If you've been working in the professional pet industry for any length of time, there…
I’m pretty certain even hearing the word ‘taxes’ sends a knot through your stomach. No matter your relationship with personal and business taxes, it seems like it’s a never ending thing that continues to pop up.
Once we learn to adjust our thinking around it and set a legitimate plan in place, you can absolutely develop a new feeling around the topic.
Our very own Sarah Burns (owner of Menly’s Pet Care in Michigan) truthfully shares her own experience with business taxes.
Taxes. Everyone’s favorite topic, am I right?!
When I started my business I was so excited about creating a brand and the pet sitting itself that I didn’t give much thought to the financial side. Not to mention the fact that I was 19 when I started my business!
I may have been mature enough to start my business but there was still a lot I needed to learn. So I learned the basics (very basics) but didn’t think much about taxes at all.
My first year I got away with not thinking about taxes and I only ended up owing the IRS a few hundred dollars because I had just started out. The second year, however, I had to do estimated quarterly payments and I only paid some of them.
Having the cash in hand was too tempting for me when I first started out and I very much had an “I can pay it later” mentality. Well not only did I sell myself short by not paying in throughout the year like I should have, I also made WAY more my second year than I did the first year.
All said and done I ended up owing $8,000!
I wish I could say that is the last of the tax trouble I had but it most certainly wasn’t.
A very long story short, I used a tax consultant for several years after this because they were family and it was going to “save me money”. In the end though, they didn’t know enough about small business taxes to set me up on a good path and I ended up owing an additional $6,000 a few years later.
It took me almost SEVEN years to get myself in the right place with the taxes for my business and if my story can help someone else to not make the same mistakes, I am happy to share.
Spend, er rather, Invest The Money
I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest the money into finding someone you can trust to help you with taxes.
They are confusing and intimidating and I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to avoid them. It is so important that you find someone who knows the tax laws for small businesses in your area, who is experienced and certified and who also makes you feel comfortable.
You need to feel comfortable to ask questions (and lots of them) about what you should be doing and why. Knowledge is power and you’ll always fear what you do not understand.
Make It Happen
My Grandma always says,
The only things you can count on for sure are taxes and death.
And she’s right! Taxes are a part of life whether you own a business or not. Do not let the fear of taxes prevent you from doing what you need to do for your business.
Make it a priority to set aside the right amount for your taxes, keep good records (something I am terrible at…STILL) and do your part to understand as much as possible about what is expected of you and why.
Putting it off may seem like a stress relief at the time but it makes a monster out of taxes and actually causes way more anxiety in the end. You can control your taxes, not the other way around!
I know I am not the only one who feels overwhelmed, scared and anxious about taxes so I hope at the very least this article helped you feel not alone. I also hope it makes you feel better if you’ve made mistakes and have debt like I do.
People tend to make it seem like they have it all together which makes us feel even more stupid when we can’t keep everything together ourselves.
Well the reality is we all are playing a game of Whack-a-Mole in our lives. We get one thing under control and another thing pops up that we need to work on. It’s just the journey of life.
I read in a book recently “you’re not a failure because you have failed”.
I found that statement so profound because we often judge ourselves by our mistakes thinking our mistakes define us. Our mistakes don’t define us; our ability to learn from mistakes and thrive in spite of them is what defines us.
So go face those tax monsters with your head held high knowing you CAN be the boss of your taxes!
Over To You
Let us know your relationship with taxes for your pet business. Are you a master at it? Do you have any tips, tricks, tools, or Apps that help you keep business taxes in control.
What are your secret weapons when it comes to keeping this never ending aspect of life and business in check?