Personal tax returns are due in about 45 days. Many business owners dread the thought. Our personal returns are different – many of us earn passive income and need our corporate or partnership returns completed before we can file our personal returns. If you know you won’t be ready by April 15th, instruct your accountant to file an extension now.
Here are some tips to make tax time easier for you – and your accountant. Accountants charge for their time. Making things easier saves time for them and cost for you.
Start organizing early
This is your accountant’s busiest time of year. They work on multiple clients and have systems in place to organize and verify data. You reduce the risk of restated returns by providing your accountant complete documentation as early as possible. This extra time allows him or her to examine your returns to help you be compliant and possibly spot additional deductions you are entitled to receive.
Keep your data all in one spot. Digitize it.
Digitizing makes it easier to send to your accountant and keeps a backup of your paper records. Your data will generally include:
- Salary reported to the government (W2)
- Your share of your business’ income (K-1)
- Interest and dividend income (Form 1099 from banks and brokerages)
- Mortgage interest and property taxes (Form 1098)
- Health insurance premiums paid by business owners
- Year-end bank and brokerage statements
- Charitable contributions
- For sole proprietors, a record of all your receipt and expenses, including large purchases (Schedule C)
- Tally of medical expenses not covered by insurance or a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Mark any noteworthy events
Inform your accountant of any noteworthy events, These events can impact your taxes:
- The birth or adoption of a child
- A child attending college full time
- A home sale or purchase
- Changes to marital status.
Put key 2018 dates on your calendar
- March 15th – Corporate tax returns ( 1120S) and Partnership returns (1065) due. (the 1065 changed in 2016) or extension requests for these returns
- April 17th – Corporate tax returns (1120) and Individual returns, extensions and 1st quarter estimates due
- June 15th – 2Q18 estimated taxes due
- Sept 17th – 3Q18 estimated taxes due. S-Corporation and Partnership extended returns due
- Oct 15th – Extended Corporation (1120) and individual tax returns due.
- Jan 15th 2019 – 4Q18 estimated taxes due
Book a time to discuss 2018 with your accountant
The most sweeping changes to federal tax laws in 30 years take effect this year. Book an appointment now to meet speak with your accountant about them. Schedule it during the summer when your accountant is less busy and has about six months of history to review your situation and make recommendations.