Annual tax filings are like the class final exam– most only happen once a year but you can improve your score by studying throughout the year. Use these year-round tax considerations to lay the groundwork for your taxes before tax season sneaks up again and contact a Maryland tax lawyer for more personalized recommendations to plan for your individual or business tax returns.
Stay on top of quarterly taxes
April 15th is known in most American minds as Tax Day but the annual tax filing deadline is different for some business forms and in other cases, businesses and individuals are required to estimate and file quarterly taxes (or file returns on a different date altogether). Estimated payments and quarterly tax filings may apply to:
- Individuals (including sole proprietors, shareholders in S corporations, and partners) who expect to owe at least $1,000 when the return is filed
- Corporations that expect to owe at least $500 when the return is filed
These quarterly requirements apply to sole proprietors or anyone who must pay payroll taxes, i.e., anyone required to withhold taxes from employees (including yourself!). Paying estimated taxes may not be necessary, however, for those who had no tax liability in the prior year.
The schedule for filing and paying quarterly taxes is:
- April 15
- June 15
- September 15
- January 15 of following year
Since you are responsible for these, rather than having an employer who will withhold your taxes, try keeping a separate bank account to set aside a portion of your income for taxes. Failing to make the payments on time or in full can lead to consequences that add up, including penalties for late payment, interest, and fines. It is possible to request a waiver of penalties; however, like most things, it is far easier to pay on time rather than take care of the situation after it becomes a problem.
Donations and other tax strategies
Plan your donations out and make contributions before the deadline. In addition to the good feeling you get helping others, charitable donations are a way to reduce taxable income and increase public relations. To qualify for the deduction, be sure the IRS lists the donee as a 501(c)(3) organization, complete the payment by the end of the year, and keep accurate records. There are other things you can do to minimize headaches when next annual tax filing comes around.
Since there is no one-size-fits-all plan, involve a Maryland tax attorney early on. Among other things, a professional can help you plan out strategic schedules for large purchases, decide when to sell business investments, or take part in tax-beneficial savings plans.
How a tax attorney can help
The Maryland tax attorneys at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg are national experts in tax law. We understand the tax implications of your business and other decisions. We stay up to date on changes in the law and filing requirements. Whether you are an individual, just starting a business, or running an established company, our professionals are available to help. To learn how we can help you prepare a proactive tax plan, consult with Rosenberg Martin Greenberg. You can receive a confidential consultation by calling (410) 727-6600.