Are you letting the looming tax return deadline take your focus off your business?
Who looks forward to filing a tax return? The answer would be no one. At least no one we know, and probably not you. But you don’t have to sweat tax season What you need are these 4 ways to calm down and just get it done.
Step 1: Calm Down
Taxes are inevitable, but they don’t have to be a nightmare. So take a deep breath, picture your happy place, and calm down. Freaking out or panicking don’t make them easier or go faster or less painful, it actually just makes the whole situation seem worse and more stressful than it needs to be. So relax and know that somehow, some way, your taxes will get filed.
Step 2: Gather Your Data
The most important step to filing your taxes is gathering your data and your information. Having everything together in one place makes the process go much more smoothly and can really take the edge off the stress of trying to figure out if you’re covered.
Here’s a list of most of the information you’ll need to make sure the IRS has accurate information:
- Forms – whether it’s a W-2 if you’re employed, an SSA-1099 if you get Social Security benefits, a 1099 if you’re an independent contractor, or a schedule K-1, make sure you have them.
- Receipts – these depend on whether you will take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. These could include medical receipts for costs not covered by insurance, property taxes, investment related expenses, and business expenses.
- Charitable contributions – this again depends on whether or not you’ll use the standard deduction or if you plan to itemize contributions. If you itemize be sure you have a receipt or written acknowledgement from the charitable organization to prove your donation.
Step 3: Audit Yourself
This is an important step that many of us skip. Until it’s too late. Because by the time we gather all of the important documents and information we’re so sick of the process that we don’t take the time to review everything. That or we pulled it all together so last minute that we don’t actually have time. Sound familiar?
The real benefit of auditing yourself is verifying that all of the forms and information you’ve gathered match your records. Your accountant will notify you if red flags exist, but you’re ultimately responsible for the information you give to the IRS for your tax filing. So make sure you have all your ducks in a row. A neat, orderly, accurate row.
Step 4: Trust the Process (and Your Accountant)
One of the biggest benefits of having an accountant is having the ability to ask questions to a human. Tax preparation software is limited in it’s personality and question answering ability. Don’t be shy, either. Asking now can potentially prevent problems, and a possible audit, down the road.
Another bonus is that your accountant knows and understands tax law changes. Because no one else can keep track of them. So take advantage of their knowledge and expertise to make sure you have what you need, that you’re taking advantage of all possible credits and deductions, and that your taxes are filed on time.
Everyone sweats tax season to some extent. It’s coming, it’s a pain, and it’s impossible to avoid. But instead of letting it cause you undue stress and making what could and should be a streamlined process a total nightmare, take a deep breath, calm down, and just get it done.
Ready to get down to business with your taxes? Call 888-743-3080 for a free consultation to learn how filing a tax return the right way can help your business.