Ding! Ding! The bell has rung and we’re officially into the 4th quarter of 2021. As a business owner, I’m sure your head is swimming with questions and ideas and concerns to address before the end of the year. Should I have done this? Can I still do this? How will this affect my taxes? Take a deep breath, grab a cup of tea, and keep reading because I’ve got you covered. Here’s a simple checklist to help you wrap up your businesses’ compliance and legal responsibilities for 2021.
1) Review your bookkeeping -- how did Q1 - Q3 go? What are your Q4 2021 goals and are you on target to hit them? If not, what pivot will be required to do so? Bookkeeping not up to date? Now is the time. If you're struggling with it, connect with your bookkeeping or accountant now for catch up bookkeeping, cleanup bookkeeping or training to make sure you're prepared for tax time. It often costs you 25% more to do catch up or cleanup bookkeeping during tax season, so time is of the essence.
2) Schedule a tax planning call with your accountant. If you haven't already talked to your accountant this year, what are you waiting for? ALL SEASON IS TAX SEASON. Connecting with your accountant during the year can save you thousands of dollars, and prevent many restless nights. Talking about 2021, in 2022 during your tax appointment, is too late. Get a call on the calendar now and get some tax planning done to reduce your tax burden and eliminate tax-time surprises.
3) Schedule some time off over the holidays. We all need to reflect, regroup, recharge and reboot. Put the time on your calendar now so that it doesn't become a last-minute thing. You're more likely to adjust your schedule to get important tasks done early so you can enjoy a break, when you're actively planning for a break.
4) Review retirement contributions. Do you contribute to an IRA? Want to contribute? Now's a great time to revisit contributions and assess if there's room to increase (or start a retirement savings plan).
5) Check if your estimated tax payments are on track. The 4th and final estimated tax payment for tax year 2021 is due on January 15th. If you've paid estimated tax payments according to your tax vouchers (or haven't paid them at all), now's a great time to assess if you're on track to cover your full tax liability. Hint: Your accountant can help with that :) But the sooner you reach out, the better, so that you still have time to plan if you'll need extra funds.
Don’t get overwhelmed with this checklist -- the past two years have been overwhelming enough! We’re happy to evaluate your business, its performance over the past 3 years and the tax-saving strategies that would benefit you the most. Let us help you stay sane, and save your cents and sense.