Unorganized, Messy Receipts – Getting Ready for Tax Season

Do you hear that groaning? That’s the start of tax season. The very words invoke images of towering piles of unmanageable paper. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Whether you plan to tackle your 1040s and W2s yourself or hand the work over to a tax professional, a few tips can make the preparation process less like a groan and more like a sigh of relief.

Some important dates:

January 31 – W2s for employees and 1099s for independent contractors that must be printed, stamped, mailed and reported to the IRS

January 31 –  Generally 940 & 941 for employment taxes must be filed. However, there are other forms that may be required based on your filling requirements. You can see a full list of Employment Tax forms and due dates by clicking HERE. If you use a payroll company, call to see if they do this for you. If they don’t make sure to mark this date on your calendar.

January 31 – Property taxes for businesses must be filed if you live in Mecklenburg County. Check your specific county/state for their dates and requirements.

March 15 – Business returns are due. Extensions can be filed which change the date to September 15.

April 18  – Personal returns for both federal and state are due. Extensions can be filed which change the date to October 16. Keep in mind, even if you file an extension, you still have to pay an estimate of what you owe by April 18.

For a complete list of dates (business & personal) visit the IRS Federal Tax Calendar.

As a small business owner, it pays to become familiar with what business expenses you can deduct to maximize your deductions. Charitable donations, business meals (either a standard meal allowance or 50% with a receipt), employee gifts (up to $25 per employee), employee education costs, even holiday parties are all allowable deductions for your business. Keep records of who, where, and how it relates to business for each of these items, as well as copies of the receipts, and you can reduce your taxable income for your business. Below are a few other deductions you may want to pay attention to.

Healthcare tax credit – Small businesses with less than ten employees will see the most benefit. Use tax form 8941 for this credit.

Section 179 property deduction – Up to $500,000 of eligible business property. However be aware there are exclusions to this deduction.

Home office – if you have a room in your home that is dedicated for business and nothing else you can take that as a deduction on form 8829. Be prepared to show proof should you be audited though.

Staying organized with your paper and electronic receipts throughout the year is always the best method to making tax season flow smoothly. However, if you find yourself with that shoebox full of receipts, we can help you get those into a usable format for your tax professional.

*Disclaimer: The content of this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax or financial advice. For specifics relating to your business’ tax needs, please consult your tax or financial advisor. If you need a referral to an accountant, CFO or bookkeeper, we’d be happy to connect you with one of our expert partners.

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