Tax season is approaching quickly. Wise business owners need to begin preparing for their tax filing now to ensure that all details are managed. Whether your business is a film company, a plumbing company, a boutique, or anything in between, making strategic, timely, and informed decisions regarding your tax returns will benefit you. At Fricke & Associates, LLC, we specialize in helping businesses with their tax returns, including helping minimize tax liability through strategic planning and entity selection.
- Seek Guidance on Entity Selection—With our vast experience helping businesses in a variety of industries, we can help you find the most suitable entity choice. Entity selection is not a one-size-fits-all process so we will help you determine the direction which will be most beneficial to your business. From small businesses filing as a sole proprietorship to film companies filing as S corporations, our professional staff will ensure that all aspects of your tax filing are completed appropriately so you can focus on your important work. Once your entity selection has been made, we can guide you to the right forms and schedules to follow.
- Determine Your Deadline—The entity you have selected will decide which deadline you have to meet. The following entities follow the traditional personal return due date of April 15th: LLC (single member), LLC (multiple members) taxed as a corporation, corporations which end their tax year on December 31st, and sole proprietorships. If your company files as an S Corp, partnership, or LLC (multiple member), you must file by March 15th. When either of the filing dates fall on a weekend or holiday, you have until the next business day.
- Get All of Your Documentation Together and Organized—March and April may seem like they are still far off but getting all your tax return information together is not an overnight process by any means. Regardless of the size of your business, you will have many records and documents to locate before you are ready to file. You must locate all your income and expense records because you must use actual numbers and not your best guess on your return. Accuracy is very important to the IRS. Your income statements and balance sheets are crucial reports to use for filing your tax return. These reports will show important financial information, including your assets, liabilities, equity, income, and expenses. Supporting documentation is vital as well so collect your receipts, bank statements, credit card statements, and payroll records. Having documentation from previous filings and tax payments could be helpful as well. Lastly, make sure that you know your taxpayer identification number.
- Explore Possible Deductions and Credits—Credits and deductions are essential to minimize your tax liability. A few general credits to explore could be disabled access, small employer health insurance, and work opportunity. For the film industry, the State of Georgia offers a Film Tax Incentive for qualifying film companies. In terms of deductions, you may be able to claim a deduction for your travel expenses, home office, business use of your car, debt, and charity contributions. When Fricke & Associates, LLC helps with your return, we can help you find the best opportunities to reduce your tax liability through credits and deductions.
- Avoid Overpaying—Business owners who paid estimated tax payments need to deduct them from their overall tax liability.
- File an Extension if You Need It—Filing for an extension is always a better choice than filing a sloppy or inaccurate tax return. If you already realize that having your documentation together by March or April will be unlikely, ask for assistance to file for your extension.
- Be Prepared if You Cannot Afford Your Tax Liability—The IRS offers a few solutions for business owners who are unable to pay their tax liability in full by the filing date. Explore an IRS installment agreement, offer in compromise, or temporary delay. The team at Fricke & Associates, LLC can support you in determining the best course of action for your business. Even if you cannot pay your full amount by the filing date, you must already have a plan in place by that date for how you plan to pay it.
- Schedule a Visit with Fricke & Associates, P.C.—Once all your documentation has been gathered, we can review your records and return to ensure that you have minimized your tax liability. Our team will make sure that your return is accurate and thorough.
- File that Return—You have the choice of filing electronically or by mail. Advantages of e-filing include the quick confirmation you receive and a more prompt refund. With an electronic filing, you can also make your tax payment using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System provided by the IRS.
March 15th and April 15th will arrive quickly so start preparing right now. Contact Fricke & Associates, LLC to get started today!