Shantel Williams, accountant, Taxes, small business, entrepreneurship

The ‘Sassy Accountant,’ Shantel Williams, Shares Tax Tips For Individuals And Small Businesses

As tax season surfaces, individuals and small business owners seek ways to maximize their returns and minimize their liabilities.

Shantel Williams, accountant, Taxes, small business, entrepreneurship
Source: Shantel Williams, owner of ALP Accounting Firm. Photo Credit: Jay Nelson

Shantel Williams, known as the Sassy Accountant, is the dynamic force behind The Firm ALP. With over 15 years of experience and licenses across the United States, Williams helps individuals and small business owners navigate the complexities of taxation.

As tax season surfaces, individuals and small business owners seek ways to maximize their returns and minimize their liabilities. Williams shares valuable insights and strategies with BLACK ENTERPRISE to help everyone—from individuals to small business owners and investors—make the most out of this tax season.

Overlooked Deductions for Individuals

One of the common mistakes an individual makes is not having an additional stream of reporting income. “Individuals should have something that allows them to file a Schedule C on their tax return,” says Williams. “A lot of people leave money on the table when it comes to the IRS because all they have is W-2 income.” 

Williams recommends exploring different gig opportunities and emphasizes activities like baking cakes or offering services without a formal business structure that can also be claimed on taxes.

Small Business Owners: Invest in an Accountant

“For a small business owner, investing in an accountant or CPA will save more money than using a tax preparation company or doing it on your own,” Williams advises.

Williams emphasizes the importance of working with professionals specializing in a specific industry or business, noting that ” every business is structured very differently.”

Stay Informed About Tax Law Changes

Using Zelle, Cash App, and other sources for transferring money may seem innocent, but you may affect your taxes. 

“Being conscious about how you move money from one account to another and tracking electronic transfers is crucial,” warns Williams. 

To avoid complications during tax filing, document and be able to explain all financial activities. 

Managing Investments: Document Everything

Managing investments is complex but can be simplified by using project management tools to provide accountants with accurate information. “If you’re an investor, you should be keeping every single receipt and saving every document,” says Williams.

Furthermore, Williams suggests considering all sources of income and loans and maintaining the proper paperwork for tax purposes.

Homeowners: Leverage Tax Breaks

Homeownership can help you build wealth and save on your taxes. Eligible breaks include mortgage interest, property taxes, and home improvements. “Considering solar panels, depending on where you’re at, there are solar panel programs that can get you anywhere from $5,000 to $18,000 back on the solar panels itself,” suggests Williams. 

She encourages homeowners to keep all receipts and documentation to make the most of available tax breaks.

Top Three Tips For A Smooth Tax Season

As tax season looms, Williams’ practical tips offer a roadmap for individuals, small business owners, and investors to navigate the complexities of tax preparation, ultimately ensuring they make the most of available deductions and credits.

  1. Document Everything: Scan and upload receipts, bills, and documents regularly throughout the year. Treat your tax-related paperwork like a photo album.
  2.  Shop Around for an Accountant: Don’t hesitate to explore different accounting services to ensure you’re getting the best deal. A specialized accountant can provide more tailored advice.
  3.  Avoid DIY Software: Be cautious when using generic tax software. These software programs are designed for simplicity rather than maximizing returns. Investing in a knowledgeable accountant is always a smart choice. 

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