Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Closing up the books, locating everything you need to send to the IRS and maybe just a little bit of panic setting in. It’s a new year, and that means there are probably new changes to tax laws and everything else associated with running a business, both on the state and federal level. And there is new leadership in the White House so that can also mean changes coming down the road. A busy and sometimes confusing time for a business.

Here are a few items to keep in mind during this tax season:

Hire a Pro:

If you don’t read anything else here, read this; hire a professional to help you. There comes a point in your life when you have to focus on your strengths and push off your weaknesses. And for many small businesses and their owners, preparing taxes is a weakness. And guess what? That’s alright.  You don’t have to be great at everything. Hire a bookkeeper to keep you on track all year long and have a CPA prepare your taxes. Every year there are many changes including what you can depreciate and deduct, tax credits, deadlines, social security and healthcare regulations and changes in corporate tax rates. It’s enough to drive you crazy so let your CPA guide you.

Stay On Track During The Year:

There are a number of great resources out there for a small business. And while you do need a CPA to prepare your taxes and other documents, the more you can be ready for them, the easier it will be for them to help you. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a number of valuable resources on their website as well as the IRS. Use these resource to guide you throughout the year and it will make your life easier when you do need to file your returns.

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/filing-paying-taxes

Check Your Receivables:

Many of you have asked over the years: Can I write off my unpaid invoices? The short answer is yes you can. And you can still continue to try and resolve those debts with your customer after the fact. But that’s where good record keeping comes into play. And that’s where your bookkeeper and CPA will advise you on the best way to handle that. This is a good time of the year to go through your books and update your past receivables and make a renewed effort to get those unpaid invoices resolved.

It’s a new year and many of us are ready to make this better than the last year. But don’t let bookkeeping and taxes drag you down. Stay updated, get the proper help, and you’ll have more time to run and grow your business and spend less time on confusing numbers and regulations.