If you dread year-end accounting and taxes, you’re not alone. Plenty of small business owners, and especially creative business owners, don’t enjoy this part of the business and some entrepreneurs just don’t understand it at all – but it is necessary and a legal requirement for small and large business owners to ante up after year-end.
While it’s much more fun to create, write, explore, and have fun, sooner or later we have to face the reality of taxes (and that means before April 15 each year).
To help you prepare for the upcoming year-end closing and tax preparation, we’ve provided a list of some of the most important documents you need to have available. This is just a partial list of recommendations to get you started, but the final decision on what is required to properly account for your business and taxes rests with you, your accountant, and or your tax preparer.
- List of all sales invoices or sales receipts (cash receipts) for your business. Include copies of invoices if available.
- Be sure to account for any 1099s you have received or will receive (they are normally received by January 31 for the previous year).
- List of all business expenses with receipts for cost of sales, materials purchased/resold, and other costs.
- Include an accounting/listing of any remaining inventory and the dollar value, if any.
- Expenses related to advertising, insurance, interest, legal and professional fees, rent, repairs, in-home office expense (the IRS has now simplified this deduction so take advantage if applicable!), and other. Also take advantage of any retirement plan funding expenses which can help reduce your tax liability.
- Details of business mileage including destination, purpose, miles traveled, and date (this can be a huge help when filing taxes at $.555 per business mile in 2013!).
- Receipts for any capital expenditures (desks, chairs, computers, or other large purchases) and the depreciation on equipment or the qualified deduction for capital expenditures – amount used depends on how you capitalize expenditures (according to allowable depreciation according to IRS Recovery Schedule.)
This may seem daunting at year-end, so keeping good records throughout the year makes it much easier – and with a lot less frustration. Keeping a well-organized business can save you money and time when it comes to working with an accountant or can hold down costs on tax preparation fees. Watch for Scoutie Girl’s new Small Business Management 101 e-book coming out soon to help you organize in 2014.