New Year Tax Preparation To Do List for Businesses

As 2015 begins, the economy appears to be looking better across most industries. However, to ensure success in the New Year, it is important to make sure you have your finances and tax situation organized. Here is a quick checklist to help you start 2015 on the right foot. Tax Planning

Assess your Goals: Before making any changes or adjustments, you need to take a look at the big picture and assess whether your business is where you want it to be. Take some time by yourself or if appropriate, set aside time for a meeting with the key players in your company to evaluate your plan for the next year. Look at your short term and long-term goals and your progress toward achieving them. Some areas to examine specifically include your weekly/monthly cash flow, customer base, expenses, debt and overall profitability. Where do you realistically plan to be in each of these areas by the end of the year? What changes need to be made (if any) to bring you toward your goals?

Refine your Marketing Plan: When you strip everything else away, the one thing that can help you accomplish most of your goals in the coming year is more customers or clients. However, in today’s digital age, there is a myriad of ways to expand your customer base. Some methods work better than others depending on the industry you are in and your specific niche within that industry. Here are some questions to think about:

  • Who is your ideal customer/client?
  • What is their age, sex, and what other specific characteristics do they have?

Once you know your target market on a deeper level, you will have a much better idea of what marketing/advertising mediums will work best to reach them.

Evaluate your Vendors: Most businesses have suppliers and other vendors they do business with on a regular basis. The New Year is a good time to examine their cost of products/services and evaluate your level of satisfaction with them. Your satisfaction level will largely determine whether or not you want to shop around for a replacement. For example, if you rate a particular vendor at only 6/10 or lower on the satisfaction scale, you might want to inquire on what other options are available.

Send your Required Tax Forms: April 15 is not the only tax-related deadline for businesses. If you had any employees or contractors in 2014, you are required to send their forms by January 31. For employees, you must provide a W-2 to report wages, income/FICA tax withheld, etc. Depending on your business structure, contract vendors whom you paid $600 or more in 2014 must be sent a 1099-MISC form.

Organize your Paperwork: Businesses have several ways to lower their tax burden. However, to claim a deduction, you must have receipts to back it up. Now is the time to make sure all your receipts and other paperwork are in order so you can send it over to your accountant. The more organized and timely you are with your paperwork, the more you will save on your taxes. And if you have questions about certain deductions and credits might be eligible for, this is a good time to speak to a professional accountant for answers before they get deeper into the busy filing season.

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