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7 Smart Small Business Tax Strategy Planning to Help You Save Money

Published by Ronald Parisi on April 26, 2024

For small business owners, savvy tax planning is not just about compliance; it’s a crucial strategy to maximize profitability and cash flow. In this guide, we’ll explore seven intelligent tax planning strategies that can help you significantly reduce your tax burden and enhance your business’s financial health.

What’s the best tax strategy to use for my business?

Identifying the best tax strategy for your business involves understanding your specific financial circumstances and goals. Considering a limited liability company (LLC) as a business structure could be beneficial due to its flexibility in taxation, allowing it to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, or C corporation, which underscores the importance of consulting with a tax professional to understand the different tax implications. It requires a combination of leveraging tax deductions, optimizing your business structure, and planning for future growth and potential tax liabilities.

Consider a tax status change

One effective strategy to save on taxes is to reassess your business’s tax status. For instance, some small businesses might benefit from switching from a sole proprietorship to an S corporation to take advantage of lower tax rates on retained earnings and to pay taxes on potential savings on self-employment taxes.

Make the Most of Your Tax Deductions

Maximizing available tax deductions is crucial. Deductible business expenses reduce your taxable income and can include everything from office supplies to marketing and advertising expenses. Ensure you are thorough and meticulous in tracking these expenses throughout the year.

Look for Ways to Reduce Your Adjusted Gross Income

Reducing your adjusted gross income (AGI) can lower net income in your tax bracket, potentially qualify your business for additional deductions and credits, and may help avoid additional Medicare taxes. Strategies such as contributing to a retirement plan or deferring income can effectively reduce your AGI, thus impacting not only your tax bracket but also the amount of Medicare taxes you might owe.

Determine whether your business may qualify for different tax treatment

Research and determine if your business qualifies for different tax treatments, such as being a cash method taxpayer versus an accrual method taxpayer, which can have significant implications for tax return and on how you report income and expenses.

If it’s been a down year, consider deferring expenses and accelerating income

In leaner years, it might be beneficial to defer certain expenses to future tax periods and accelerate income into the current tax year. This strategy can help manage your tax bracket and optimize your tax liabilities according to your business performance.

Be Strategic with Your Tax Elections

Choosing the right tax elections can have a profound impact on your taxes. This includes decisions like opting for the Section 179 deduction to immediately write off the cost of qualifying assets or choosing the appropriate depreciation methods for business equipment.

Claim the qualified business income deduction

The Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBI) allows eligible small businesses to deduct up to 20% of their qualified business income. Understanding and claiming this top tax deduction, can significantly reduce your taxable income.

Are you eligible for the home office deduction?

If you use part of your home regularly and exclusively for business, under home office deductions you may qualify for the home office deduction, which can reduce your tax burden by allowing you to deduct a portion of your home expenses.

Rethink Your Exit Planning Strategy and Wealth Transfer Strategies

Effective business tax strategy and planning involves not just current taxes but future ones as well. Developing a strategic plan for exiting your business or transferring wealth can involve complex tax considerations that should be planned with the help of a tax professional.

Create a smart plan for paying taxes

Plan how and when you pay your taxes to avoid underpayment penalties and ensure cash flow throughout the tax season and the year. This may involve setting aside money in a dedicated tax account or making estimated tax payments quarterly.

Income Acceleration

In some cases, accelerating income into the current year can be advantageous, for tax cuts especially if you anticipate being in a higher tax bracket in the future. This might involve invoicing early or shifting business activities to realize income sooner.

Understand the tax implications of your remote-working employees

The rise of remote work has brought new tax considerations, especially if employees work in different states or jurisdictions. Understanding these tax credit implications can help avoid unexpected tax liabilities.

Choose the Right Business Structure

The structure of your business significantly affects your income tax and obligations. Structures like S corporations, C corporations, LLCs, and partnerships each have unique tax implications and benefits.

Set up — or add to — a retirement savings plan

Establishing or enhancing a retirement savings plan not only benefits you and your employees’ future but can also provide immediate tax benefits. Contributions to such plans are typically tax-deductible, reducing your overall taxable income.

