Seven years ago, on the advice of a friend, Nadine LaCroix opened up a small bakery on the outskirts of Calgary. For seven years, she thought she was doing quite well. “I generally made a tidy prophet,” said LaCroix, “nothing massive, but enough to pay the bills and keep it going.” Last year on the advice of the same friend, LaCroix hired one of Calgary’s small business accounting firms, and was embarrassed at what she discovered. “I was throwing my money away,” she said. “I had no idea how to write off business expenses. My new Calgary accountant basically let me know that I had foregone nearly forty thousand dollars worth of write offs over the last seven years.”
Unfortunately, LaCroix is definitely not alone. The nature of a small business is that it tends to just get by through doing one thing (in LaCroix’s case, that one thing was making delicious meat pies) extremely well. Expenses need to be carefully calculated, and most think that doing their business taxes on their own is a good way to save money. As LaCroix learned, however, sometimes, it is in your best interests to bring in the small business accounting firms, because the one thing THEY do best is find tax write offs for small business people like LaCroix.
Bringing in professionals can be key. Taxation is about more than just a form, and small business accounting firms know the history of taxation and how to protect their clients. Accounting is a field that goes back thousands of years to ancient Mesopotamia, and it involves auditors preparing, analyzing and examining you financial records. They understand that taxation is a nuanced field. The very etymology of the word “tax” comes from the Latin Taxo, or I estimate. Accountants understand that the estimate can often be too high, and they know how to get the number down to where it needs to be. Governments are usually likely to wiggle a bit on some taxes, as they know the danger that has come from being unreasonable. A salt tax called the Gabelle, for example, was one of the contributing factors of the French Revolution.
Ultimately, taxes aren’t going to go away. There is no civilization that did not tax in some way. Even the ancient Sumerians, the earliest known civilization, recorded their taxes (though they recorded it on clay cones rather than PDF files). The key is knowledge, and Calgary accountants can provide you with that knowledge. Whether you, like LaCroix, find out that you have serious money coming, or you find out that you have shorted the government, it is important to know so that it does not turn into a disaster.
More on this topic: www.smallbizcalgary.com