December 27, 2011

Tips for Preparing Your Business Financially for the New Year

Happy post-holidays! We at Outright hope that you had the best winter holiday possible and, of course, that you got everything that you wanted.

But everything good must come to an end, and that includes hanging back and relaxing. Now it’s time for all of us to get ready for the New Year. More specifically, it’s time to get ready for all the tax time madness that’s soon to come.

To help you out, we’ve prepared a few tips to help you and your business ease into 2012.

Inventory

When do you usually take inventory? If you do it when it’s tax time, you’re more than likely misrepresenting yourself. For tax purposes, you want to record what you had at the end of the year, not what you have in April. This is because the taxes are for 2011, and you may have amassed some material in the beginning months of 2012.

Instead of writing items down to take inventory, consider taking pictures of everything. This way you can also visualize your stock instead of merely trying to organize a spreadsheet months from now.

Pictures

Speaking of pictures, snap a few photos of your home office or workspace at the end of the year. There are several deductions you can take if the space you work in qualifies as a home office for tax purposes, and these can add up to some big savings in April. Some of these deductions include phone bills, office furniture, and even a portion of rent/mortgage.

The pictures will help not only prove you own what you say, it can also help your tax preparer find even more deductions for you to use.

Get Rid of Some Money

I don’t mean just throw it out the door (unless I’m in the neighborhood, then go ahead). But there are special deductions for 2011 that can help you out if you can risk the extra expenditure.

For instance, there’s the Section 179 deduction. It allows small businesses to expense up to $500,000 in equipment purchases made in 2011. Did you have any big equipment purchases you were considering? See if you can buy them up in the last minutes of this year to get the deduction.

And of course there’s always charity, arguably a better use of your money. You don’t always have to give money, though. If you’re looking to buy new inventory, your old and unused inventory would make a good charitable donation. It can lead to some nice deductions on your taxes. Keep in mind, though, once you donate over $500 worth of goods, the rules and requirements get tougher.

Outright

In order to get a good read on your taxes before you actually file your taxes, take a gander at your Outright account. There, you can get a good idea what you may owe in taxes and if you should take action to get additional deductions. With a little foresight and planning you’ll be in good shape come April!

About the Author:
Laura Messerschmitt is the Vice President of Marketing at Outright, a free online accounting software for small businesses. She loves helping the self-employed and small businesses to be more successful and grow their businesses.

2 comments:

Laura Trevey said...

Great tips for tax time!!

Kendra said...

Extremely helpful! I hadn't thought about recording my inventory right now, and I will definitely do so. Thank you!