It’s getting late in the year. For you and your business, that means a couple of things. First, the holidays will be here before you know it. Second, tax time is fast approaching. Both of these things require a lot of preparation, but only one could get you in legal trouble if you procrastinate.
Now that we’re in the 4th quarter of the year, you need to make sure you’ll be ready for tax season. Sure, it’s still a way off, but if you’re running a business of any size, your preparations can be a little more complicated. The last thing you need is to be rushing around in April, gathering documents and updating your records. After all, you will have had months past the new year to be ready.
Proper accounting and tax reporting is a big part of keeping your business running smoothly – and legally. To help you get organized and feel ready for the deadline, we’ve put together a list of some of the things you’ll want to think about right now.
- Are your records updated?
You probably know what it’s like to let your record-keeping slide for a while, only to spend many frustrating hours getting things back on track. It’s a pain, and you always ask yourself why you didn’t just keep things current in the first place. If you’ve gotten behind, it’s time to catch up. If not, great! Just make sure to keep up the good work.
- Do you know where everything is?
Hopefully you have a designated place (something more secure than on your desk) for your tax-related documents. If not, you’d be wise to prepare one now. Make sure you’ve gathered all your bank statements and other applicable documents, and put them in a safe and organized location. If you don’t have everything together, start doing it now.
- Have you tracked your deductibles?
When you spend money to equip your business or give to charity, you probably look forward to claiming those expenditures as tax deductibles. But are you keeping track? It’s easy to forget or overlook some of those items at tax time, so it’s important to put them down as they happen. If you haven’t been, you still have time to look through your records – and your memory – to make sure you catch them all.
- Do you have backups?
Regular backups of your data are essential. Now is a good time to conduct those backups if you haven’t done it recently. Technological or human error can be disastrous for your data, and if the unexpected happens, you could find yourself in big trouble. Be sure you also keep your older backups in case the IRS surprises you later.
Those are just a few of the things you need to be thinking about as tax time approaches, but it’s certainly not a complete list. Generally speaking, if you’re well organized and updating your records frequently, you should be in good shape as far as filing deadlines go.
Of course, if you’re using an accountant, you’ll have a lot less to do. As long as you’re providing them the information, your accountant should be keeping your records updated and have everything ready to go at tax time. They can also answer your questions about business structure, tax forms, and other deadlines you might not be aware of. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused about how to file, save yourself some trouble and reach out for qualified help.