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The Ever-Changing World of Tax Law

The ever-changing tax laws have been a topic of debate in recent years and still continue to fluctuate. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are typically self-employed and therefore responsible for staying up-to-date with income tax law, sales tax law, payroll tax law, and more. It may seem overwhelming, but you must keep up with the constant changes and avoid larger problems down the road.

Tax laws can trip up even corporate behemoths. For example, Walmart somehow mistook that the state of New York had passed the “Sugar Tax,” which it had not. Forbes reported that the retailer overcharged customer by 15 percent on cases of Coca Cola during their Father’s Day Sale, and Walmart attributed the price hike to the “Sugar Tax.” Some say Walmart was lying, others say that it was a mistake. Either way, it cost Walmart $66,000 in penalties and other costs after the Attorney General got involved.

Payroll tax changes nearly every year. New wage thresholds are instituted for Social Security, Medicare, state withholdings, and employer-paid taxes. Every year the expense ceiling changes and dozens of extenders that expire while others renewed.

A couple of tips to keep your company out of tax trouble is to carefully read all mail, even if it looks like junk mail, especially if it comes from a federal or state agency. Some agencies will mail tax law updates that get tossed in the mail by most small business owners who get a shock when it comes time to file. Reach out to a tax professional and knowledgeable bookkeeper to keep things running smoothly, and a small business lawyer for any troubles or just for extra counsel on an important issue like this.

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