I’m not a compliance expert, financial analyst, or tax advisor.
I am a 30-year-old entrepreneur navigating the business world, attempting to get ahead in life by building new businesses and hopefully discovering that pot of gold along the way that leaves me happily retired.
If you’re one of the more than 25 million Americans who has started, or are starting, a new business—perhaps your situation is similar to mine.
And perhaps too, you as a business owner, are as confused by federal tax compliance as I am.
This article is designed to help small business owners understand the complexity of the federal compliance regulations and ultimately give you a comprehensive tool—2019 Compliance Calendar—which simplifies the compliance regulation process for taxes, benefits, and HR compliance.
Unpacking the current situation with small business and compliance
Many entrepreneurs are first-time business owners and lack formal business training, like an MBA or business management degree.
What’s more, 88% of new business founders in the U.S. are driven by “opportunity” not “need.” They see something and they go for it, whether or not they’re fully educated on how to do it.
As a result, millions of Americans thrust energy into the small business world—a world which has earned the title of the “the most important cog in the United States economy” and generates about 50% of our gross domestic product (GDP). However, many are under-experienced in playing the tax game.
That’s the irony: Small businesses represent the backbone of the US economy, employing 53% of our workforce, but are often ill-equipped and disproportionately impacted by its rules.
Many business owners haven’t a lick of formal understanding on how to operate a business, from a federal tax code perspective. They are:
- Unaware of federal filing deadlines
- Unsure of their responsibilities in providing healthcare to employees
- And don’t fully understand the impact of subtleties like sick pay or overtime rates and the state-by-state variations
“I remember when I had 10 employees, and I was dumbfounded by how to employ them,” said Louis Cassels, former owner of Aurek Holdings, a mining company the ultimately employed 12 people.
And who can blame him? Small business owners are experts in their fields: technology, construction, real estate, hospitality, marketing. Not taxes, accounting, hiring, or federal law. They don’t have bundles of cash to throw at experts, nor do they have that specific expertise.
Rising regulations and increasing costs of compliance disproportionately affect the small business because smaller businesses have less experience and smaller budgets compared to larger enterprises. Yes, they’re both expected to play the same tax game, but smaller businesses might not have the right toolkit.
It’s certainly not for a lack of trying.
Small businesses spend $12,000 on regulations compliance every year but still one in 10 are fined for regulatory non-compliance, with an average penalty clocking in at $30,651.
“Help! We are small business owners and don’t know what we’re doing!” “We don’t have the budget to afford someone who does!” “We are dedicated to learning, but can’t afford the tens of thousands of dollars of penalties in the learning process!”
Again, I’m not a compliance expert, but it doesn’t take an expert to determine compliance sucks for small business owners. A $30K IRS bill might not impact the Microsofts or Amazons of the world, but it’s the writing on the wall for a mom-and-pop apothecary or local food truck.
Nevertheless, in the true American spirit, recognizing within this apparent struggle—we saw an opportunity.
Introducing the free 2019 Compliance Calendar for small to midsize businesses
The 2019 Compliance Calendar was built by a team of legal advisors, payroll experts, HR advisors, and benefits professionals to provide a free tool for small and medium business owners who have very limited—or no—experience with federal compliance and laws.
The calendar (which integrates with iCalendar, Google Calendar, and Outlook) includes 58 key dates for things like
- ACA compliance
- Tax deadlines
- Workplace compliance rules and regulations
Dates which left undone or wrongly accounted for puts you on the top of the non-compliant pile. A place you’d rather not go.
Whether you’re unintentionally out of compliance or unlawfully negligent to it, the IRS will take action to penalize you for mistakes.
Along with fines, government agencies can alter your company’s legal status, conduct audits, or even dissolve your business entirely for issues stemming from noncompliance.
With this calendar, you’re better armed to navigate the labyrinth of compliance. You’ll get detailed instructions on what you need to do for payroll reporting deadlines, or healthcare benefit filings. What’s more, if something goes afoul—and we sincerely hope it doesn’t—we’ve also listed more than 50 other compliance protocols related to various occurrences within the work world like:
- What to do if a sexual harassment claim is filed at your company
- How to ensure your company doesn’t violate anti-discrimination laws, and
- What to do if any of your employee’s personal data is breached or made public.
The 2019 Compliance Calendar might not be your saving grace if you come in conflict with the federal government, be it could help you make a “graceful save” if you know what’s expected of you and your company.
Save your business, your bank accounts, and your personal credibility, and get compliance crankin’ this 2019. And use this calendar to help.