As a small business owner, it’s no secret that you face a myriad of challenges daily. You are balancing a lot, from ensuring the quality of your products or services and managing your finances. Crucial aspects of running a small business are having adequate insurance coverage to protect against unexpected losses and understanding the tax implications of operating your business to avoid penalties and ensure compliance. Therefore, here are things you need to understand about small business insurance and tax implications in 2023.
Understanding the Cash Method of Accounting
Your operation’s tax implications are determined by factors such as your annual profits, location, employees on your payroll, etc. In 2018, the cash method of accounting was expanded. Now, companies with a gross of less than $25 million over three years can use the cash method of accounting. If you’re in this position, you can recognize income when you receive payments and deduct expenses when you pay them, rather than recognizing revenue and expenses when they are earned or incurred. The law change should also provide more financial security if you experience uneven money flow.
Deducting Business Expenses
Whether you’re using the cash method of accounting or not, you should always track the money you spend on expenses. You can deduct necessary business operation expenses, such as rent, utilities, supplies, etc. To do this accurately, keep records of all of your costs.
Learning Tax Obligations Related to Employee Payroll
You must withhold federal income, social security, and Medicare taxes from your employee’s paychecks. As an employer, you also must pay a portion of social security and Medicare taxes on top of federal and state unemployment taxes. Failure to comply with these laws could result in high penalties and fees.
Accounting for Workers’ Compensation
As a small business owner, you aren’t just responsible for your employee’s payroll. When they are on the clock or at the physical location of your business, you are liable if they get injured. An employee could slip on a wet floor and break their back, and you’ll need to provide workers’ compensation. Additionally, you could be at risk of legal ramifications.
Educate Your Employees in Safe Practices
Depending on the type of small business, your employees may be required to perform frequent physical activities. They must know how to safely lift and move heavy objects, as overused joints and muscles can cause chronic pain over time. Musculoskeletal disorders tend to develop over time but can be debilitating. They accounted for 40% of Amazon’s workforce injuries, and most of the musculoskeletal disorders that Amazon’s employees experienced were from repetitive motion.
Encourage employees to take breaks, stretch before and after work, and listen to their bodies. If someone is experiencing discomfort in their lower back, don’t let them lift heavy objects until they’re better. Put together a safety training program that includes looking out for potential risks, lifting and moving safely, stretching, and taking frequent breaks to ensure you don’t have to deal with unnecessary workers’ compensation claims later.
Always Report Incidents
Whenever an incident occurs, whether big or small, keep a record and report it to the insurance company. The minor fall your employee had a few days ago might have seemed insignificant until they realized they landed awkwardly on their foot and now have a sprained ankle. You’re responsible for your employees, whether they’re on-site, working from home, or on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 million or more crashes go unreported each year, meaning these people can’t rely on insurance if they notice damage later.
Understanding your business insurance and tax implications is part of being a responsible small business owner. Requirements change annually, and you need to know the changes made for 2023. You protect yourself from legal penalties and fees when you learn new tax laws, understand the implications of managing employees, and report every incident.