If you’re a small-business owner, tax season can be a stressful time. You’ve got a lot to keep track of and it’s critically important that you don’t make any mistakes. Here are a few tax season tips that can make this time a little easier for your small business.
Start Your Tax Preparation Early
Start preparing for tax season as early as possible. There’s enough stress inherent in the process without the anxiety of racing to beat the tax deadline. Schedule your tax preparations so you’ll be done well ahead of time. That way if any unexpected issues come up, you have a cushion.v
Treat Taxes as You Would Any Other Part of Your Business
You’re tending to every other important aspect of your business throughout the year, keeping records, collecting data, making schedules and so forth. Why should your year-end preparation for taxes be a special event? You know it’s coming, so work it into the structure of your business and treat paying taxes like any other part of your ongoing operations that needs regular attention. Record everything as you go, taking notes or keeping diaries as necessary.
We live in the digital age now. Even if you’re selling antiques, your tax-filing system doesn’t have to be from another century. There’s no excuse for keeping all your payroll records and receipts in a shoebox. Get a reliable accounting program and put all those records online. Then be sure to back them up, either to a cloud platform, remote server and/or a separate storage drive so all your records are safe.
While you’re at it, take the time to research some of the available tax apps on the web. Five or 10 minutes a day using the right app to update your tax information can save you hours or days during your year-end preparation, not to mention all the headaches you can avoid.
Organize Your Documents
The more organized you are, the easier your end-of-year accounting will be. Make sure you have clearly labeled files for different tax-related items, like business deductions, charitable donations, losses you can write off, etc. When everything is in a clearly identifiable place, the process can run much more smoothly. Since you’re moving to a completely electronic filing and accounting system, organizing and labeling those documents should be easy.
Watch Out for Ghost Assets
A ghost asset, or a broken asset, is defined as an asset that cannot be accounted for because it is physically missing or has been rendered unusable. The result of failing to weed out ghost assets is inaccurate accounting, which can completely derail your tax preparations. The best solution is to invest in some asset-tracking software to help you keep tabs on which of your assets remain real, tangible assets and which are ghosts.
Get Help When You Need It
Although there’s plenty you can do to streamline your year-end preparation for taxes, taxes aren’t your actual business, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Paying a little bit now to make sure you get things right can save you a lot more time, money and aggravation down the road. Don’t let pride get in the way of you doing what is right for your business.
If you need a professional opinion, find an accountant and get one. Don’t wait until your end-of-year accounting to do it. Build a relationship with an accountant year-round, so you can identify problems and concerns as they crop up, rather than having a whole pile of them to deal with at the end of the year.
You can take a whole lot off your plate and make your life much easier when it comes to preparing for tax season by letting a professional handle your payroll. BCM Payroll Services Inc. offers complete, customized payroll services in southcentral Pennsylvania and western Maryland that includes full payroll tax preparation. These are secure, web-based payroll services that you can access anytime.
You can enjoy the benefits of not only knowing all your employees will get paid correctly and on time, but also that we will manage all state, local and federal income and social security tax payments for you. We’ll calculate and file everything and send you the data so you know where you stand with no stress for you. We handle your W-2s and 1099s, do quarterly payroll tax returns and year-end reconciliations, and make sure everything goes out on time so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
To find out more about how BCM Payroll Services Inc. can simplify tax season as well as your entire payroll system so you can focus on your business, call 717-264-7374 or contact BCM for a free quote today.