SurePayroll Surveys Small Business Owners Gearing Up for Tax Time

It's tax time for America's small businesses. Will most small business owners prepare their own taxes or use an accountant? Will many business owners ask for an extension? Are small business accountants viewed as being accessible during tax time?

To get a pulse on small business taxes, online payroll service provider SurePayroll conducted a survey of small business owners, asking them several questions about small business taxes and small business accountants.

Key findings from the SurePayroll small business owner survey included the following:

- Nearly 88% of the small business owners have an accountant prepare their business tax return while 12% prefer to take a do-it-yourself approach. - Of small business owners who had the opportunity to use the same accountant they used last year, 95% of small business owners chose to, and 5% of small business owners fired the accountant who prepared last year's taxes because they were too expensive, or provided poor service or work quality. - Of the small business owners who use an accountant to prepare their taxes, 38% do not use their accountant for any other services. The remaining 62% use their accountant for tax planning, financial planning, financial accounting, audits or financial analysis. - 80% of the small business owners who use an accountant to prepare their business taxes also have the same accountant prepare their personal taxes. - Small business accountants get a high rating for accessibility during tax preparation time. 88% of survey business owners indicate that their accountant is very accessible during tax time. However, some small business owners (9%) find it's difficult to reach their accountant during tax season. The remaining business owners (3%) indicate that they don't need to interact with their accountant during tax season. - 74% of small businesses will file their taxes on or before March 15, while 26% will get an extension. - When asked if their accountant has ever given them specific advice that helped them pay less in taxes, 80% of surveyed small business owners say their accountant has provided such advice, while 20% say their accountant has never provided any advice that allowed them to pay less in taxes.

- The consensus among small business owners is that small business accountants are making good use of technology. 93% say their accountant utilizes technology in a way that provides business benefits or saves time. - When asked about Section 179 deductions that allow companies to deduct up to $108,000 for new asset purchases, 17% indicate that they will take a Section 179 deduction while 10% indicate they will not. 73% responded that they had never heard of a Section 179 deduction.

"This survey tells us that small business owners feel that their accountants are doing a good job for them," says SurePayroll president Michael Alter. "The fact that these accountants retain 95% of their small business customers is excellent. The majority of owners trust their accountant with multiple accounting disciplines. They feel their accountant is accessible during tax season, they use technology to the benefit of the small business and give good advice that results in savings for the business owner."

About SurePayroll's Commentary: Every month, SurePayroll publishes its small business economic indicators via the SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. Based on employee and contractor paychecks for over 17,000 small businesses, SurePayroll's indices give insights on small business hiring, salary levels and reliance on contractors.

SurePayroll regularly augments its data indices with surveys on a variety of topics of interest to small business owners. The February survey was conducted between February 8 and February 14 via email survey with a 90 percent confidence interval and a 5 percent error margin.

About SurePayroll: Privately held SurePayroll is America's fifth largest full-service payroll provider and the nation's largest online full-service payroll provider. SurePayroll is passionate about small businesses and their payroll. They are dedicated to providing an extremely friendly and simple payroll experience -- at a price small business owners can afford.

In addition to providing payroll services directly to small business, SurePayroll also provides a private-label and co-branded payroll service that allows SurePayroll's numerous partners to offer payroll processing to their small business clients. Business partners include accountants who refer and resell SurePayroll's service. SurePayroll processed nearly $3 billion in employee and contractor payroll payments in 2006. For more information, visit www.surepayroll.com.

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