You Should Talk To Your Bookkeeper About Taxes
“But it’s not tax season,” I hear you say. No, it isn’t, but that’s the thing about taxes; it’s an ongoing effort. Just because you’ve paid your taxes for last year and they aren’t due for another few months for this year doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be checking in on them. There are reasons why you should check with your bookkeeper about taxes at times other than tax season.
New Tax Regulations
As Dragon Financial, a virtual bookkeeping company in Portland, Oregon, points out, tax regulations change from year to year. This year, there’s a whole new tax form businesses need to worry about. A whole old, tax form, really. The IRS has basically decided to bring back an older tax form to replace a new one that opened up loopholes for tax fraud. The form is the 1099-NEC (non-employee compensation) for declaring expenses paid to subcontractors, freelancers, and other non-employees provided services to your business. You can go to the IRS’s webpage on the subject, but that just tells you the changes. It can be hard to piece together all the ramifications of those changes without someone familiar with the tax codes.
For that, you should speak to a bookkeeper. Here are the times you should definitely schedule one.
1. At the End of the Year
Towards the end of the year, you should be gathering up all of your income and tax data to give to an accountant. You definitely want to speak to one before the year actually ends to make sure you have everything you need. Gather up all you have when you go to the meeting so you can go over it with your bookkeeper. They’ll be able to tell you what you need and put you on track for the proper forms to fill out. This meeting will help get you on track to fill out your tax forms properly.
2. Beginning of the Year
This meeting should be a follow-up. After the year is over, you need to go over any new expenses or income that came after your first meeting. The last couple of weeks of December might seem like a short time, but it only takes a day for a big surprise to change things. After the year has ended and all your income and expenses are locked in, get a follow-up meeting to go over it. Factor the new data in and figure out if anything needs to be changed before you finish filing them.
3. After Tax Season
It’s tempting to want to relax after the taxes are filed. Before you do, you should have one more follow-up meeting. This meeting will be to go over the results of your tax situation. Your accountant can review the results and help you make adjustments to your bookkeeping process that will improve them. They can also go over any new tax codes that might have been passed that you should know about. A short meeting like this can save you a lot of time going forward. Having a general idea of what to expect for the coming year will help you avoid mistakes that will cost time correcting as tax season rolls around the following year.
Don’t Overload Your Bookkeeper
Another good reason for these meetings is to avoid overloading your bookkeeper with work. If you put off meeting with your accountant until the last possible minute, they’ll have a ton of work they need to do in a very short span of time. If you’re not their only client, then you’ll be competing for their time against others. Not only does this stress them out, potentially causing mistakes, it increases the chances of your taxes being filed late. Meeting with your accountant at different times throughout the year lets you space the work out, so there’s less to be done all at once. It makes it easier and faster to get the work done.
Now Is The Time
We’re coming up on the end of the year now. It’s fairly clear what the rest of the year’s income and expenses are going to be like at this point, provided nothing out of the ordinary happens. Going to your bookkeeper now will help you organize all of the data and give you a good idea of what to expect when tax season rolls around. If you haven’t scheduled an appointment already, now is the time. The sooner you get things settled, the sooner you can stop worrying about the IRS.
At least for another few months.