With tax season just around the corner, now is the time to make sure your business’s financial materials are in order to ensure an accurate and timely tax filing experience.
Tax season may not be as exciting as launching a new product or landing a big client; however, it is a necessary and important part of every business owner’s journey. With planning and preparation, you can streamline the tax filing process, minimize your stress, and maximize all your tax benefits. So, grab your laptop and let Gift CPAs walk you through this comprehensive guide to help you get your business tax season-ready.
1. Research the Latest Tax Changes
Rarely are two tax seasons exactly alike. Most years bring changes in tax law, fluctuations in your business that affect taxes, or the development of new tax-related technologies. Gift CPAs recommends that you keep yourself up-to-date with tax trends because it will help you and your business better navigate the challenges of tax season and make well-informed financial decisions moving forward.
2. Organize Your Past Financial Records
It is important to have all your financial documentation organized in advance so that you reduce the chances of potential error when filing your taxes. This is also invaluable to review the financial state of your business. Be sure to have the following documents on hand:
- Income Statements
- Expense Receipts
- Payroll Records
- Bank Statements
- Mileage Records
- Estimated Tax Payment Records (if applicable)
3. Analyze Your Past Records and Statements
Analyzing your financial records and statements to make sure they are accurate is critical during tax season. This will also allow you to identify areas within your business that are strengths and weaknesses.
- Profit and Loss Statement: These are statements that provide a summary of your business’s net profit or loss over a specific period of time.
- Balance Sheet: This financial statement provides you with an overview of what your business owns and owes.
4. Recognize Your Credits and Deductions
Identifying the tax credits and deductions for which your business is eligible will allow you to reduce your tax liability. Some common deductions include:
- Startup Costs: This could include research or technology expenses.
- Business Expenses: This could include internet bills, office supplies, and travel costs.
- Depreciation: This could include equipment or vehicle expenses.
5. Gather Your Tax Documents
Some commonly used IRS tax forms include:
- Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
- Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors
- Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement
- Form W-4, Employees Withholding Certificate
- Form W-4P, Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments
- Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income
- Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments
- Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third-Party Network Transactions
- 1099-INT, Interest Income
- Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions
- Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement
- Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement
- Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
6. Consult a Professional
While some individuals may prefer to handle their taxes themselves, speaking with an accountant or tax advisor can provide you with much-needed expertise and peace of mind – not to mention making sure you receive all the tax deductions and credits to which you are entitled. Click here to learn about the resources that Gift CPAs has to offer!
7. Utilize Tax Software – QuickBooks
Utilizing bookkeeping software is great way to move on from manual bookkeeping and improve your preparation for tax season. QuickBooks, a popular accounting software for small businesses, allows you to electronically keep track of your financial records and reduce the amount of time you spend on data entry. It is easily accessible online which allows you to manage your finances anywhere with internet connection.
8. Double, Triple Check Your Information
Accuracy is essential to tax preparation. Before submitting, be sure to go back and review all your information carefully. Verify your personal details and calculations.
9. Begin Planning for the Future
It’s never too early to get a jump start on the next year! Think about what worked and didn’t work during the previous tax season. How can you improve? What would you change? These are things to consider in order to make your next tax filing experience even more seamless.
A proactive approach to tax season requires a combination of knowledge, strategic planning, and organization. By leveraging this guide, you will be able to navigate tax season with confidence and set your business up for financial success. At every step in your journey, Gift CPAs can help support your needs and help you tackle tax season like a pro!
Get Connected Today!
Contact Gift CPAs for more information on our full scope of accounting and business services. We have years of experience working with small businesses to help with bookkeeping, taxes and other business needs. Make an appointment to meet virtually or at one of our five locations in Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Myerstown, Ephrata or Lancaster!