How small business owners should prepare for a meeting with their tax professional

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As any small business owner will tell you, being prepared for tax season is critical. Here we offer some key advice to help you get ready for a meeting with your tax professional. If you follow the steps and keep important filing dates in mind, you’ll be fully confident and there’ll be no need for concern or surprises.

Let’s start with a tax checklist, that includes everything from critical documents and due dates, to bank statements and reconciling accounts.

Small Business Tax Checklist

Income

  • Gross receipts from sales or services
  • Sales records (for accrual based taxpayers)
  • Returns and allowances
  • Business checking/savings account interest (1099-INT or statement)
  • Other income

Cost of Goods Sold (if applicable)

  • Inventory
  • Beginning inventory total dollar amount
  • Inventory purchases
  • Ending inventory total dollar amount
  • Items removed for personal purposes
  • Materials & Supplies

Expenses

  • Advertising
  • Phones (landline, fax or cell phones related to business)
  • Computer & internet expenses
  • Transportation and travel expenses
    • Local transportation
      • Business trip (mileage) log
      • Contemporaneous log or receipts for public transportation, parking, and tolls
    • Travel away from home
      • Airfare or mileage/actual expense if drove
      • Hotel
      • Meals, tips
      • Taxi, tips
      • Internet connection (hotel, Internet café etc.)
      • Other
  • Commissions paid to subcontractors
  • Depreciation
    • Cost and first date of business use of assets
    • Records relating to personal use of assets
    • Sales price and disposition date of any assets sold
  • Business insurance
    • Casualty loss insurance
    • Errors and omissions
    • Other
  • Interest expense
    • Mortgage interest on building owned by business
    • Business loan interest
    • Investment expense and interest
  • Professional fees
    • Lawyers, accountants, and consultants
  • Office supplies
  • Rent expense
  • Office-in-home
    • Square footage of office space
    • Total square footage of home
    • Mortgage interest or rent paid
    • Homeowner’s or renters’ insurance
    • Utilities
    • Cost of home, separate improvements and first date of business use
  • Wages paid to employees
    • Form W-2 and W-3
    • Federal and state payroll returns (Form 940, Form 941, etc.)
  • Employee benefit expenses
    • Contractors
    • Form 1099-MISc
    • Form 1096
    • 1096
  • Other expenses
    • Repairs, maintenance of office facility, etc.
    • Estimated tax payments made
    • Other business-related expenses
      • Health insurance
      • Premiums paid to cover the sole-proprietor and family
      • Premiums paid on behalf of partners and S corporation shareholders
      • Information on spouse’s employer provided insurance

Also, to ensure a smooth tax filing, keep in mind that financial experts recommend small business owners stay organized all year, keep good records of all revenue and expenses and spend some money for a proper accounting platform. It will be worth the investment.

Additionally, don’t wait until tax season is approaching to get ready. Set checkpoint meetings throughout the year to be sure you’re on track and make taxes part of your overall financial planning.

To learn more about important filing deadlines and dates, visit https://squareup.com/townsquare/small-business-tax-deadline-calendar-dates-to-circle-in-red

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