Real Small Business
Now that fall is upon us, it's time to start thinking about your business's end-of-year reconciliation.
Many small businesses dread it, but your end-of-year reconciliation doesn't need to hurt -- as long as you stay organized. You'll need to get your paperwork together and schedule an appointment with your accountant, who can lead you through some of the financial intricacies. In general, think of this as a time to make sure all your ducks are in a row. Some elements of year-end reconciliation include:
Employee Wages and Taxes
Each quarter, you should have sent the federal government a Form 941-SS, which summarized your employees' wages and withholding. At the end of the year, you will need to send the Social Security Administration a W-2 form showing how much each employee was paid, and how much was withheld. Also, you'll need to send in form W-3, which is a summary of all the W-2 forms. Furthermore, if your state has an income tax, you must send in an annual reconciliation along with copies of the W-2s; you may also have to send in proof that you're covered for workers compensation. Make sure that the information you're sending to the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the state are consistent because these organizations frequently share information with each other.
Income, Expenses, and Taxes
Now is the time to try and get your business the lowest possible tax rate for the upcoming year. Remember, any extra expenses you can take this quarter will offset your income and lower your taxes next year. There are some ways the system can help. For example, bonuses paid to employees by mid-March of next year can be taken as expenses this year -- this is an easy way to shift some expenses. You may also take tax deductions for contributions to employee retirement accounts, non-collectible bad debt, and many capital expenditures.
Preparing for Next Year
Of course, this can all be much easier if you think ahead all year through, so the best time to begin next year's reconciliation is right after you've finished this year's reconciliation. Think how prepared you'll be come next fall!
Copyright © 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
Small Business Guide
- Starting Up Your Business
- Structuring The Business
- Creating a Business Plan
- Your Company's Public Relations
- Effective Competitive Analysis
- Managing Purchasing to Maximize Cash Flow
- Bidding Basics
- Hiring Staff
- Small Business Insurance
- Small Business Resources
- Vacations and Taking Time Off
- Preparing for Tax Season
- Cash Flow
- Your Company's Credit
- Getting Funding
- Employee Compensation