September 13, 2012

The Benefits Of Planning Ahead for Tax Deadlines

Finances are a major source of stress in most people’s lives and as tax season edges closer, that stress can increase significantly.  The Tax Deadlines that seemed so far away a few months ago are now rapidly approaching.  Many people in San Francisco have experienced the frustration that comes from struggling to meet the deadline for filing; you’ve probably had this very experience at least once in your life.

Tax Deadlines in the San Francisco Bay Area

Working with a top-rated San Francisco CPA Firm like Safe Harbor CPAs is one of the best things you can do to take charge of your financial life and make certain that you’re prepared for this year’s tax season.  Any CPA or Accountant in San Francisco with experience in Tax Preparation can help make the process of filing state and federal tax returns much simpler.  With their help, you can file your returns on time.

  • Reach out to Safe Harbor CPAs by email for a quick free phone consult on small business and accounting needs.  Or call us at 415.742.4249.

Managing the Filing Process for Taxes

The stress that begins to build at the end of the financial year culminates in paying taxes.  The forms filed represent the income and expenses your household or businesses had over the past year; depending of the size of your household or professional organization, the tax forms you file may be extensive.  Each form of income requires a certain tax form and it can be confusing to navigate your way through your payment options.

  • Sources of income that must be taxed include:
  • Wages, salary, and tips
  • Money earned from rental property
  • A franchise or independently owned business
  • Self-employment
  • Inheritance
  • Profits from farms, ranches, and other agricultural ventures
  • Lottery or gambling winnings
  • Returns on stocks and other investments

As you can see, a person can potentially earn income from many different sources.  Because each source of income is subject to different tax rates, a different form must be completed for each kind of income a person earns.  The entire filing process is made more complicated by the need to itemize expenses.  Itemizing allows a filer to claim deductions on their personal or business tax forms.  Unfortunately, due to the perception that itemizing a tax return is a complex and time-consuming undertaking, many people simply choose not to itemize.  As a result, they end up paying more in taxes than they actually need.

Don’t Put Off Preparing, San Francisco!

Because the process of filing taxes for yourself or for any business you own in the San Francisco Bay Area can be so involved, time is of the essence.  As the filing deadline draws closer, people struggle to file on time.  All this stress can be avoided with some simple preparation.

Good financial management begins with good organization skills.  Ideally, you should keep your financial records organized by type and by year.  This makes it easy to locate any old bank statements or tax forms that you might need.  Organization at this level takes practice to achieve and there’s no better time to begin than tax season.  When you collect your records to show to your San Francisco CPA, make sure you have a filing cabinet where those papers can go when you’re finished.  Any time you receive a receipt after making a tax deductible donation, mark the date clearly and place it in the appropriate folder; the same goes for every other item of financial information you own.

Good organization makes it possible to meet all Tax Deadlines.  Even if your records haven’t been impeccably kept and your filing is delayed, you will still have the option of applying for Tax Extensions; your CPA can tell you more about this process.  Keep in mind that your Tax Extensions also come with a deadline; don’t make procrastination a habit.