Oh no, is it really that time of year again? Anxiety skyrockets as you think about doing your annual tax return! You say to yourself things like: “How did it get here so quickly?” “Didn’t we JUST file our taxes?” “Where did I put that shoebox full of receipts?” “Is my payroll in order?” “Did I file all of my quarterly payments?” AARRGGHH.
If your brain goes into this type of ‘deep freeze’ the same time each year, you are not alone!
If you are like many business owners, thinking about getting all of your backup documentation together may cause a chill to travel up and down your spine. But, we all know the importance of having that documentation.
In order to get as many deductions as we can and, more importantly, to do it according to the tax code, we need to have organized records. We NEVER want to be unprepared in the event of a dreaded tax audit!
It doesn’t matter whether the economy is growing or shrinking, whether we made $1 million or $20,000, we MUST file our taxes. As the old saying goes, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Given a choice between the two, I would take the latter any day. In tough economic times, small businesses need to be just as prepared with tax filing than when income soars.
Although I do not offer bookkeeping services in my business, for the past 20 years I have tried to assist a family member with his small business taxes. He, like many small business owners, is excellent at working ON his core business; however, he has absolutely no desire to work IN his business. Annual tax preparation and filing falls into this category. Receipts are routinely thrown into a shoe box and accounts receivables are written on Post It notes and napkins. Can you see where I am going with this? Come tax time, my brain goes into the ‘deep freeze” trying to gather up the bits and pieces of information to help organize him, so that his accountant doesn’t charge him three times as much!
The good news is that there are Virtual Bookkeepers that work tirelessly to help business owners through anxiety-ridden tax time!
There are at least four ways a Virtual Bookkeeper can help alleviate your anxiety at tax time
- A good virtual bookkeeper can keep your records in order. This alone can save you hundreds of dollars at the end of the year…especially if you are using an accountant. Why pay a CPA for bookkeeping and record compilation? A Virtual Bookkeeper can usually do it for less than half the cost of a CPA!
- Your Virtual Bookkeeper can get your payroll issues handled all year long, so, come tax time all your records will be close at hand. They will prepare W-2s 1099’s easily and can mail them out in a timely fashion.
- They are experts at organizing your accounts payables and accounts receivables. Your client activity will be tracked, your payments posted, due dates monitored, receivables updated and never will you have an unpaid invoice.
- The beauty of hiring a business-savvy Virtual Bookkeeper is that they have the experience to run an informal internal audit. These internal audits will confirm that your financial systems meet current standards. This will enable your business to sail through tax season without creating any tidal waves.
So, please don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish.” Small business owners who partner with a savvy virtual bookkeeper will find that tax season can be more like any other day of the year. Taking advantage of the services your virtual partner can provide will prevent the tax season ’brain freeze.’
P.S. — Remember to save EVERY tax return. There is no retention limit for business tax returns.
Karen Kannegiesser is an online business resource assistant with over three decades of C-suite level executive administrative and supply chain expertise. She has many years as a strategic MRO buyer for a large specialty chemical manu-facturer, as well as an extensive background in database management, project management, contract administration and business continuity and disaster recovery preparedness.