Business owners can get tax help online

Officials are urging taxpayers and business owners to go online to make tax preparation easier.

This month, business owners are preparing W-2 forms and doing other tax-related tasks, and the Small Business Administration is touting its Web site, Business.gov, as a means to get the job done with fewer headaches.

Business.gov provides federal form searches so visitors can quickly find and download federal tax forms and guides, an SBA press release states. It also has information on federal and state taxes, such as how to apply for a tax ID number, in the site’s Business Resource Library.

“January may be a stressful time for a business owner, and one of Business.gov’s goals is to ease the burden of federal compliance on businesses and make it easier to comply with regulations,” SBA Administrator Steven Preston said.

Internal Revenue Service officials have also been promoting the agency’s site, IRS.gov. They want individuals and businesses to use it to file their taxes and get details on the updated changes in tax laws that Congress passed before it adjourned last year. The changes came after the IRS had sent tax information to the printer. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Internet would be one of the few places to get the most up-to-date information.

According to SBA, the estimated annual cost of compliance with the federal tax code for businesses is more than $102 billion nationwide. Business.gov provides compliance searches to locate specific tax forms and other compliance-related documents to reduce this cost, the agency said.

Business owners can go to Business.gov and get direct access to the government’s Official Hub for Federal Forms by searching form numbers or keywords in a catalog of 5,400 business and individual tax forms. For example, businesses can search for W-2 forms, wage and tax statements, or employment eligibility verification and W-4 forms.

Business.gov launched in October 2004. It has historically focused on starting, growing and managing a small business.

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