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How Do You Spell Tax Relief? Don't let Uncle Sam be the bad guy. Let the force be with you--with STAWRS.

By Kurt J. Samson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Learning how to navigate the tax advantages of running your ownbusiness can be an education--but at least you stand to gain fromthe lessons. Understanding your responsibilities to Uncle Sam onceyou start hiring is another thing altogether. Fortunately, thegovernment wants to make it easy; hence the Simplified Tax and WageReporting System (STAWRS). Think of it as painting by numbers, onlywith taxes.

STAWRS--a joint effort of the SBA, the Department of Labor, theTreasury Department, the IRS, the Office of Management and Budget,and the Social Security Administration--was established to reduceemployers' tax- and wage-reporting burden through improving thecurrent reporting processes. In other words, STAWRS allows you tosignificantly cut the risk of over- and underwithholdingemployees' taxes and social-security contributions. An entiresection of the site is dedicated to startups and what newbusinesses need to know about their tax obligations.

STAWRS' "One-Stop Guide for Businesses" ( ) providesgeneral tax information, includes a flowchart depicting basicbusiness events that require tax and wage reporting, offers a listsummarizing your basic responsibilities as an employer and refersto other tax-related publications that contain more detailedinformation. Much of the information in this guide refers to thefederal tax requirements; however, the site also includes links totax- and wage-reporting requirements for each state.

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