With the tax return filing deadlines behind us, this is an ideal time to think about giving your business a post-tax season tune-up. This will make the next tax return filing season easier and may improve your financial situation. Here are a few key areas to consider analyzing:
Day-to-day accounting: With the rush of preparing for the tax return filing season, on top of the regular hectic pace of running your business, it can be tough to keep your financial records up-to-date. If you fell behind, now is the time to get caught up, before the lag in record keeping hinders your business.
Start by reconciling all of your business accounts, making sure your balances are accurate, and that you are current on your bank deposits and bill payments. By investing some time to make sure your day-to-day accounting is on track, you will have the data you need to evaluate important metrics including your profit and loss statements, annual financial comparisons, and cash flow.
If you feel this would be overwhelming, we can provide you with a service of catching up on these items by one of our trained accounting service specialists.
Your current financial and tax situations: It is time for a mid-year review to ensure your business is on track financially. Now is an ideal time to schedule a mid-year planning session with our firm to discuss your current business financial statements and your operational plans for the rest of the year. You should also plan to address any new business or personal developments that may affect your tax liability this year so we can work with you to lower your tax obligations.
Capital Purchases: As we have discussed before, the state of how to depreciate fixed assets has been in flux. Congress passed a law in December 2014 which renewed provisions for Section 179 expensing and 50% bonus depreciation for 2014, but did not address these provisions for the 2015 tax year. As it stands today, 50% bonus depreciation is no longer available and Section 179 expensing is capped at $25,000 for 2015. This could impact your tax situation for 2015 if your business invests in capital assets. Absent renewal of one or both of these provision for 2015, you will recover those costs over a much longer period than we have seen over the last decade. There is nothing preventing Congress from retroactively extending one or both of these favorable provisions again, but it is not a given.
Adjust estimated tax payments: If you had a large tax liability or a large refund on your 2014 tax return, you may want to revisit your 2015 estimated tax payments and adjust your calculations to avoid owing too much at the end of the year, or leaving your business cash-poor due to overpayment of taxes. As the year progresses, monitor your bottom line and adjust your 2015 tax estimates accordingly.
Employee benefits: If your business has employees, you may wish to consider providing them with enhanced fringe benefits, while your business reaps tax savings as well. Adding pre-tax benefits such as health insurance, group term life insurance, and child care subsidies to an employee’s pay, saves your business money because you are not required to pay the employer’s share of payroll taxes on these forms of reimbursement.
While you are probably glad to have your business tax returns filed for last year, it can be extremely beneficial to fine-tune your business finances and tax situation now, rather than waiting to see where you stand at the end of the year. By being proactive, you can benefit from valuable tax savings and opportunities to improve the accuracy of the financial information that you use to manage your business. Please contact our office with any questions you may have — we are here to help you.