending on the size and complexity of your company, you may have up to 16 different questionnaire forms to complete. Let’s take a look at some of the documents you might need to fill out:
Basic Tax Information
Start here. This form helps us understand what kind of company you run, as well as who we refer to as your “key users”: the Tax Contact, who completes the questionnaire and communicates directly with our team; the Tax Signer, who signs the tax return (usually a CEO or CFO); and the Check Signer (typically the same person as the Tax Signer), whose name will be on the tax payment checks.
This form is where you’ll provide fundamental information such as your company’s name, entity type, EIN, state(s) of incorporation, address, and so on. You’ll also need to enter your bank account number and routing number.
Next, you’ll complete the diagnostic section which helps us figure out which non-standard tax forms you may need to submit, including subsidiary-related filings and foreign disclosures. It also helps us determine important background information about your account, such as whether this year is your business’s first year filing taxes with inDinero, and whether you’ve applied for any extensions.
You’ll answer questions like…
- In which states do you operate?
- Did your company conduct research and development activities in the U.S. last year?
- Does your company have any subsidiaries?
- Do you have an Employee Benefit Retirement Plan in place?
- Does your organization have any ownership in a foreign company?
Do you operate in multiple states? If you have a tax nexus (i.e. at least one employee, physical location, or significant sales) in more than one state, your taxes tend to get more complicated. Fortunately, our questionnaire can help you take care of the workload associated with multi-state filings.
You’ll need to provide information related to the following in each state:
- Registration paperwork
- Real or tangible property
- Sales to customers
Research and Experimentation Tax Credit
If like many of our clients, your company is active in software development, engineering, or any industry that emphasizes innovation and development of intellectual property, you may qualify for the so-called “R&D Tax Credit.” A typical accounting firm would refer you to a specialist for this credit, but we are proud to offer it for free. Through inDinero’s tax questionnaire, you can prepare this form in a matter of minutes once you have your R&D wage, supply, and contract research information ready.
Working on a new product? Download the Business Owner’s Manual to the R&D Tax Credit to learn more about earning money back from the IRS.
We know that not every taxable event gets recorded through the bank accounts you’ve linked to inDinero. This form ensures that we have all the data we need to accurately represent your company’s financial activity to the IRS. That may include company stock distribution, ownership changes, and one-off transactions (like charitable giving) that happen outside of your normal transactional channels.
Shareholder and Cap Table Information
A cap table records your stockholders, the type of stock they own, and the percentage of your company they own.
We ask for your cap table at the end of each year for a few reasons. From a tax perspective, this helps us help you avoid any mistakes or omissions and the corresponding federal penalties. We may need it to—among other things—prepare the equity section of your financial statements, finalize your Delaware Franchise reports, or identify any additional reporting requirements.
Depending on the nature of your company, you may need to provide information about additional topics. The following parts of the questionnaire will populate based on the answers you provide in the six initial sections:
- Domestic Subsidiaries
- Foreign Subsidiary
- Form 5471
- Form 8865
- Form 5472
- FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts)
- Form 926
How long does it take to complete the Tax Questionnaire?
If you have all the data you need, the questionnaire should only take 30–45 minutes to complete. That said, we recommend setting aside a few hours and giving yourself at least a few days in advance to pull together key documents and information.
Stay ahead of tax timelines.
To plan a sufficient amount of time to review and file your return, we set due dates in advance to collect all necessary information. These informational due dates range from a week to a month before the federal and state deadlines. We’ll proactively remind you to complete your questionnaire before the cutoff.
Not your first year as an inDinero customer? Save time with prior year returns.
Finally, we are pleased to announce a feature our users have been asking for: you can now automatically populate the current year’s tax form with your questionnaire answers from the previous year. Of course, you will still need to review your information for inaccuracies and gaps to ensure you’re filing correctly.
Additional resources for staying organized and filing taxes with inDinero
Already an inDinero customer? Now you have everything you need to get started on your tax questionnaire. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager at email@example.com.
Wondering how inDinero can help your small business win at tax season—and have rock solid accounting year-round? Schedule a call with one of our financial experts today. And be sure to download our fillable workbook for getting your business’s information organized for filing your tax return.
Quick Note: This article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult appropriate professionals for advice on your specific situation. inDinero assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.