Six Small-business Tax Tips
July 25, 2011 (Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News) At a tax workshop held last week at San Juan College, small business owners learned how to set up their businesses while staying on the right side of taxing authorities.
Eleven entrepreneurs, some looking to start businesses, others already under way, attended the session.
Patricia Jenkins, an Albuquerque-based tax agent, led the workshop along with Greg Neeley, a senior revenue agent at the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.
"What I try to do is keep them legal," said Jenkins, who is part of the Society of Enrolled Agents registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Start-ups face a range of issues, from registering with the state to deciding whether to use employees or independent contractors.
Jenkins urged entrepreneurs to fight for what is best for them.
"Taxes are not black and white," she said. "They're shades of gray."
Among Jenkins' tips:
"How many of you are thinking about employees?" Jenkins asked. "They're the most dangerous things in the world."
Participants in the small business tax workshop included a painter, a furniture maker, a construction contractor, a honey producer and a psychotherapist.
Adam Telford recently obtained a license for his new photography studio business, Natural Images of Farmington. Telford came to learn how to pay his business taxes.
"I've had a couple of paying clients and I have no clue how to do the reporting on them," he said.
James Hatley, a longtime construction worker who aims to start a furniture making business, attended to learn about establishing his own firm.
Jenkins said it pays for business owners to fight against letters from taxing authorities telling business owners they owe.
"If you get a state notice or an IRS notice, don't assume they're right and you're wrong," she said. "Always question it."
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