Frequently Asked Questions
What records should I keep?
You need to keep track of business records to file taxes, measure profitability, and secure funds. Not to mention, you should always keep records handy in case of an audit. Examples include Business tax returns, financial statements, and bank statements. An accountant can tell you which records your business needs.
How should I prepare for tax season?
To make tax season a breeze for both you and your accountant, ask your accountant what information you need to gather for them ahead of time. And, ask them how you can better organize your records to make tax filing easier (e.g., using accounting software). The more organized your records are, the less time it will take your accountant to prepare the tax forms.
What business expenses can I deduct?
Ask your accountant which business tax deductions you’re eligible for. Your accountant can help you iron out which ones to take advantage of and how to claim them.
Here are a few business tax deductions that you may be eligible for:
- Home office expenses
- Business use of car
- Business travel
When should I pay estimated taxes?
As a business owner, you may be responsible for paying estimated taxes. Estimated tax is a method that individuals use to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding taxes. Talk to your accountant about estimated taxes and whether or not you need to pay them each quarter. Your accountant can file and remit estimated taxes for you.
How can I better manage my cash flow?
Your accountant can help you understand your cash flow, pinpoint and analyze problems, and establish a plan to improve it. Plus, your accountant can help you come up with a cash flow projection to plan and manage for the future.
What is my break-even point?
Your break-even point occurs when your total sales equal your total expenses. When you break even, you’re finally making enough to cover your operating costs. Your break-even point is essential for pricing your products and/or services. It can help you set a budget, control costs, and decide on a pricing strategy. Your accountant can use your financial records to calculate what your business’s break-even point is. By knowing your point, you can determine if your company is making a profit, losing money, or just breaking even.
What changes could I make?
Accountants are financial and tax experts. They know which opportunities best promote growth and those from which you need to steer clear. Your accountant can track your financial progress and see what’s holding your business back (e.g., overspending on XYZ). And, they can help you project your cash flow so you can better plan for future expenses and opportunities.
How should I structure my business?
Choosing a business structure is one of the first steps you take when you start your business. And, there are pros and cons to each type of business structure. An accountant can point you in the right direction.
Do I have employees or contractors?
A huge responsibility of becoming an employer is classifying your employees. Is your new worker an employee or an independent contractor? Misclassifying your workers could lead to tax problems and penalties. Asking your accountant for assistance can help you avoid worker misclassification issues.
What are my financing options?
To grow your business, you may need additional funds to take on larger projects. Your accountant can help you sort out the best small business financing options.
Some funding options include:
- Business development grants
- Business credit cards
What are my tax obligations?
Depending on your business, you may need to file and remit:
- Corporate income taxes
- Personal income taxes
- Payroll taxes
- Employment taxes
- Sales taxes
- Excise taxes
- Self-employment taxes
- Estimated taxes
Talk with your accountant to figure out which taxes apply to you and your business. And, discuss the process of filing and remitting your taxes (e.g., when they are due, what forms to use, etc.).