It’s hard to believe, but we’re just a few short weeks away from the annual tax filing deadline. This year, all documentation is due to the IRS no later than April 15.
Taxes aren’t any fun, but there’s no way around them. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to know the laws and submit the necessary paperwork. If you don’t, you run the risk of late fees, penalties and interest, or worse –– an audit. Yikes!
Instead of waiting until the last minute, start your tax preparation now. Here are a few tips to make the process a little less stressful:
Review and balance your business ledger. The easiest way to track your income is to keep a business ledger. A ledger is the foundation of your businesses’ finances. It records information about each transaction, including the payment method used and the cost of goods or services. To ensure all of the information is accurate and up to date, it’s critical to balance the ledger regularly. If you’re unsure how to do that, check out this guide from The Balance.
Analyze your bank records. If you own and operate a business, it’s a good idea to keep your professional and personal expenses separate. If you haven’t already done that, plan on doing so as soon as possible. In the meantime, review your online bank statements from the past year. Highlight any expense that’s business-related and write it down. You may be able to share this information with your accountant, who can help you translate them into deductions.
Hire a professional. Tax laws are incredibly complex and new rules are added to the books every year. Unless you’re an accountant or particularly money-savvy, navigating these changes can seem like a nearly impossible task. What’s more, if you make an incorrect calculation or misplace a decimal, it could result in major headaches like a surprise tax bill.
As a business owner, you’ve got enough on your plate. A task as challenging as taxes is only going to cause you more stress. Instead of running yourself ragged, hire a professional accountant. They can work with you one-on-one to determine which deductions you qualify for. They might even find some creative ways to save you money.
Stop procrastinating and set aside an hour or two this week to gather your tax information. Getting a jump start on the season can help prevent stress and allow you to receive that refund check much quicker. Good luck!