Tax season is one of the most stressful times of year for businesses. The new year comes and goes and, before you know it, it’s April and your taxes are due. Depending on your business structure, filing taxes can take more work. Accepting credit cards? You guessed it, things get a little more complicated.
Considering the work that goes into doing your taxes, it’s helpful to be aware of potential pitfalls so completing your taxes goes as smoothly as possible. Here are three minor, tax-related faux pas to avoid if you’re working with a Merchant Account Provider:
- Failure to update tax ID number: When you initially set up your merchant account, you’re required to provide information like business type, history and financial stability to properly underwrite your account. You’re also required to provide basic business information like your physical address and tax ID number. If you start your business and stick with the same Merchant Account Provider, it’s likely you’ll go through growth and changes, one of which may be a restructuring.
A restructure could be going from a sole proprietorship to a corporation or LLC. When this happens, it’s likely you will have a new tax ID number. Failure to update this with your provider could result in issues come tax season.
- 1099-K Form delivery delays: In January of each year, providers send out the 1099-K form that contains the “Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions" for the previous year. These transactions include:
- All payments made in settlement of payment card transactions (e.g., credit card);
- Payments in settlement of third party network transactions if gross payments to a participating payee exceed $20,000 and there are more than 200 transactions with the participating payee.
All 1099-K forms are due to be delivered to businesses by January 31, and they are due to the IRS by February 28 for paper filing or March 31 for electronic filing. If your address isn’t up-to-date with your provider, the form will go back to your provider who will then have to track down where to mail it, ultimately delaying your ability to file.
- Paying a tax-reporting fee: In 2011, a requirement was set in motion by the Housing Assistance Act of 2008. It required that payment settlement entities (e.g., Merchant Account Providers) must report on income from payment card transactions and securities basis reporting. Despite this requirement, some Merchant Account Providers take the opportunity to charge their customers a tax-reporting fee for this reporting “service.”
This unethical billing practice may appear to be minor, but it doesn’t change the fact that your provider is unfairly charging you.
Your merchant account should always be current, not only to fit your business needs, but to avoid issues like these. Working with an honest provider with exceptional customer service can help mitigate these issues and ensure a smoother tax season.
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Have you ever run into these tax issues? How did your provider assist you? We’d love to hear about your experiences.