Is your business prepared for tax preparation? - Eric MacCollum, CPA of Hudak and Company

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Eric is a principle accountant with Hudak and company with locations in PA and DE. His focus is on privately held business focusing on their bookkeeping, payroll, tax, and consulting needs. He is a frequent speaker on industry topics as well as an adjunct professor of accounting at Delaware Technical Community College.

At the beginning of every year as we are looking to get off to a great start, we have to take some time and close out the previous year and file our annual taxes. Whether you are a large corporation or a single person company working out of your home, there are steps that can be taken to make tax filing as smooth as possible and get things filed prior to the deadline. This year in particular as we are dealing with several new provisions in the tax code for the first time after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as well as a partial government shutdown, which includes our friends at the IRS, organization will be key.
First, do you keep your business information up to date throughout the year or scramble to piece it together for your taxes? The numbers of your business tell the story of your inputs and actions. Keeping numbers up to date throughout the year make them more valuable as results can be tracked and turned into action steps to improve your bottom line. Also, it is a much better habit to record things when they are fresh in your mind instead of up to twelve months later. A short pencil is better than a long memory!
Second, have you met with your accountant prior to year-end?  If you keep up-to-date records, a lot of significant decisions can be made reviewing your numbers prior to year-end. Things like proper entity formation, property and equipment purchases, and how to report transactions can all be put into a plan to close one year and start the next on the best foot.  If you did not do this at the end of last year, put it on your calendar for the end of this year.
Third, are you prepared with any additional information that will be necessary? Things like any business expenses paid personally, potential home office deduction, and business mileage will all be important for tax preparation.
Finally, can you make your accountant’s life easier? Typically accountants charge by the time involved in preparing your information. The more organized you can make it, the better off you will both be. This tax filing season will be a big challenge for everyone with brand new provisions in the tax code, along with new forms, as well as the IRS being partially shut down. The better prepared we are, the easier we can get things filed and move on.
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