This tax checklist will help you pay your small business taxes correctly, get the most deductions, and file with plenty of time to spare.
Tax season is upon us! Technically, your small business taxes may not be due for another few months, but to avoid stress and processing backups, filing early is a great way to start the year off on the right financial footing. Unsure of whether you’ve got all the documents you need? No worries- we’ve made this handy checklist for you to help you get ready to file your small business taxes.
Small Business Tax Checklist
We understand tax season can be complex and stressful, but it doesn’t mean it has to be!
Make it straightforward by following our small business tax checklist below and staying on top of preparing and filing your taxes!
1. You know what type of business you have
By this, we don’t mean what industry- but whether your small business is structured as a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, etc. This will affect what type of taxes you will file for.
Typically you select the type of business structure you will use when you are first establishing your business identity. Depending on how you’ve structured your business will determine which tax form you use to file.
2. You Have All Receipts & Invoices of Purchases for Your Business
As a small business owner you want to keep track of all costs associated with your business- including the cost of materials or inventory purchases, assets like vehicles or equipment, and business travel expenses. These help with your business deductions and will allow you to calculate any profits or loss for the year.
3. Your Books Are Up-to-date
Ideally you’ve spent the last year consistently and diligently entering every transaction and invoice to keep your books up to date. BUT if you err more on the side of procrastination, this is something you will need to do before filing your taxes- or better yet, you can hire a professional bookkeeper to take care of it for you. Now’s a good time to ensure all outstanding balances have been collected on as well.
4. You Have Your Most Essential Reports
Making sure your books are up to date and have accounted for all transactions is important for the next step of running the financial reports required to prepare your taxes. You can also read more about the most essential financial reports for small businesses in depth here- but the basics include your balance sheet, profit and loss or income statements, and cash flow statements.
5. You Have Some Cash Put Aside
This is more so important to consider if you’re a small business owner and also self-employed. A good general rule of thumb is to put aside 25% of your income for taxes when deductions aren’t automatically being taken. This is also why it’s important to pay yourself a salary “on the books” from your business revenue, even if you’re working for yourself. This allows you to take at medicare and social security taxes as you would with other employees, and prevents nasty surprises from cropping up down the road. Typically your deductions and clever tax incentives can play a part in reducing what you owe, but it’s still better to already have money set aside for it, than to be left owing extra. So make sure you’ve got some cash stashed aside for filing time.
If this checklist seems like a lot to tackle, and you just don’t have the time- don’t worry. A professional bookkeeper will be able to help you in a breeze. And if keeping financial records or filing taxes isn’t your strong suit, consider partnering with one of the experts at KGC Consulting. They can help you manage your small business finances on an ongoing basis through their bookkeeping services, so that next year, filing taxes will be easy-peasy.