5 Tax Help Tips
Earlier is usually always better and this is especially true when it comes to filing your tax return. The IRS encourages individuals to get an early start on their tax preparation. Not only do you get a faster refund, you also avoid the last-minute rush of tax-filing late comers. What’s more, you decrease your chances of experiencing identity theft or fraud on your return. Read on to get an additional 5 tax help tips to help you get a good jump on your taxes this year.
1.Ensure all your records are accurate and complete.
Things happen throughout the year. You may have worked multiple jobs, gotten married, had a child, changed health insurance, bought a house, etc. Oftentimes, these lifestyle events can mean additional paperwork and tax documents. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your previous year and determine which tax forms you should be expecting and from which parties. These can include W2s, 1099s, Dividend statements, Health Insurance Statements, etc. Also, ensure you are doing your due diligence by keeping up with your business expenses and income. The best way to do this is to have a separate banking account for your business. Try not to mingle your business and personal money.
2.Know which tax forms you need.
Are you planning to itemize deductions? Were you self-employed a portion of the year? Were you enrolled at least half-time in an accredited higher learning facility? Depending on your individual situation, a number of forms may be required to adequately cover your tax liabilities and deductions. Be sure you are using the correct tax forms for your situation.
*You will also need to consider if any additional forms are required for you to submit on behalf of work done for you by another person or company. If so, transfer the tax responsibility of that money to the contractor to report as income and relieve yourself of the burden. Ensure you have each contractor you expect to maintain a working relationship with complete and sign a W9 form. You can download it from the IRS website here. Anytime you pay an affiliate or contractor more than $600 in the calendar year you will want them to complete this form. You may also be required to complete this form from vendors or affiliates. This form goes hand and hand with the form 1099-Misc. For more on form W9 and 1099s see our blog post on working with contractors.
3. Don’t rush the process.
Take your time. Doing your tax return should never be something you complete in a rush. It can often mean a costly mistake. Take the time to ensure you receive all tax documents issued by vendors or affiliates you worked with. This is another reason proper record keeping is crucial. Failing to file all tax forms could result in a tax bill and penalty from the IRS. If you don’t have the patience needed to thoroughly complete your return, it’s best to outsource to a trusted specialist. Hundreds of business owners trust the team at Rise Business Solutions to assist them with this important part of their business.
4. Write off all eligible expenses.
Are you planning to itemize deductions? Have you recorded all your business expenses? Are you aware of all the expenses you are able to itemize?
If you are filing your business along with your personal taxes you will need to include form Schedule C on your tax return. This form allows you to itemize eligible expenses you incurred during the year for your business. The complexity of your tax return at this point is largely determined by the record keeping you completed through the year. Now is the time to deduct as many eligible expenses as you can. If you need assistance reconstructing your expenses for the year contact someone from our team. We are happy to help. What’s more, you can get our FREE Essential Tax Guide for the Self-Employed here.
5. Review your tax return for errors.
The most common errors found on tax returns are social security numbers and math errors. Check these things first. Write your name as it appears on your social security card because all electronically filed returns are matched against the social security administration to validate identity. Taking care of these details prior to sending your return off reduces your chances of hearing from the IRS.
(For our essential tax guide for self-employed click here)
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We hope these 5 tax help tips were valuable to you as you prepare to complete your personal and/or business tax return. If you’ve ever considered selling you business it is extremely important your tax returns are an accurate reflection of your business activity. Hundreds of business owner’s trust Rise Business Solutions with their tax preparation and business brokerage needs. We have a lot more planned for you so be sure to subscribe to our mailing list for more free and valuable business and accounting tips.[activecampaign form=1]
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