For millions of taxpayers, the coming filing season is a complex process that can be stressful without help from a skilled tax preparer. For those who own their own businesses or are self-employed, the process can have far more steps to navigate through.

With that in mind, a recent Associated Press report offered small business owners some tips on how to get organized and prepare to file their returns as April approaches.

According to the wire service, getting organized is one of the most important steps a business owner can take, especially in light of the many receipts, invoices and other documents that will be needed for a complete tax return.

The AP also advises people to keep track of all the mail they receive, especially if it happens to be from the IRS or state tax department - largely because some business owners simply fail to open their mail in a timely fashion. Another tip is to pay attention to what one's CPA has to say and to not be afraid to ask any necessary questions.

"Struggling businesses may benefit from a recent tax change by carrying back their net operating losses to a profitable year, allowing the business to get a refund of much needed cash," said John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax Service®. "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided that all businesses with average gross receipts of less than $15 million could elect to carry back net operating losses from 2008 for three, four or five years instead of the normal two years."

Overall, tax time can present many complexities for those who are unprepared, but working with a skilled preparer is a good place to start when it comes to getting more organized and getting the largest refund possible.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.