Alas, the deadline to file 2015 taxes is fast approaching. But for savvy business owners, the prep work for next year's taxes is just beginning.
Small businesses collectively face an average effective tax rate of 19.8 percent, according to the US Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy. That can amount to thousands of dollars or more in taxes each year — no pocket change for your typical mom-and-pop shop.
The good news: While it's likely too late to reduce the taxes you'll owe by this year's April 18 filing deadline, entrepreneurs who start preparing today could reap thousands of dollars in deductions next year, financial experts say.
"There's always some missed opportunity on deductions for small business owners," said John Wheeler, a CPA and senior financial consultant at Castle Wealth Advisors in Indianapolis.
From tracking the miles you drive to wrangling receipts, here are five key moves business owners should make to take the sting out of tax time next year.