If you needed a little extra time to file your taxes, you likely filed for a tax extension back in April. This gave you an extra six months to do what you needed to do to get ready. You may not realize it, but those six months are about to be over – you must have everything done by October 15th! Time flew by and now it’s time to get your paperwork in order.
But if you’re like many small business owners we’ve spoken to recently, you likely got caught up in the business of running your business and completely forgot taxes were almost due. After all, that may have been what caused you to file for the extension in the first place!
To help you knock out your taxes and move on with your life, check out the following tips. They can also help you the next time taxes roll around – which, in the small business world, is quite often!
Figure Out Deductions
Since you’re in a rush, you may be more willing to overlook some things. For example, you may be more inclined to skip over all the deductions you would otherwise get in order to finish your taxes on time.
This is a bad idea! You want to make as much money as you possibly can with your business throughout the rest of the year, so why throw away money now just because you’re pressed for time? Don’t miss out on a better bottom line just so you can have peace of mind.
Go through 2012 and try to figure out which deductions and exemptions you can take. Did you drive way more than you thought? Mark down every last mile you can – you may be surprised how much it saves you on automobile related tax deductions. Do you qualify for the home office deduction because you have a dedicated room in your house for your business? Then you could also deduct expenses like utilities.
Keep in mind: you should have already paid Uncle Sam when you filed the extension, but the more you deduct the more you could actually get back!
Now that you’ve gone through your past and gotten all the deductions you can get, it’s time to make sure you get them every time. Organization is key when dealing with taxes, as it’s much easier to file on time when you can find everything rather than have to search around the house every few months.
Make a filing system that works for you but also keeps all your paperwork in a real order. Put all deductions together, all your receipts together, and get an account at GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping so you can keep your finances in order with no fuss.
Also consider digitizing all your paperwork so it’s more easily searchable. Either scan everything yourself or send it all to Shoeboxed and they’ll do it for you. Now when you need a receipt or invoice you can search for it on your computer rather than rifle through lots of little odd-sized papers.
Update Your Calendar
To help make sure the rest of your tax time goes better – quarterly estimated taxes, annual taxes in April, even sales tax – update your calendar. It’s easy to forget one of the many important dates when it comes to taxes, so it’s vital you get a system going to help you out. Otherwise one missed tax time date and you’re behind the rest of the year.
Don’t just put the due dates on your calendar though. Mark specific dates on your calendar to help you get moving so you’re not just perpetually catching up. For example, mark when you should get all your paperwork ready or when the earliest you can file is. This way you’re ahead of the game rather than always stressed!
Show of hands: Did you file a tax extension?