You can be late for business meetings. You can be late paying bills. You may even be late making deliveries. But do not, under any circumstances, be late filing your income taxes. The penalties are severe. File on time even if you owe and can't pay; you can make arrangements with the IRS to make payments.
In a rush and need help preparing your returns? While it may be too late to enlist the aid of an accountant, ample resources are available on the Internet, where you can prepare and even file your federal business and personal returns electronically.
Begin your search at http://www.el.com/elinks/taxes --an all-inclusive, easy-to-use site that leads you to forms, publications, online filing instructions, accountants, programs and every other tax-related source in existence. If you're on AOL, check out keyword Taxlogic. On Microsoft Network? Go to The Tax Center for Business. Others can access any of the following Web sites:
Most of these sites feature useful information, tax tips and links to related Web sites, including the IRS'. Some allow you to download federal and state tax forms. Others, such as Taxlogic and Secure Tax, provide free services (such as answers to frequently asked questions and message boards where you can post questions for experts), and for-fee services ranging from $4.95 for simple electronic filing to as much as $150 for tax preparation and assistance.
Reflecting the new and "friendlier" IRS, http://www.irs.ustreas.gov strives to be cute and fails--but it does succeed at delivering exhaustive information, forms, interactive help and links for small-business resources.
Or consider buying tax software for your business, such as Intuit's TurboTax (standard version, $29.95, http://www.intuit.com , 800-446-8848) or Kiplinger's TaxCut (standard version, $19.95, http://www.conductor.com , 800-235-4060).