This is a Guest Blog Article from Deborah Sweeney, the CEO of MyCorporation.com:
Though the end of the business year can mean something different to everyone, typically businesses choose to end their business year along with the calendar year in December. So for those truckers that are coming up to the end of their business year, here’s what you have to do to go out with a bang and properly prep for the up and coming tax season:
Keep track of any financial paperwork.
The end of the fiscal year is a time to calculate annual financial statements. This is because, in many jurisdictions, regulatory laws regarding accounting and taxation require reports once a year. The end of the year could also be a time to focus on income tax reporting. Whatever the case, gathering all your paperwork, down to the receipts you acquire while on the road, is a must at the end of the year. And while you’re at it, pay special attention to those receipts to get the deductibles you’ve earned come tax time! Most truckers will find by their second year in the business that it’s just easier to keep all financial paperwork (receipts included) in one folder for easy reference when this time of the year rolls around.
Straighten out what’s considered a travel expense and what’s not.
The IRS defines travel expenses as anything ordinary or necessary to purchase while traveling away from home on behalf of your job. Though keep in mind that “ordinary” might be different for every profession. What’s ordinary to buy on the road for a trucker will not be ordinary to buy on the road for a sales man. As long as what you’re buying is appropriate to your line of work, it can be considered a travel expense. Go over your purchases from the year and make two piles: travel expenses, and not travel expenses. Not only will you need this later for deductibles, but it’s good to look at what you’ve bought throughout the year and learn from those spending habits.
Evaluate your current accountant.
Another good thing to do at the end of the business year is assess how helpful your accountant has been. Truckers are in a unique situation because, typically, only a specialized accountant who knows all about the trucking industry can really benefit them. Though a specialized accountant may cost more money, they could end up saving you a lot in the long run. No matter the industry, everyone wants to pay the least amount of money possible when it comes to dealing with fees and paying taxes. Paying for someone knowledgeable in your profession can be well worth it.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.