Tax Planning for Small Businesses and Emerging Enterprises

The tax planning strategies you choose can really affect your business’ bottom line, so ideally, you should form a long-term relationship with a knowledgeable CPA who will help ease your tax planning stress throughout the year. Our team is ready to help you resolve your tax issues. We specialize in a variety of accounting platforms, like QuickBooks and NetSuite. We also help firms integrate software solutions that suit their unique business needs.

Our experienced CPAs have tax experience helping clients all over the US and we welcome the opportunity to take on complex tax compliance and reporting tasks. Our tax engagements vary in size and complexity. We use an in-house intuitive cloud-based network to minimize your cost while offering maximum service.

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For individual taxpayers, the tax year is the same as the calendar year, which means that it starts on January 1 and culminates on December 31. Business entities can follow the fiscal year or the calendar year. The question “when is tax season?” typically refers to the period in which tax returns can be sent to the IRS.

Tax filing season for the previous year starts on January 1 and ends with the regular filing deadline of April 15.

The IRS has extended the individual end-of-year tax deadline to May 17 for 2021.


Business tax returns are due on March 15 for partnerships, and S-corporations. In the case of C-corporations, the deadline is on April 15 if they operate under the calendar year.

Read our extensive article on corporate tax deadlines as well as some end-of-year tax tips from our CPAs.

Limited liability and sole proprietors

Limited liability companies have until May 17, 2021 to file, and the same goes for self-employed professionals who are organized as sole proprietors.

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018, millions of taxpayers were left out of the tax preparation fee deduction, which was not that significant in the past, unless taxpayers had good reasons to not take the standard deduction. For a more complex tax return, you’d have to complete Schedule A, which would justify higher tax preparation costs. Some self-employed professionals can take advantage of this deduction in 2021, but it depends on the IRS schedules they file.

This is a question we hear from clients just about every tax season, but we are hearing it more often in 2021 because of everything that has transpired with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, the confusing first round of stimulus payments and loans during the Trump administration, and the delay in passing the American Rescue Plan Act this year. For all these and other reasons, the question “are tax refunds delayed?” is certainly more valid this year, and the answer would be yes, but not for all taxpayers.

The Internal Revenue Service has a few communications channels. Some channels are geared towards CPA firms and other tax preparation professionals; other channels transmit information directly to the public. As of March 20 in 2021, we have not heard an official communication from the IRS stating that tax refunds will be delayed. Such a notice would imply that millions of refunds would be issued later than the estimated 21-day processing time estimated by the IRS. What is known, however, is that more than 250,000 refunds from the 2019 tax filing season were still delayed in March 2021 because they had been flagged for situations in which information did not match Form W-2 data or there were issues with claims related to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

A couple of things to know about the 2021 tax filing season:

* The IRS has acknowledged that 2020 was a disruptive year for its operations, which is why the filing deadline has been extended to May 17, 2021. Coupled with the fact that the IRS is the agency in charge of disbursing economic stimulus payments to qualified taxpayers, this acknowledgment suggests that there could be refund delays later this year.

* The 21-day estimate for processing refunds is for “average” tax returns that have been filed electronically and do not present a great deal of complexity. In other words, a 1040-EZ with a single W-2 that is not claiming child credits will very likely get a refund in less than three weeks. A company filing a Form 1120-S that needs to report income, capital gains, losses, credits, deductions, expenses, and other items is far more complex; consequently, a longer processing time should be expected.

Our clients can get in touch with our office after their tax returns are submitted in order to learn about the status of their refunds.

Where’s my refund if I filed my return already?

Alternatively, you can also check the federal government’s website set up for this purpose. 


It would take several pages to explain the basics of how tax is calculated in the United States because of the great diversity of taxpayers and their different financial situations. What you should know is that American taxation is progressive, which means that tax assessment levels will increase along with the income you report. Marginal and effective tax rates at the federal level have a lot to do with how tax is calculated; they range between 10% and 37% as of 2021, and they are by no means among the highest in the world.

If we were to boil down tax calculations to a single paragraph it would be as follows:

The most applicable filing status must be ascertained first; this is followed by a determination of all income sources and qualified deductions. These steps result in the calculation of taxable income, but there will be additional workflows to figure out if the overall tax liability can be lowered by means of credits such as education, healthcare, and child care in the case of individual tax returns.


Tax rates are currently 21% on taxable income for US corporations. 

The process is different for business entities because of matters related to equipment, depreciation, payroll, and quite a few others; nonetheless, the common denominator crucial to tax calculation will always be the determination of taxable income. You can read our article explaining US corporate tax rates.

You should only pay the marginal or effective tax rate you fall under according to your income level. If you are subject to withholding, there is chance that you are paying more than the corresponding rate, which is one of the reasons you may be entitled to a refund. If you do not file tax returns, you are either paying too much or not enough; IRS auditors will not tell you if you are owed a refund unless you file a return. And of course, not remitting taxes according to your income is a federal offence.

Your refund is based on the difference between taxable income and what has been withheld from your paycheck or what your business has remitted to the IRS periodically. Individual taxpayers may also be entitled to certain tax credits according to effective legislation, and these are separate from stimulus payments enacted during the coronavirus pandemic.


Tax brackets are the practical aspects of the progressive taxation system of the U.S. You can think of them as being the pillars of the system; in essence, they are ranges of incomes and socioeconomic situations that determine how much taxpayers should be assessed. Taxpayers with lower incomes are classified under low taxation brackets. Taxpayers with higher incomes fall under higher brackets.


At the moment, corporations are not taxed according to a progressive taxation system.

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