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Checklist: Year-End Taxing Planning

September 22, 2010

As the final quarter of 2010 gets underway, now’s the time to do a little planning that could bring a lot of benefit come April. Some things worth considering:

1). Get on your accountant’s calendar now. He or she likely books up early this time of year. The sooner you go over your books and put a plan in place to get everything squared away, the better. (This is especially important when key employees may be taking off on holiday vacations.) The early bird is more likely to catch a tax-break.

Good news: If you’ve been using you won’t need to pull together a shoebox of documents. They are already there for you. In fact, you can give your accountant access and save yourself a trip!

2). Extend your invoice due dates. Consider early January due dates for late-year receivables. Waiting a couple of extra weeks for payment is worth it if it can buy you more time before paying taxes on those funds. Of course, this depends on the type of business you run. As always, confirm with your accountant!

3). Maximize your 2010 deductions. Need a new printer? Delivery truck on the fritz? Now’s a good time to upgrade things that need replacing. Plus, work the other end of the payables equation in your favor, by paying all invoices you receive so they clear by December 31.

4). Find out what the Hire Act of 2010 means to you. Are you planning to hire before the end of the year? Congress enacted new incentives for hiring employees that were previously unemployed. They also extended tax credits for equipment. Be sure to check it out and ask your accountant.

5). Get your 1099’s in order: Regardless of whether the new 1099 requirements remain intact or fizzle, have a plan to get these forms in order. New rules don’t take effect until 2012 but its never too soon to get organized!

6). Scan your stacks: Get all your old bills scanned and filed online for easy access later. With Zen you can scan a bunch in one batch and we'll separate them out, enter the invoice data, and assign to vendors. We’ll even add new vendors to your accounting system automatically if they didn’t exit before (including adding payment address and account numbers). Even if you already paid these bills, it’s easy to get docs into the system and record them as paid. It’s never been so easy to go paperless and save yourself time when it comes to tax prep!

Lastly, reflect. New Years resolutions are not only about ice cream and cigarettes. As you look over your year-end financials, ask yourself: what could you have done differently? Put notes into your calendar to remind yourself at key points in 2011 of things you can do to make for an even smoother year-end experience next year.

Happy New Year (in advance)!

One Comment
  1. Lately It seems more and more common to hear a business owner mention that they are behind on their accounting and need an easy way to get caught up.
    The Zen team is a great way to take a stack of old bills, drop them into a scanner, send them in and let the data entry professionals do the rest with accuracy guaranteed.
    What could take hours can be done in a few minutes! Go Zen!
    Matt McClelland Account Representative

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