Defer — or accelerate — income

Depending on your financial projections, deferring income to the next year or accelerating it into the current year can help manage tax liabilities effectively, allowing for significant tax savings through better financial planning and budgeting.

Take advantage of tax deductions

Ensure you are fully aware of all the tax deductions your business is entitled to, including more obscure ones that may not be well-known but can offer significant tax savings anyway.

Consider equipment deductions and green energy tax credits

Investing in new equipment or green energy solutions can not only improve your business’s efficiency but also reduce your tax bill through deductions and credits. For example, the IRS offers various incentives for businesses that invest in renewable energy sources or energy-efficient equipment.

Help an Employee with Student Loans

Assisting employees with their student loans not only aids in recruitment and retention but can also provide tax benefits. Some programs allow employers to make tax-free contributions to their employees’ student loan balances, which are deductible for the employer and tax-free for the employee.

Defer Taxable Income

If you anticipate higher tax rates or increased income in a tax time in the future, consider deferring income to a later year. This can be achieved through various methods such as delaying invoices or utilizing retirement plans that defer taxes on contributions.

7 ways to lower your tax bill as a small business owner

  1. Utilize all available business expense deductions.
  2. Take advantage of tax credits for small businesses.
  3. Consider changing your business structure for tax efficiency.
  4. Maximize contributions to retirement accounts.
  5. Implement family hiring strategies to shift income.
  6. Regularly review your accounting methods for opportunities to defer income.
  7. Leverage tax loss harvesting if applicable to your business situation.

Review Your Accounting Method

Your choice of accounting method, cash or accrual, can affect how you report income and expenses. Switching methods may provide tax advantages depending on your specific business operations and financial status.

Write Off Your Equipment and Real Estate Purchases

Capitalizing on tax benefits related to equipment and real estate purchases can significantly reduce your tax liability. This includes deductions and potentially qualifying for bonus depreciation, which can immediately expense a portion of the cost.

Reduce Tax Liability with These Tax Planning Strategies for Your Small Business

Implementing strategies such as segregating business and personal expenses, claiming appropriate deductions for deduct expenses related home office use, and employing family members legally can all contribute to reducing your overall tax liability.

Hire Your Spouse or Children

Hiring family members can be an effective tax-saving strategy. Not only can it shift income to lower tax brackets, less corporate income tax but payments to family members for legitimate business purposes are deductible business expenses.

How Much Does a Small Business Pay in Taxes?

The amount of tax a small business pays varies widely depending on its profit, business structure, and the tax strategies employed. Understanding the factors that influence your small business tax deductions and obligations is crucial to minimizing your tax bill.

Hire a Tax Advisor

Engaging a tax advisor who understands the nuances of small business taxes can provide significant advantages. A skilled advisor can help navigate complex tax laws, ensure compliance, and advise on strategies to minimize tax liabilities.

Why is Tax Planning Important for Small Businesses?

Tax planning is essential for small businesses as it directly affects their cash flow, financial planning, and long-term sustainability. Effective tax planning ensures that you take full advantage of all tax benefits while complying with the law, thereby optimizing your business’s financial performance.

Check If You’re Eligible for Penalty Relief

The IRS offers penalty relief for certain small businesses that fail to meet tax obligations due to reasonable cause. Understanding eligibility criteria and applying for relief can mitigate the impact of penalties on your business.

Adopting smart tax planning strategies is crucial for small business owners seeking to minimize their tax liabilities and enhance their financial health. By staying informed, consulting professionals, and strategically managing taxes, small businesses can maximize their profitability and ensure long-term success.

CPA on Fire is a full-service CPA firm that specializes in building financial engines for fast-growing, 7 and 8-figure entrepreneurial companies. We offer far more than just vCFO services or specialized tax services. Our clients are driven, entrepreneurial spirit brilliant CEOs/Founders who are achieving great things. We help them by providing their companies with a top-tier financial team for a fraction of the cost so they can scale faster and maximize their business owners personal wealth every step of the way long term success (and not just at exit).

Contact us now for a consultation.

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