I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season, complete with a fun celebration of the new year! For businesses, however, it’s the “end of the year.” There is so much to do do to get tax ready, so we have compiled a handy year-end checklist to help you get through this process on time and well-prepared.
**Sole proprietors and LLC’s must file a tax return by April 15th. S and C Corporation’s deadline is March 15th.
First, get tax ready:
1. Collect any W-9’s from vendors. If you paid anyone over $600 in the year, they will need a 1099. You will also need to send out a 1096. Call the IRS to get FREE forms: 800.829.3676 (will take 2 weeks, so do this now).
2. Reconcile all bank and credit card accounts to the end of the year. Check for any transactions that haven’t been cleared. Review details of all new assets purchased for the year (items purchased, date and amount).
3. Send out any W-2’s (if applicable), by January 31st.
4.Review any loans and verify balance amounts on the Balance Sheet.
5. You should have a Profit & Loss Detail report. Print and review the categories. Make necessary corrections.
6. Print out financial statements for CPA/Enrolled Agent: Profit and Loss Standard, Balance Sheet (with last year comparison), Detail of Fixed Assets, Profit and Loss by Class (if you use classes).
7. Verify that expenses paid with cash are entered in the books so you do not miss any deductions.
8. Jot down mileage for all vehicles used in business. You will need total miles driven and total business miles driven.
9. Provide all final HUD statements for purchases, refinances, and sales of property.
10. Copy thermal receipts, because they will fade.
11. Set aside W-2’s, 1098 Mortgage Interest Statements, 1099-MISC, 1099-R, 1099-B, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT in a file ready to give to your tax preparer.
12. Make a list of questions you have for your tax preparer. Make a list of areas that have changed in the last year.
13.Pay the $800 California estimated tax payment for LLC’s, C-Corps, and S-Corps by April 15th of the coming year.
14. Set the closing date and password on your QuickBooks file.
15. Back up data from the computer. Double check the back ups are copying correctly.
16. Box up old year receipts and make new file folders – scan documents for electronic storage.
Then, get ready to face the new year armed and organized:
1. Review your business plan and make any necessary changes.
2. Set a budget for overhead costs for the new year (Advertising, Auto, Bank Fees, Continuing Education, Meals, Travel, etc.)
3. Review past year expenses to see where you can trim or make changes. Look in meals and entertainment first. Then see if you can get the same service for a better price (insurance, telephone, etc.).
4. Verify when Corporate Minutes will be due for the coming year (if applicable); mark the calendar.
5. Determine if your computer needs upgrading, equipment needs repairs or supplies need to be ordered. Look into technology that would help your business run more efficiently? (Might we recommend switching to QuickBooks Online, which we can help you set up AND save money off the retail price.)
6. If you have payroll, verify if your EDD unemployment rate has changed for the coming year.
7. Review Vacation/Sick time policy for employees. Update employee handbook and have employees sign.
8. Set goals for the coming year: purchases, improvements in business, selling property, loan repayment, etc.
As always, we are here to help. If this process makes you question your accounting procedures and time allocation, please give us a call so we can help!