With the end of winter comes the promise lush green lawns, fresh flowers, and bright sunny days with sparkling blue skies - all of which you won’t even notice because it’s also tax season and you have to finish your tax return.

The days from the beginning of January until the almost dreaded April 15 tax deadline are, for many small business owners, a source of added stress and tension headaches that never quite go away.Tax laws are often abundant, difficult to understand, lengthy, and subject to change throughout the year. But you are not without some help - a silver lining for your dreary small business tax return clouds does exist.

The IRS gets a bad rep most of the time, but they aren’t quite as “Darth Vader” as some people want to think. Most of the time, small business owners find themselves at odds with the IRS because of inaccurate tax returns, poor financial records, and/or failure to properly pay taxes. They know a lot of hoops exist, and they are trying to help you navigate the field with a host of helpful tools and information specifically for small business owners.

The Online Learning and Educational Products section of the IRS website features a video/audio library of presentations on a variety of different tax topics. You will also find articles from tax professionals, as well as a tax calendar that can help you stay on track for paying taxes throughout the year

One of the best parts of this particular sundae is Small Business Taxes: The Virtual Workshop - a nine lesson, in-depth guide through the whole circus of tax requirements for small businesses. Much more than an audio presentation or tax article, the virtual workshop goes step-by-step and covers everything from tax basics as you begin your business to properly managing payroll to hiring non-citizens.

Each lesson provides you with a wealth of information and clear explanations of just everything you might need to know as a small business owner. The website also provides outlines and transcripts of each video lesson, so you can read along with the teacher. You can also rewatch the lessons if necessary. The lessons also include a short test at the end of teaching and links to additional articles on the same topic. And since the workshop is completely online, you can complete each lesson at your own pace.

It may not be all somber storm clouds and grinding headaches for you after all...

Note: If you still have any concerns about whether you might miss something when checking your records and doing your taxes, you may consider using a professional service like 1-800-Accountants to handle all of the tedious tax issues for you.