Can you believe Halloween is almost here and October is almost over? Before you know it, we’ll be opening Christmas and Hanukkah gifts and ringing in 2017. But before that happens, now that 2016 is into its fourth quarter, it’s time to think about your books and your taxes.
That’s right, this is the perfect time to talk to your bookkeeper and make sure your books are organized and up to date. If you have an S-Corp or LLC, and your books are not organized, then you and your bookkeeper have plenty of time to fix them before the March 15th corporate tax deadline.
If your books are in order, now is a good time to talk to your bookkeeper about strategic decisions to minimize your 2016 tax liability. Do you divert money or buy something your business needs?
Ask your accountant or bookkeeper about that, but in the meantime, here are some tips to making sure your books are at their best:
- KEEP TRACK OF YOUR EXPENSES – If you own a small business, make sure you have a credit card that is dedicated solely to business purchases. Your bookkeeper should be reconciling that credit card monthly, which means categorizing expenses, such as supplies, utilities, lunches, etc.
You should also be keeping track of your miles. In the past, I’ve recommended using apps, rather than estimating your miles to avoid IRS scrutiny.
- KEEP TRACK OF YOUR INVOICES – Make sure invoices you send out are being paid in a timely manner. Some companies send out an invoice and don’t keep track of its return. Let your clients know that payment is due immediately and if that doesn’t happen, then penalties will be incurred every time an invoice is 30, 60 or 90 days late.
- PAY YOUR TAXES – If you’re a small business owner, did you know that you could be penalized for not filing quarterly tax returns? Make sure your bookkeeper is putting aside and deducting taxes throughout the year. If you have employees, make sure your bookkeeper is up to date on payroll taxes and doesn’t wind up dipping into employee withholdings. That’s a no-no and a red flag for the IRS.
The end of the year is just around the corner. Don’t wait until 2017 to talk to your bookkeeper or accountant about your 2016 books. If you don’t have a bookkeeper and are struggling with your own books, then please give me a call or email me. Our Brigade Bookkeeping Team is here to help you and to avoid the end of the year rush, so many business owners encounter.
Take advantage now that time is on your side and organize your books, which in the end, will help organize your business.
Have a great week everyone!