Small businesses work on a different schedule than most individual taxpayers. This typically means that the droves of information and resources that flood the airwaves and Internet at the end of the calendar year are usually buried by the time April rolls around. Taxes are complicated, but breaking down deadlines and deductions shouldn’t be a burden. So how can a small business really harness this wealth of information come tax time? Enter social media.
For small businesses, social media platforms not only provide direct lines of communication with current and future customers but also a wealth of new resources. There are several organizations and resources a small business can turn to for easy, digestible information near the end of tax season. Here are some of the top resources—and what they offer through their social channels.
1. The Internal Revenue Service
Of course, many organizations need to start at the source: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While it can be daunting to wait on hold to speak with a representative over the phone (and social pages can't always replace this), the IRS’ social tools are fantastic methods of communication for those looking for "snackable" tax info.
While the IRS’s Twitter handle isn’t used to answer questions directly, it certainly provides a steady stream of information on new guidelines, deadlines and news. The IRS is also great at using hashtags, which makes it easier to search for the topics most relevant to small businesses. Beyond the IRS’s Twitter page, one of the best social platforms small businesses can utilize is its Tumblr. The page links to various social sites and relevant tax information, including YouTube videos and infographics created by the IRS.
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2. National Federation of Independent Business
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has been a resource for small businesses since 1943, and provides regular tips for those looking to form or manage a business. When it comes to tax resources, business owners should read the NFIB’s blog for regular posts on tax issues or questions that are of particular interest to small and independent organizations. Additionally, the NFIB has a Twitter handle where it shares information about issues that impact businesses, regulations or legislation on a federal or state level along with details on tax deadlines or tips. Similar to the IRS, don’t forget to search the hashtags to easily hone in on the most relevant tax tips during this hectic season. In an effort to compile its own tax resources, the NFIB also has a Pinterest page devoted to taxes. However, if you're looking for a compilation of all the best social stories or resources the NFIB offers, check out its Google+ page.
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3. The Small Business Administration
While the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) covers a range of issues pertaining to small businesses, you can be sure that it has social resources specifically with tons of useful information on taxes. Among the social profiles the SBA has, by far the best resource on taxes is its blog. While not necessarily a traditional social tool, another resource where business owners can ask questions and receive answers in realtime is the SBA forum. SBA officials and members answer questions often, whereas the IRS will not respond to questions through its social channels for confidentiality reasons.
Of course, when it comes to using social media to get smart about small-business taxes, there are plenty of other avenues to go down and resources to review. However, these three entities provide a wealth of content on taxes, so you can get straight to the source and avoid the headaches.
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