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J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2020

small-business-taxes-2020-barbara-weltmanThe 2020 Edition Book Review

For more than 25 years, I’m proud to say my tax book for small businesses has been the go-to guide for owners and their tax advisors. The 2020 edition for preparing 2019 returns as well as tax planning for 2020 has been updated to incorporate new laws, court decisions, and IRS pronouncements. As has been my practice, I’ve written my own book review to explain the purpose of the book, what’s new, and what’s ahead.

Why small business owners need a tax book

If you’re like the vast majority of small business owners (86%), you use a CPA or other tax pro to prepare your business returns. You may even work with tax experts on specific matters, such as succession planning, inventory management, and payroll.

However, it’s my belief that all small business owners need to be informed about taxes and can’t rely solely on tax professionals. The reason: owners, not their accountants or software, run their businesses and make decisions impacted by taxes on a daily basis.

  • Should you hire employees or engage independent contractors?
  • Should you buy or lease equipment?
  • What type of financing should be used?
  • Who should own the truck—the owner or the company?
  • What are the consequences of offering your employees a particular type of health care arrangement, or opting not to offer any medical coverage?
  • What are the tax implications of various employee benefit plans and how do you offer them without messing up and incurring penalties?

You may get information from your CPA that’s helpful to your business. But you can also educate yourself, without incurring professional fees, by reading my book. In the least, you’ll be able to ask your tax pro the right questions to protect your business and cut your tax bill.

What the book includes

Amazon says:

J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2020 is the small business owner’s ultimate guide to a money-saving, stress-free tax season. Providing straightforward advice from the nation’s most trusted tax expert on small business taxes, this book gives you the answers you need quickly, with clear, concise guidance. Updated to cover changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other legislation, this edition also includes an e-supplement covering additional developments from Congress and the IRS to keep you fully up-to-date…. Keeping up with the intricacies of tax law and filing is a full-time job—but it's not your full-time job. You have a business to run. This book gives you the guidance you need in the time that you have so you can get taxes out of the way and get back to work…. Every year, millions of small business owners overpay their taxes because they lack the time and expertise to make tax-sensitive business decisions throughout the year only to learn that it’s too late to act when it comes to tax time. Now you can put your money back where it belongs―in your business.”

Looking ahead

The tax law doesn’t stand still. There are always new laws, cases, and rulings that arise after the publication of the book. For example, Congress is still considering a technical corrections bill, an extender bill, and the SECURE Act to make dramatic changes in retirement savings plans. (It may not get around to these matters in 2019 but could do so early in 2020 and make changes retroactive to the 2019 return.) For this reason, there’s an online supplement to explain last-minute developments that may impact tax return preparation for 2019 and tax planning for 2020 and beyond. The supplement is free and should be posted early February 2020 on my website.

Interacting with readers

Each year I receive emails from readers asking questions, suggesting future inclusions, and sometimes pointing out errors. I’m very grateful for this communication, which helps me continually improve the book and provide valuable assistance to small business owners. If you have thoughts on the book, email me at barbara @ BigIdeasForSmallBusiness [dot] com.