October 14, 2012. Tax procrastinators beware! There are two important dates that should be highlighted on any business’s yearly calendar – April 15th and October 15th. It’s obvious why the April date is important to remember but what’s noteworthy about October 15th? The fall season is the time to start thinking about filing your taxes and the longer you wait to start your tax preparation, the less time you’ll have to do so. Both small businesses and individuals in San Francisco needn’t wait until the last minute. As a top San Francisco CPA firm, Safe Harbor CPAs can help make your taxes easier than ever – but we prefer not to wait until the last minute. We aren’t a last minute tax service as we seek to avoid that. But, either way, reach out to us by email or call 415.742.4249 for a free consult. We can help!
San Franciscans, You Have Plenty of Time – Until April 15, 2013
Business finances can be very complex. Even small businesses and family-owned enterprises in San Francisco will have surprisingly complicated financial records. Compiling all these and double-checking the books is a complex process that requires the attention of a professional accountant, preferably one that has a background in tax preparation. CPA firms, tax preparation services, and other financial service firms in San Francisco are at their busiest from January till April. After the New Year holiday you’ll be just one client among thousands that are looking to hire an accountant. So, in order to give your organization a head start hiring your preferred CPA and to give your accountant plenty of time to work through your records, you should initiate this process around the beginning of October. Even though the long fall and winter months seem like a lot of time, the weeks will pass faster than you think.
Why Tax and Accounting Records Matter in California
All these financial files are required for accurate tax preparation. The forms you submit to the IRS won’t be valid unless you have checked them against your records. Further, accurate records of financial activity will be helpful when itemizing deductions; charitable donations, certain building modifications, and a number of other expenses you’ve incurred over the past financial year can be deducted from your taxes so long as you have the proper receipts and documentation. Thorough and accurate record keeping will also help you avoid an IRS audit and, if you are audited, bring the process to an efficient end.
Getting Ready to File – Federal and California Income Taxes
Bay Area accountants often tell their clients that a considerable amount of time can be spent simply organizing a client’s financial records. San Francisco Bay Area people are busy – this is the area that gave birth to Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and most of the other Internet startups on the planet. If your organization (business or non-profit) has not partnered with an outside CPA firm then you’ll have to rely on the work of your in-house accountants to have all your bookkeeping up to date. If your financial team has been doing their job correctly, then there should be little additional work that needs done before your tax preparer begins their work.
You’ll need to assemble all your most current financial records including bank statements, credit card statements, receipts for business expenses and any deductible expenses, last year’s tax forms, and any other records your accountant requests. Take some time to make certain that these records are ready for examination; you’ll be helping your accountant prepare your taxes more quickly and save yourself some money that would otherwise have been spent paying for the accountant’s time.
Keeping Track of Your Expenses – Business and Personal Expenses and Tax Preparation
Managing finances is as important in the business world as it is in your personal life. Just as you have to keep track of how much money you have on hand, what is in your bank accounts, and what kind of assets you have, your business has to keep track of many different streams of financial information. There is a tradition in the business world of hiring a CPA firm or independent accountant to manage these diverse financial records.
If you put in a little effort throughout the year to keep your financial records up to date, then you’ll have a much easier time when tax preparation season rolls around.
Reach out to us by email or call 415.742.4249 for a free consult.