Here’s what you should bring to your business tax preparation appointment:
- Total business miles driven during the tax year with your substantiation log
- Time-usage amounts allocated between business and personal use items such as computers, cell phones, and other electronics; aircraft, boats, or other vehicles; country club expenses, vacation homes, etc.
- Date, cost, and description of any newly acquired equipment or autos for a business or rental property (depreciable property)
- Records of any sales, trades, or abandoned (i.e., junked) items that were on a depreciation schedule in prior years
- Business expenses broken down into categories, including documentation for justification; meals and entertainment must be categorized separate of other expenses because of their special tax treatment
- List of all your assets in acquisition date order, along with your depreciation records. (New clients only—this will be maintained continuously going forward.)
- Copy of your balance sheet and profit-and-loss statement for the year (from your bookkeeping records)
- Records including name, address, social security number or EIN (employer identification number), and all amounts over $600 paid to any non-corporate independent contractors, attorneys, or accountants. (This information is for Forms 1099 that applicable businesses must receive by January 30th, unless they have already been filed.)
- Copy of your prior three years’ tax returns (new clients only)
- Year-end payroll reports and employee W-2s
- Year-end lender statements showing interest expense on loans for vehicles, equipment, buildings, lines of credit, etc. (If the lender did not calculate the interest expense for you, please bring your original loan contract, and we will calculate it for you.)
- Year-end credit card statements showing interest paid on unsecured business expenses
- Year-end product inventory balance at cost from your detailed inventory count (if applicable)
- Year-end aged accounts receivable and accounts payable reports if you are using the accrual basis of accounting
- The business owner’s health insurance premiums and other fringe benefit payments separated from disbursements for the company’s other employees
- Details on company charitable contributions, including specific items donated and the method used to determine the value
- Details of cash or other property loans to or from the company, including repayment terms, interest rates, etc. This includes loans to or from officers and employees.
- Name, address, social security number, and phone number for each of the company’s owners (new clients only)
- Year-end bank reconciliation for the company’s business bank accounts (does not apply to sole proprietors)
- Any IRS or state Dept. of Revenue correspondence you have received
- A list of questions you may have or any other projects for which you need assistance
- Any other documents you feel may be needed or that you want to discuss
Remember: Calendar-year corporations must file by April 15th.
Note: Calendar-year corporations (including both C and S), partnerships, and LLCs must file extended tax returns by September 15th. Sole proprietors still have until October 15th.
Note: Most of the items above are easier to collect than you may think. In fact, many of them will come to you in envelopes marked with “Important Tax Document Enclosed”.