San Francisco Small Businesses and the Importance of Tax Records

Filed in CPA Blog by on September 17, 2012
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September 17, 2012

Preparing To File Business Taxes

Preparing to file taxes is a difficult task for many people in the San Francisco Bay Area, though San Francisco small business owners often have Tax Preparation needs above and beyond that of most filers.  The complexity of running a small business in California becomes obvious when all the paperwork is laid out at once.  Though it’s true that all businesses are likely to have complex financial records that require a careful accounting at the end of each financial year, Small Business Tax Preparation often includes some additional challenges that aren’t felt by larger businesses or corporate organizations.  Because a small business owner is likely to need some extra attention during tax season, it is advisable that you make an appointment with a top-rated San Francisco CPA Firm experienced in Small Business Tax Preparation as soon as possible.

  • 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.

Making an Accurate Assessment of a San Francisco Small Business’ Tax Records

San Francisco Tax Recordkeeping

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The financial records of a small business in California tend to be complex.  It’s even more true in a highly regulated city like San Francisco or other cities in the San Francisco Bay Area.   Among other things, your Accountant is likely to request that you bring records that might include:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Loan papers (including mortgages)
  • Past tax records
  • Commercial tenancy agreements

Once you have brought together all your tax forms and financial records, you can begin preparing to  pay the current year’s taxes.  Because tax preparation can take some time, an Expert CPA Firm will counsel their clients to begin the process early.  Tax Preparation season in San Francisco is a busy time of year for your Accountant, so schedule a time to meet with them.  Bring all your current financial records with you, along with your past tax forms.  This is especially important if you’ll be working with a new CPA or if you have started your business in the most recent financial year.

The Help You Need on Small Business Record-keeping in the Bay Area

One of the questions that clients in San Francisco most frequently ask their accountants is whether or not it’s a wise choice to do their taxes on their own.  Is the process faster, easier, and more accurate if it’s completed by a professional?  A top San Francisco CPA will tell you honestly that there are advantages and drawbacks to both options.  If you choose to file your tax returns on your own, you can save money and complete the task at a time that suits you.  On the other hand, if your return is long or complex, you might struggle to complete the return on time; there’s also a chance that you’ll leave out deductions you could have taken.  These drawbacks become an even greater consideration when a filer is preparing a return for their small business.

Tips for Future Tax Preparation

Whether you chose to file your business’s taxes on your own or with the help of a top tax professional, you will certainly notice that good record keeping makes the difference between a tax return that is relatively straightforward to prepare and one that isn’t.  Good financial record keeping is important for anyone, though business owners are held to a higher standard; a business tax return that has been poorly prepared is more likely to be the target of an IRS audit.  Being audited is stressful and can arrest your ability to focus on your business, so it’s in your best interest to keep good records.  If you need help maintaining your financial records, talk with your Accountant.  They’ll have excellent advice that will help you get ahead on next year’s Tax Preparation.

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