When it comes to tax preparation, it’s in a small business owner’s best interest to learn as much as they can about staying in compliance and meeting their tax obligations. Even though small business owners may deal with taxes through their in-house accountants or an outside accounting firm, having a working knowledge of tax preparation can still be extremely beneficial.

Keeping poor records and failing to identify all the items that make up gross receipts – otherwise known as taxable business income – are two of the major pitfalls small business owners need to be aware of. Solid record keeping is essential, as it ensures that you’ll have everything that’s needed when it comes time to file company tax returns.

You can learn about business tax regulations and potential deductions by using resources provided by the Internal Revenue Service. Here are three all-important online tax tools to help guide you as a small business owner.

IRS Video Portal

The IRS Video Portal contains an extensive archive of live panel discussions, webinars, and video clips. In this portal, business owners can learn about a broad selection of tax topics directly from the agency tasked with collecting receipts. Topics include starting a business, filing/paying taxes, business expenses, retirement plans, forms, and more. Learn about the tax benefits available to you and how best to avoid common mistakes small business owners often make.

Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop

A subsection of the video portal, Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop, contains nine interactive lessons designed to help small business owners understand and meet their federal tax obligations. The workshop is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and because this is a virtual workshop, business owners can choose the lessons that apply to their business.

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center addresses many questions regarding income tax and payroll taxes. A business owner can access additional tax tools, tax information, forms, and updates. You can also find out about small business tax workshops in your area by subscribing to a newsletter. There’s even a desktop calendar tool (IRS CalendarConnector) that provides access to tax-calendar deadlines right from your desktop.

Each of these online tax resources offers valuable information, but it’s important to ensure that the concepts apply to your business. And it’s always a good idea to seek advice from a tax professional before making major decisions about how you prepare your business taxes.

Interested in learning more about business taxes? Read our roundup of 5 tax deductions that can get business owners in trouble.

Photo Credit: RLTheis, Twenty20