Are you prepared to file federal taxes for your small business in Nashville? The deadline for reporting last year’s finances is fast approaching. By now, you should have gotten in touch with your trusted accounting firm to ensure all your statements will be in order.
Here’s a quick checklist of what you should be doing – or should have already started doing – heading into the crunch of the tax-filing season.
Know your deadlines
Simple, right? April 15 is the last day for filing taxes, year in and year out. Not quite. The due date for your business depends on the type of legal entity it is registered as.
For 2018, these are the deadlines for different entities:
- March 15: Partnerships and S-Corporations
- April 17: C-Corporations
- May 15: Exempt organizations (non-profits and charities)
Is March 15 too soon a date? You could file a request for a tax extension by April 15. An extension would grant you three more months to organize all your paperwork and ensure you don’t overlook anything when reporting to the IRS.
Whether you’re filling out the appropriate forms for original or extended deadlines, your accounting firm will be able to help.
Prepare all your paperwork
Completing forms is only one piece of the process. To accomplish this on your behalf, your accounting firm needs your previous tax and up-to-date business records. These typically include the following:
- Balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements
- Payroll information (if applicable)
- Overhead and operational expenses
- Auto and travel-related expenses
- Assets sold and purchased within the previous year
Needless to say, it would be better if you organized these records. While it is a good idea to keep every single receipt that passes through your business, no accounting firm would enjoy receiving them in a shoebox!
Know which deductions you are eligible for
Keeping detailed financial records also helps you calculate how much you won’t have to pay the IRS. Before claiming tax deductions, however, you need to know which ones you are eligible for.
You may already know that inventory items, employee pay benefits, business related travel and educational expenses can be written off. But what about home office expenses – like electricity and rent? Software subscriptions for your business? And entertainment costs, such as when you wine and dine a client?
These are all among the 27 total deductions available for small businesses; have your accountant determine which ones you can claim.
Assess your tax strategies
Once you and your accountant have filed everything required for this year, you might want to consider if you should do it differently the next time around.
As you can tell, your business type determines the kinds of taxes you pay and the kids of deductions you’ll get. You might want to change your business structure – or even just your operational strategies – to maximize the amount of money you’ll save. Again, your trusted Nashville accounting firm can advise you on what to do in these scenarios.
How to File Federal Income Taxes for Small Businesses, TurboTax.Intuit.com
2018 Business Tax Deadlines for 2017 Filing, Indinero.com
Checklist of 27 Tax Deductions for Small Businesses, AllBusiness.com