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Tips for Preparing for the 2018 Tax Season

Every business owner goes through the same thing when it comes time to do the taxes- namely boredom, anger and about five days of wasted time before outsourcing the whole damnable thing to an accountant. There’s no shame to it… Taxes are hard. Take our advice and start preparing yourself now to make 2018 an easier tax season all round!

The first thing you can do to prepare yourself for the 2018 tax season is to get all of your documents in order. Whenever a tax form arrives in the post or via email put them all in the same place, together and not muddled in with other paperwork. Keeping all of your financial information in one place will make your life easier come tax time. You must check that most of the forms that arrive by post match what you have in your records, and if you do this as each document arrives it will save you a few hours slog when the return is due. The same process and thought should be applied to your receipts… any good businessman knows to keep all of his receipts and invoices in the same place – all year round.

60% of firms hire a Preparer to get themselves ready for tax return time, and this could be you. A Preparer will do most of the legwork on your behalf and you have a good choice from a plethora of reputable companies. Financial Advisors are a must-have for all serious businesses, and you can find our favourite here. Meet with your Preparer as early as possible to give them ample time to work.

Another good tip is to create a sheet that contains all of your financial details in one place, and to keep it safe. This sheet can be referred to and updated year on year, but should be enough to keep all of the tax return personal information they will request from you safe in one spot!

In advance of tax season you can still prepare all of your charitable donations and information. Again, collating this data will stand you in better stead when you meet your Preparer. You should also present them with a copy of last years tax return, as this will remind them and you of anything you might accidentally oversee.

Remember that you can always apply for an extension if you haven’t got things together in time. Fill in this form to try for a six months extension past April 15th.

So as you can see; your tax season doesn’t need to be the hurried and stressful time that it usually is. If you follow our advice and prepare yourself well you will blast through the paperwork in a flurry of organized chaos. If you feel it is simply beyond you then don’t let yourself become overwhelmed… apply for that extension and hire a Preparer for yourself. Whether boring, frustrating or oddly satisfying – taxes simply must be done. Try not to forget that, and remember: forewarned is forearmed!

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