If you want to spend extra time with us around tax seasons, we prefer it to be light-hearted and not burdensome—so we’re created this handy list to help you remember what your accountants need from you to prepare your business taxes. If you’re one of our clients, chances are we already have most of this information from you when we did your tax planning in the fall, but you can still benefit from looking over this list to see if anything changed toward the end of the year.
1. Income Details
What money did the business make this year? It’s natural to think of W-2s and 1099s when you’re planning your income-related paperwork, but you also have to think through other sources of income. Did any money come in from insurance companies, banks, brokerages or other sources? We’re going to need to see that documentation as well.
2. Receipts and Expense Reports
Ideally your accounting software is already keeping track of your expenses and income, so we already have access to that information. We should also have access to receipts and credit card statements that show business expenses in case we need to provide them as supplemental documentation. If your business deducts mileage expenses when employees use their cars for business purposes, we need to see those reports. If we’re also preparing your personal taxes, remember to show us your deductions for any membership dues or business travel.
3. Existing Tax Payments
This includes payment based on your locality if there are specific taxes on businesses in your area—as well as income taxes, payroll taxes and unemployment taxes. If you’re using an online accounting solution, your accountant probably already has access to this information.
4. Retirement Plan Documentation
If you have a company-sponsored retirement plan, contributions are generally tax deductible. Make sure that your accountant knows the contributions that both you and the business made in the past year.
If you feel like you don’t know where to start, are missing documents, or are drowning in paperwork, let your accountant know. By starting early in the tax preparation season, you can find everything you need and talk about solutions that will make this less painful in future years.
Many of our clients are moving to cloud accounting, which can create a paperless system that allows the accountants to see real-time data about your business and help ensure that your accounting information is clear and ready for tax time. If you’d like more information about the ease and security of those systems, just give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.