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Top 7 Tips for a Stress Free Tax Season

Uncategorized Mar 04, 2019

Tax season is stressful even when you’re prepared for it, but it’s downright overwhelming when you aren’t. Piles of paperwork, deadlines, and the fear of not knowing how much you might owe can make the most shrewd business owner consider procrastinating until the last minute, we know, we’ve considered that one-way ticket to Kauai too.


Never fear, we’ve compiled some great advice to help you climb that tax mountain and find your sweet return at the top!

1 Know your Deadlines


If you know when you need to have things done by, planning them out is easier. Here are the most important tax deadlines that you should know about:


    • January 31, 2019: File forms 1099 for non-employee payments you made of over $600.
    • March 15, 2019: Partnerships & S-Corps must file by this deadline and provide K-1 forms to partners or shareholders.


  • April 15, 2019: Individuals and Corporations must file their 2018 taxes. The 6-month extension and first payment is also due on this day.


2 Prepare Documents and Records


Hopefully you’ve been keeping records of all of your business transactions all year, so getting them ready should only take a few minutes! But even if you haven’t, starting the process before you see your accountant or sit down to prepare your taxes will save you a lot of stress!


Now is a good time to make sure that all of your bank and credit card accounts have been reconciled in your business bookkeeping. If not, you will need to do this before you can file your return!


For a full list of documents that you should keep, check out the IRS guidelines here!

3 Check Employee Data


You need to send your employees a w-2, and any non-employee contractors that aren’t incorporated will need to receive a 1099. Make sure that your company books are complete and that your information on file is up to date so you don’t have to reissue or correct your forms.


Withholding forms have changed again for 2019, so here is the updated form to provide you or your employees!

4 Hire an Accountant


Having a professional prepare your return can alleviate stress and also end up saving you money. A good accountant can also help you prepare a plan to pay your estimated taxes, or help you calculate them given changes in your business for the coming year.


They will also make sure that you have all of the information you need to file your return or extension, and have the benefit of experience dealing with odd cases and old mistakes!

5 Review Expenses and Deductions


Once you have your documents in order and your accountant has told you if there are any other supporting documents that you should find, it’s time to go over all of your business expenses and possible deductions.


You’ll always start by looking at your gross income, which you track with receipts of sale and deposits. Next, make sure you have a full list of all purchases of stock items that you resell to customers.


The most obvious thing to review, you expenses, should include bank and credit card statements, receipts from business purchases, and invoices. You should also look at travel and transportation expenses, as these are frequently deductible.


Now, these last few things may not be applicable to every business, but they are very common and worth knowing about. Your tax return should also cover your relevant assets, such as purchase price, depreciations, improvements (such as building repairs or upgrades), and records of sale.


Lastly, if you have employees, you need to have records of the employment taxes that you’ve paid on wages.


6 Use Software


Whether it’s for bookkeeping, tracking expenses and miles, or taking care of payroll, there are various software systems out there that can simplify your life and prevent you from making costly mistakes.


There are a lot of options out there for bookkeeping software, and we strongly recommend that you find one that suits your needs and use it. In the long run, you will have a more successful business and be able to spend more time working in your business instead of on it.


There are also TONS of useful software and apps out there to help you keep good records for tax season.


7 Plan Ahead


Knowing what you need for your taxes can help you plan ahead for the coming year! If this year is stressful, think about what you can do starting now to prevent the same stress from coming back next year.


If you catch your mistakes now, you can prevent yourself from making them twice. You can also set yourself up for success for your 2019 taxes by starting good habits as soon as possible!


You can find the IRS withholding calculator here:

We Hope to See You Soon

As you can imagine, we’re quite busy with tax season, but we certainly haven’t forgotten you! Let us know how you’re doing and see what support your peers can offer over in our Facebook Master Group! We’ll be back with more insight into the wild world of accounting soon!

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