YEAR END TAX PREPARATION
I begin planning for the upcoming tax season around November of every year. Of course it’s usually much more complicated than this, but I use this simple checklist to stay on track and to collect info for my accountant.
END OF THE CURRENT YEAR:
- Make final attempts to collect past due debt.
- Perform an inventory count and make adjustments of missing or surplus items.
- Are there any obsolete inventory items to be written off? Damaged goods? De-valued goods? If so, explain and attach.
- Are there any state/local forms related to inventory or property that need to be filed?
- Make sure that you have correct information on file for vendors that will require a 1099.
FIRST OF THE NEW YEAR:
- Were there any changes in ownership/percentages? If so, attach details of such.
- Prepare and file 1099 returns or send info to accountant.
- Accounts Receivable: Prepare a list of bad debt as of December 31st. This could be as simple as running an Aging report and highlighting/making notes on it.
- Accounts Payable to Vendors: Verify balance as of December 31st.
- Loans: Confirm year-end balance and interest amounts paid on loans, lines of credit, or mortgage loans match the bank records/statements. Attach a copy of such.
- Before reconciling the final bank and credit card accounts for the year, go through and adjust old entries that didn’t clear the statements. Then reconcile the last statements with those adjustments. Once reconciled, make copies of the December statements and attach.
- If you purchased any new business equipment or vehicles, provide the invoice, financing information, note balance and interest paid as of December 31st.
- Can you take the 179 Depreciation on any newly purchased equipment or vehicles? Compare to the standard depreciation schedule. Evaluate the need to do this based on the current net income status.
- If you sold or disposed of any equipment or vehicles, explain and attach.
(Example my accountant gave me: If you purchased a vehicle for $20,000, depreciated it at $5,000, then sold for $20,000, you would pay your normal income tax rate for the $5,000. If you purchased a vehicle for $20,000, depreciated it at $5,000, then sold for $22,000, you would pay your normal income tax rate for the $5,000 and you would pay the capital gains rate for the $2,000 gain.)
- Provide payroll details/reports for verification of payroll liabilities. Any health insurance, life insurance, retirement contributions, etc. should be noted with amounts and verification of such. Also note any fringe benefits.
- Provide sales summary by state for preparation of other state tax returns. Note if any changes will occur from the last to the current actual year; or, if any significant changes did occur from the previous tax return year to the current one we’re working on now.
- Once all of this information is complete and gathered, scan and send to accountant, along with an Accountant’s Copy of the Quickbooks company file.