Start the New Year off stress-free by getting your taxes done early. Don’t let the usual gray cloud of stress nag at you for months. Instead, tackle this hurdle in a matter of weeks.
With April right around the corner, here are a few tips to cross that task off your to-do list before spring arrives.
Catch Up On Your Books
If your books are behind, the first step is to get everything recorded so that your tax return will be accurate. With automated bank feeds and data entry automation, this is easier than it’s ever been before. If you have cash transactions or receipts lying around that your accountant doesn’t know about, be sure and get those pulled together so nothing is left out.
Make Year-End Changes
Some companies may need additional year-end adjustments, and now is the time to make them. These include items such as loan balances if the interest adjustment has not been booked every month, depreciation and amortization, accounts receivable write-offs, accrual vs. cash basis adjustments, and possibly clean-up work. Have your accountant help you with these items.
Double-Check Vendor Documents
If you hired contractors and sent them 1099s, make sure you have the proper onboarding documents for these individuals which includes a W-9. You may also want to have a workers compensation certificate from them in order to avoid paying it yourself.
Get clear on the deadlines for your corporate, franchise tax, individual and any other tax returns that are required. Even though you might hire someone to complete and file your return, you’ll want to make sure the deadline has been met.
As you receive your 2018 tax documents, keep them all together in a special place. Download them or scan them into your computer and organize them all in one folder. If your tax accountant has a client portal, upload them as soon as you get them. (Note: ECS does have client portals, so ask your contact on how to sign up.)
Your tax accountant appreciates getting your information as early as possible. The sooner you get the documents to them, the sooner the whole process is completed. Even if you owe money and want to file at the last minute, you can still be complete with the process except for the filing which can be deferred.
Try these tips to reduce tax stress this winter and spring. And, as always, if we can help you with any of this, please reach out to us.
About the Author - Kara Ziegler joined ECS as a Staff Accountant in September 2016. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and earned the honor of being both the Accounting Departmental Scholar and College of Business and Technology Scholar for the spring 2016 semester. She has been a Certified Public Accountant since September 2017 and earned her Certified Management Accountant designation in October 2018. Since joining ECS, she has been involved in various aspects of client service including lease accounting, auditing, sales tax preparation, and corporate and individual income tax return preparation. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge of the leasing industry, and plans to earn the Certified Lease and Finance Professional designation in the near future.