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Tax Prep Checklist For Business Owners

Tax season is here and the deadline is quickly approaching. I know this can feel like a really stressful time for business owners if you don’t feel prepared or don’t have a game plan. But while you might not consider filing your taxes fun, it doesn’t need to be dreadful! I’ve put together a checklist along with a few reminders to help make the process as painless as possible. 


THE CHECKLIST

  • Know the correct deadline for your business to file taxes
  • Fill out the correct tax forms for your business
  • Gather necessary data and information about your business
  • Understand your other tax responsibilities as a business owner
  • Take advantage of all applicable deductions
  • Request an extension if necessary


THE REMINDERS

Deadlines
Let’s first make sure you know the correct deadline for filing your taxes.

  • March 15th – Taxes due for partnerships, multi-member LLCs, and S Corporations
  • April 18th – Taxes due for C Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, Single Member LLCs, or LLCs taxed as corporations

It’s important to have these dates in mind and gather all of your necessary documents ahead of time.

Forms
Now we can dive into the documents and forms that you’ll need to complete your taxes. 

Gather Info
You’ll need specific data and information about your business when you go to file your taxes. Gathering the information listed below will make the process go a lot smoother.

  • EIN number and registered business name
  • Income
    This includes money earned from selling products or services, rents, returns or allowances, as well as canceled debt
  • Cost of Goods Sold
    This may include products purchased for resale, raw materials, packaging, and direct labor as it relates to producing or selling products and services for your business
  • Expenses
    This could include advertising and marketing, employee benefits, legal fees, office expenses, salaries, etc.
  • Assets
    This includes vehicles, machinery, buildings, or purchases over about $2500 that depreciate over time

Keeping accurate records month by month makes this process so much easier come tax time! That’s one reason I work solely in QuickBooks Online and recommend this software to all of my clients. If you keep accurate records, getting these numbers is as easy as running a few reports! If you don’t have your information in an organized manner, you’ll need to reference all of your receipts, bank statements, credit card statements, and documents to accurately keep track of these numbers. 

If you’re interested in using QuickBooks Online to keep track of your bookkeeping, use this form here for a discounted rate!

Other Tax Responsibilities
Depending on the structure of your business, you may also be responsible for other types of taxes or tax returns. These could include:

  • Employment taxes
  • Unemployment taxes
  • Self-Employment taxes
  • Excise taxes
  • Sales taxes
  • Property taxes

I always recommend you confirm if you are responsible for any of these taxes with your trusted tax professional. If you aren’t working with anyone at the moment, I’m happy to offer recommendations! Feel free to email me to talk about this more.

Deductions
There are a lot of deductions that business owners can take advantage of come tax season. This is something that I recommend researching to see what your business can qualify for. Here are a few of the most common:
  • Vehicle expenses
  • Home office expenses
  • Employee pay and expenses
  • Employee benefits
  • Utilities
  • Start-up costs
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Section 179 deductions
  • Travel expenses

     

Request an Extension

If you know there’s no way you can file your taxes by the deadline, you can ask for an automatic six month extension. If you’re a sole proprietor or single member LLC you can request an extension using Form 4868, otherwise you should use Form 7004. It’s important to note that being granted an extension does not equate to an extension to pay your taxes!

If you’re feeling entirely overwhelmed, you’re not alone! I work with a lot of business owners who would rather turn their accounts and taxes over entirely to someone else instead of feeling confused on their own. My team offers a Cleanup Service that will correct any previous bookkeeping and accounting mistakes while playing catch up to get you back on track.

If you need any more information or have questions feel free to email my team at info@riseupbookkeeping.com. We’re happy to provide CPA recommendations, explain our services, or pass along additional information you may need.