Tax Preparation TipsPat Fontana
As a small business owner, you probably do not get excited about filing your taxes. There are multiple deadlines throughout the year and complicated rules and regulations that require your compliance. When you are busy running your business, having to drop everything and focus on your tax records is probably the last thing you want to do. Following these tax preparation tips will help you be better prepared and less likely to be scrambling at the last minute to avoid late filing penalties.
Organize Your Records
You are focused on the success of your business. You keep up with invoices and payments due from your clients. You manage deadlines and enjoy interactions with your customers. What you may not like to do is keep your records organized, at least those records that will become important at tax time.
Receipts for supplies you’ve purchased or membership fees you’ve paid, records of the mileage you’ve put on your business vehicle, and other important documents may be lying in a pile, waiting to be sorted. The first step in managing your tax preparation is to review all of those records and to get them organized!
Allocate Time Each Week to Stay Organized
Once you have your receipts and other records organized, try to keep them that way throughout the year. Make time on your calendar each week to review your financial documents and determine whether they are relevant to your tax preparation as well as which category they should be filed in. At the end of the year, you won’t be worried about trying to get it all done the weekend before your taxes are due.
Include Taxes in Financial Planning
Reviewing your financial data on a regular basis, at least quarterly, can help you prepare for tax time as well as get a clearer picture of your overall situation. Quarterly reviews will help make sure you are on track to reach your goals and to make your business a success. Planning future expenditures can also help you maximize tax benefits for your business.
Stay on Top of Changes
Your business can change from one year to the next. You may have more or fewer employees. You may have changed the legal structure of your business. Tax laws also change from year to year. Beginning in 2018, for example, business entities that are considered “pass throughs” are entitled to a 20% qualified business income deduction. Small businesses that are sole proprietorships or limited liability companies (LLCs) are pass-through businesses.
Mark Deadlines on Your Calendar
While most people associate “tax time” as April 15, you are a small business owner and know that taxes are due more often. You should submit estimated quarterly taxes, which are typically due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15. Use the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) calendar tool to help you stay on top of due dates as you prepare for the tax times that affect your business.
Take Advantage of Software
Paper receipts and tax records can be cumbersome and can even get lost in the shuffle for room in the filing cabinet. Digitizing important tax information on a software program such as QuickBooks can make tax time more efficient and a little less painful. Software designed for businesses can also help you determine which deductions you can claim and which categories make sense for your business expenses.
Hire a Professional
You need to focus on your business operations. Worrying about your financial records or tax preparation requirements should not be part of your business-related stress. While you should keep your records organized, tax preparation and filing can best be done by a professional who has the necessary experience and knowledge to keep with changes in the law and with tax preparation strategies that will help your business.
At Clear View Business Solutions, our expert staff includes a Certified Public Accountant, an Enrolled Agent, and a Registered Tax Return Professional. Our team goes through more than 80 hours of training each year to stay current with the changes in tax laws, so you can stay compliant and save money.
CONTACT CLEAR VIEW BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR HELP WITH YOUR TAX PREPARATION
Proper tax preparation is critical for the success of your business. At Clear View, we have the expertise and experience you need. We offer review of previous tax years and, if necessary, amend prior tax returns. If you want to learn more about improving your business’s chances of success at tax time and throughout the year, contact Clear View Business Solutions to speak to our team about our services. Give us a call at (520) 544-0177.