S.O.S. My Small Business Missed the Federal Tax Deadline!
April 15. Never has a date instilled such feelings of dread as knowing that the Federal Tax Deadline is here and your small business is not ready.
Have you ever experienced this issue? April 15 is on you. Due to a hectic business schedule, a change in financial reporting or turn over in staff your company is unprepared for the tax reporting deadline…Iceberg ahead! Many small business owners find themselves in this same “Titanic” tax reporting boat each year.
So what should you do? Often the answer results in a mad scramble searching through months of receipts, emails and a lot of overtime hours to get your taxes prepared and at the post office by midnight.
But before hauling out the financial life boats and sending up emergency flares to your tax preparation accountant here is a simple tax checklist that can save you before hitting the tax iceberg of April 15.
Iceberg Ahead! Taxes are Not Due until April 18
Emancipation Day, a Federal Holiday, is on Saturday, April 16,2016. As such government offices will be closed April 15, the 2016 Tax Deadline has been moved to April 18. This change gives tax filers three extra days for filing tax returns and tax extension requests.
Send an S.O.S. to Your Tax Preparer
Hopefully you have already found a tax preparer or tax preparation account to advise you on your 2015 tax preparation review. Many business owners forget that this is the busy season for tax preparers. Schedule an appointment immediately to discuss your company’s tax standing and if a tax extension is possible. Even if you miss the deadline, get with your preparer as soon as possible. Further delays mean more penalty fees.
Don’t Panic, Organize Your Tax Documents
Hopefully your business already has a financial documents filing system in place. Receipts are an important part of the tax preparations and can save you in tax fees. Receipts can include: Medical Expenses (not covered by insurance), Business Operating Expenses and Property Taxes. Any Charitable Contributions above $250 should have a receipt from the organization.
In addition, Bank (and Credit Card) Statements, personal information (social security numbers for you and your dependents, property addresses, etc.) and last year’s tax return. Make sure also that your business financial records system (QuickBooks, Peachtree, Excel, etc.) should be available to your tax preparer.
Brace for Impact
Several 2016 changes to tax laws, tax exemptions and tax forms have business owners scratching their heads when it comes to 2015 business taxes and personal taxes alike. Should you be one of the lucky tax filers receiving a tax refund get with your tax accountant to decide how you want the government to apply your refund for the best benefits.
Read more great tips like these on my CPA blog.