It’s that time of year again. Tax season. This time, you’re sure you’ve got things under control. Yes, you’re stressed, you have eight different spreadsheets open on your screen, and you’re waiting for yet another government website to load, but you’re almost at the finish line. And after spending hours filling out multiple forms—triple-checking that you’ve made the right estimated payments, tracked the right expenses, and applied the right deductions—you finally file your taxes.
Like so many others in the tax industry, we’ve spent the last 10 months combing through the 100+ page Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. There are many changes. Some of those changes are still being studied by accountants and the IRS alike, so it’s impossible to detail them all here. But we pulled out the top four changes you should know about the new law that could affect your 2018 returns.
If you’ve made it this far, I assume you’ve done your research on QuickBooks alternatives and are thinking about buying inDinero. So the next logical question is, “how does QuickBooks compare to inDinero?”
Great question, self! The difference between QuickBooks and inDinero is a topic we run into frequently in our conversations with founders. Outside of those conversations, there’s no shortage of blog articles, Quora posts, and side-by-side reviews attempting to provide answers as well.
Let’s settle the question for good.
Hiring? If you run a startup, you probably should be. Job growth is up, unemployment is down, and our country’s already competitive labor market is on track to tighten even further in the coming months.
Long story short: now is the time to focus on employee recruitment and retention. Fortunately— for once—you can count on the Internal Revenue Service for help. Numerous tax credits cover costs associated with hiring. In fact, the United States tax code is full of benefits and incentives aimed at helping emerging companies like yours create jobs. Check out a few ways the government will literally pay you to hire people:
A quarter of a million dollars could transform your startup. Or it could buy you a vintage Taco Bell hot sauce packet. No joke—as of this writing, that is a genuine listing on eBay: one unopened pouch of Taco Bell hot sauce, circa 1984–1992, priced at exactly $250,000.
If you can think of better ways to spend $250,000 (or if collecting expired condiment packets is truly your definition of Living Más—I won’t judge), you should consider claiming the United States Research Experimentation Tax Credit, commonly referred to as the R&D Tax Credit.
Where you do business says a lot about your company. If you’re a clothing shop in Waikiki, you probably have to keep your bikinis and boardshorts stocked all year round. If you’re a therapist in New England you might find your busy season ramps up in November due to seasonal depression. But no matter what you do where you do it affects how you file your taxes.
Here’s a phrase you never thought you’d hear from a CEO who just raised seed funding: “Nobody told me how difficult success can be for a startup.”
This may not sound like much of a problem. But the more I thought about it, I realized that many early-stage businesses start out with blazing potential and burn out before they reach it.
One of the most momentous parts of business is nailing down what makes your product or service different. For some companies, like law firms, this can be the talent, experience, and expertise of your team, or even just your location. However, outside of professional services, many companies define their competitive advantage by identifying new problems to solve or coming up with new ways to solve them. So, it’s those innovative entrepreneurs whom I’d like to introduce to the R&D Tax Credit.
What is the R&D Tax Credit?
Since 1981, the United States federal government has offered the research and development (R&D) tax credit as an incentive for companies who research and develop new products. What started as a temporary, trial-based credit has recently become a permanent part of the federal tax code due to its success in stimulating job creation and helping to solidify the U.S. as an economic leader on a global scale.
But, its effects could be even greater.
Filing and paying your taxes on time is a lot easier when you a) know when they’re due (obviously) and b) have a year-round accounting system. When you outsource your business’s accounting and taxes with inDinero, we have you covered on both fronts, but, in this article, we’ll focus on the former to help all business owners build a 2018 business tax calendar so they can keep up with their filing responsibilities and avoid late penalties.
(Still working on your 2018 business taxes? You can find those dates in the 2017-2018 version of this calendar.)
Many are still torn on how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will help or hurt U.S. small businesses, but there is one change that would have a sweeping effect on most startups: The more rigid restrictions on what businesses can deduct for meals and entertainment expenses (M&E).
These stricter limits affect spending on any dining, grocery, celebrations, etc. that took place starting January 1, 2018. For companies that rely on these benefits to attain and retain employees and customers, this may be a big blow.