Tax season is upon us and small business owners are gathering their documents and stressing. While tax season can be difficult for small business owners, it does not have to cause physical stress. Although filing your small businesses taxes can be complicated, there are many ways to make sure you’re organized and complying with all of the correct processes in filing your 2017 taxes.
Unsure of the information you need for the dreaded tax season? Tax time is never that much fun so, this year, make sure you don’t leave out any crucial information. You never know, a simple mistake can lead to a tax return delay—and who wants that?
To help you we put together this easy-to-follow tax checklist.
1. Gather all Financial Documents
Here’s a list of some of the most common documents that small business owners should track down before filing:
Bank and credit card statements
Last year’s business tax return
Asset purchase details
2. Make A List Of Income & Expenses
If you run a small business, be prepared to make a thorough accounting of all income and expenses associated with your company. Expenses are especially important for you to track in as much detail as possible, to give yourself the most chance for optimal deductions come tax time. It's important to keep track of everything that you purchase through the business, as well as everything you purchase personally, for the business.
Items that fall under the income category include:
Checking and saving account interest (Form 1099-INT)
Returns and allowances
Other unclassified income
Typical expenses that must be accounted for include:
Office rent or portion of the rent or mortgage of your home
Fees paid to professionals such as your accountant
Payment to contractors (Form 1099-MISC or 1096)
Transportation and travel
Phones and communication devices
Computers and internet fees
Office supplies and equipment
3. Vehicle Deduction
If you use your car for business, keep a logbook of your mileage for business use. The IRS will not allow a deduction for business use of a vehicle without a record of the miles driven for business. Your log may be kept manually or electronically. You cannot deduct the following business-related expenses without a logbook and itemized receipts:
Fuel and oil costs
Lease payments Insurance and tax payments
Parking fees and toll charges
Repair and maintenance fees
4. Explore Your Options If You Need Additional Time
If April 15th is bearing down and you feel like you’re not going to make it, there’s some good news: the IRS allows businesses to ask for a filing extension. Use Form 7004 to request an extension to file your business income tax.
There are some other factors to consider, however.
While your extension request might buy you extra time to file, it won’t push back your deadline for making a payment. If you fail to pay by April 15, you’ll expose your business to the possibility of extra financial penalties and accrued interest.
We at LILA & Associates LLC are here to help with Personal and Business Tax Returns. Check out our Tax Service page for more details.