Tax day is almost here. But taxes don’t have to be a hassle! If you meet with your accountant or CPA and have your paperwork in order, filing your taxes will be a breeze. Here are some tips for ensuring a smooth process as you go.
- Make an appointment with your accountant. March is like a monthlong Black Friday for accountants, so if you haven’t already made your appointment, do it now. Although it can be tempting to use free software programs instead, accountants are trained to find tax breaks and get you larger returns, as well as help you make sure you’re following all the rules. Taxes for businesses can get tricky, so meeting with a pro is a good first step.
- Organize your invoices. Throughout the year, you’ve been keeping track of various invoices sent. Now’s the time to make sure they’re ready for your accountant.
- Account for any financing. Although figuring out the tax impact of a loan is definitely something for your accountant, it may be helpful to account for your business credit use and what it was used for. Office supplies, advertising, and travel to visit clients can oftentimes be written off, but you’ll always want to ask. Bring a detailed list of what loans were used for to your accountant so he or she can help you figure out the impact of every borrowed cent.
- Did you purchase equipment or otherwise invest in your business? Equipment you purchased may have positive tax consequences. Your accountant will have advice about deductions and depreciation.
- Did your business make any charitable contributions? Your accountant may be able to help you identify anything tax deductable, so if you sponsored a team or donated money to a community organization, go through your records and make note of the amounts and dates. Non-profits should be sending you a document in the mail listing your donations for the year—make sure to bring that form to your accounting appointment.
- Think of your location. Did you move this year? Does your office embrace green technology? Depending on your state, there are special deductions for that as well. If you work from home, even your home office can give you a significant write-off. Ask your accountant about how your location can affect your taxes this year.
- Remind your employees. Your W2s will likely have already gone out to employees, a reminder in themselves, but reminding the people who work for you that it’s tax season may help surface additional documents like invoices and receipts that stakeholders may be holding onto. Plus, it’s a helpful reminder for them to take care of their own finances as well.