In our previous blog post we presented a list of tax forms and other documents that taxpayers should bring to their tax professional or accountant’s office for accurate preparation of their individual 1040. In this post, we are going to add more items to that list that are applicable to business owners.
Business financial statements
If you are using a new tax professional this year, you will need to bring a copy of last year’s tax return. They will also need to see your financial statements (e.g., business income statement, cash flow, profit and loss, credit card statements, balance sheets, etc.).
Business asset information
Be sure to provide details of any asset acquisitions or sales made during the tax year, including documentation connected to the purchase or sale of land, buildings, equipment, business vehicles, etc.
You will be expected to bring all payroll records and other cost of labor documentation.
Bring all records relating to motor vehicle business use, including vehicle maintenance and repair receipts, gas receipts and/or log book of business mileage.
General Business Expenses
Ordinary (common in your trade) and necessary (helpful and appropriate to your trade) business expenses are deductible, so bring receipts and/or other records regarding all other expenses connected with your business, including but certainly not limited to (if applicable):
- Office rental and lease payments
- Utilities (gas, electricity, water)
- Domestic and international travel and accommodations
- Cost of materials
- Shipping costs
- Business insurance
- Equipment purchases and maintenance
- Advertising expenses
- Office supplies
- Computer and software purchases, repairs, and upgrades
- Telephone and internet charges
- Seminars and other educational expenses
- Uniforms or other work clothing not suitable for daily wear
- Home office expenses
- Legal and accounting fees
Remember to also bring your bank, investment and credit card statements, debt instruments, and any other records showing payments and receipts of fees, interest and dividends.
Getting organized and planning for the future
Make sure that you categorize and total all your expenses before your tax meeting, and that you keep your receipts together, so that the professional who is preparing your tax return spends their time minimizing your tax liabilities and not organizing your records.
If you have more than one business be sure to separate the records for each!
You should also become as familiar as you can with the new tax laws by taking the time now to discuss and plan for 2018 with your tax attorney. The tax team at Moskowitz, LLP is devising multiple strategies in light of the new tax laws that may save you and your business a significant amount of money next year. Call our San Francisco office today and meet your tax professional.