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Conquer Tax Season: A Simple Guide to Small Business Tax Prep


STG Accounting

January 30, 2024

Tax season has officially arrived, and if you’re a small business owner, it’s time to consider filing your business and personal tax returns. Do you know what your accountant needs? What are the tax deadlines you need to be aware of for 2024? Here’s a simple guide to help you conquer tax season:

Your Business Tax Return

When it comes to your business tax return, the first step you need to take is to ensure your 2023 bookkeeping is all wrapped up. This should be a cinch if you’ve kept organized, accurate financial records throughout the year.

Messy financial recordkeeping can make tax time difficult. If that sounds like you, we have some helpful tips in our blog titled “8 Common Bookkeeping Mistakes by Small Businesses.”

Once 2023’s bookkeeping is closed, it’s time to gather your documents. The specific requirements may vary based on the nature of your business, its structure, and applicable tax regulations, but here’s a list of the documents accountants typically need to work on your taxes.

Business Structure Information

  • Details about the legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
  • Any changes in the business structure during the tax year

Financial Statements

  • Income statement (Profit & Loss Statement) that summarizes your revenue, expenses, and profits or losses
  • Balance sheet that provides an overview of your business’s financial position, showing assets, liabilities, and equity

Business Income & Expenses

  • Sales and revenue records
  • Receipts and documentation for deductible business expenses
  • Bank statements and canceled checks

Employee Information

  • Payroll records, including wages, benefits, and taxes withheld
  • Forms for W-2 employees

Vendor & Contractor Information

  • Records of payments made to vendors and contractors
  • Form 1099-MISC for payments to non-employees

Asset & Depreciation Information

  • Details about your business assets, including cost, date acquired, and depreciation records

Tax Identification Numbers

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business
  • Social security numbers for owners and employees

Tax Forms

  • Previous year’s tax return (if applicable)
  • Copies of tax forms received, such as Forms 1099 and W-2

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

  • Documentation of any quarterly estimated tax payments made during the year

Tax Deductions & Credits Information

  • Information on eligible deductions and credits
  • Documentation for any specific tax planning strategies employed

Bank & Credit Card Statements

  • Statements for your business accounts and credit cards

Records of Business Expenses

  • Receipts and documentation for business-related expenses, including travel, meals, and entertainment

Health Insurance Information

  • Details of health insurance coverage provided to employees

Your Personal Tax Return

For your personal tax return, you’ll need to gather information and documents like you do for your business tax returns. Here are the typical items accountants need:

Personal Information

  • Full legal names and social security numbers for you, your spouse, and dependents

Income Documents

  • W-2 forms for wages earned as an employee
  • 1099 forms for other income sources (if applicable), such as freelance work or rental income
  • K-1 forms for income from partnerships, S corporations, trusts, or estates

Business Income & Loss Information

  • Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business) for sole proprietorships
  • Business financial statements, including income statements and balance sheets
  • Documentation of business-related expenses

Investment Income

  • Statements for interest and dividends from bank accounts and investments
  • Records of capital gains or losses from the sale of investments

Real Estate Information

  • Mortgage interest statements (Form 1098) for any owned properties
  • Property tax statements

Retirement Accounts

  • Contributions to and distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, or other retirement plans
  • Form 5498 for IRA contributions

Educational Expenses

  • Records of educational expenses and student loan interest payments

Healthcare Information

  • Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C for health insurance coverage
  • Documentation of medical expenses.

Charitable Contributions

  • Records of charitable donations, including receipts and acknowledgment letters

State & Local Taxes

  • Documentation of state and local income taxes paid.

Homeownership Details

  • Mortgage interest statements (Form 1098) for owned homes.
  • Records of property tax payments.

Previous Tax Returns

  • Copies of the previous year’s federal and state tax returns

Estimated Tax Payments

  • Documentation of any quarterly estimated tax payments made during the year

Key Tax Deadlines

By now, you should have already taken care of your W-2 and 1099-NEC/MISC forms - due by January 31, 2024. Here are two more upcoming deadlines to be aware of:

March 15, 2024

  • S-Corporation Tax Returns (or extensions) Due
  • Partnership Tax Returns (or extensions) Due
  • Multi-Member LLC Tax Returns (or extensions) Due

April 15, 2024

  • Personal and Single Member LLC Tax Returns (or extensions) Due
  • C-Corporation Tax Returns (or extensions) Due
  • Deadline for IRA and HSA Contributions for 2023
  • 1st Quarter 2024 Estimated Tax Payments Due

Our Experts Can Handle Your Taxes

Need help conquering tax season? Contact us today! We also offer tax planning services to help you maximize deductions and savings for next year’s tax returns.

8 Common Bookkeeping Mistakes by Small Businesses


8 Common Bookkeeping Mistakes by Small Businesses

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10 Tax Season Preparation Tips for Small Businesses

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