We are only a few weeks into 2020. You haven’t even had time to pack away the Christmas tree, yet.
January seems too early to be thinking about anything other than just trying to get into the routine of work again.
However, now is the time to get ready to file your 2019 tax returns. As those tax documents start showing up, pop them into your 2019 tax return file to send to your preparer. You haven’t seen anything yet, and still thinking it’s too soon? Well, the IRS has announced that they are going to open filing for individual 2019 tax returns on January 27, 2020!***
Here are some ways you can prepare to file your 2019 tax returns now:
- Electric Organizers: Instead of filling out your organizer by hand, your tax preparer has probably sent you an electronic organizer. Do your best to fill it in. The organizer will give you a good idea of what documents you need to send to your tax preparer. Still not sure what to do? Use the notes space in the organizer to alert your tax preparer to any questions or concerns you have. If there’s not enough space, send a quick email or call your preparer to get your questions answered.
- EDocuments: Remember the old days of bringing all your tax documents to your accountant in a thick Manila folder? Those went out with floppy discs and ripped-knee jeans. Now, you can scan all your documents then upload them using a secure link that your accountant has sent you. Make sure to keep a copy of your scanned documents for your file. It will save you time and make filing easier. Not sure which documents to send? Send your W2,1099, and 1098 forms to start.
- Remember to send form 1095 – showing 2019 health insurance coverage: This tax form declares the type of health insurance coverage that you have, the period covered and the number of dependents that are covered. (If it is a health plan paid by your employer, it would have the company name and name of the employee.)
- Mileage expenses: If you used your vehicle for business and have recorded the miles used for work, submit the total mileage and your business mileage for the year.
- Business use of the home: If you have a home office, with square footage exclusively used for your business, disclose the total amount of square feet in your home and the square footage of your home office. Be sure to disclose to your preparer expenses used to run your home such as utilities, insurance, security, and/or repairs and maintenance items.
- Charitable contributions: Include an itemized schedule of all your donations to deductible charitable organizations. Any donation of $250+ must have a receipt from the receiving charity to be deductible.
- Your 2018 Tax Return: If this is the first time you have worked with this tax preparer, bring or electronically send last year’s tax return. Your tax preparer will use it when completing this year’s tax return.
Now is the time to prepare for your 2019 taxes. As you receive your tax documents, put them aside. Fill in your electronic organizer. When you’re ready, send your completed organizer and scanned documents to your tax preparer. Please remember to keep copies of your 2019 documents for your records.
A.K. Burton, PC, has experienced tax preparers who prepare and file personal and business tax returns. Our friendly and efficient tax preparation staff can file your taxes and represent you to the IRS, District or state. Call (301) 365-1974 for an appointment. ***See the IRS 2019 Tax Filing information here.
We are almost halfway into 2017. Your small business is doing well and may even be doing better than you had expected. Customers are buying your products, you’re making payroll, you’ve purchased new equipment and you may even be hiring a new employee soon. Business is looking good.
Then, comes the letter in the mail from the IRS.
You owe on your business income taxes! And, it is much more than you thought. You cannot even pay for it right now, even if you put the new equipment and employee on hold.
Now, what do you do?
Don’t panic. It is not the end of your business. There are procedures you can take to resolve it.
Here are Five Steps to Take When You Can’t Pay Your Small Business Taxes:
- Contact the IRS Immediately: Once you get that letter, don’t file it away or stick it in your laptop bag pocket. You may forget it or put it off. The IRS matter never goes away by itself, it just continues to intensify. Even though you can’t pay it now, call the number on the letter and let the IRS know you cannot pay it all by the deadline date. Be honest and open with the IRS official. Document your conversation and create a file where you can put all the documents in, both hard file and computer memory file.
- Pay Whatever You Can: You’ve heard the old saying “Just do what you can.” That works with the IRS, too. Send them a payment of whatever you can, even if it is small amount. That will cut what you do owe down and reduce any fees applicable to the amount you pay. It’s always better to pay something than nothing. The IRS also sees that as a “good faith effort” to pay what you owe,
- Pay in Installments: The IRS may allow you to set up an “Installation Agreement”. This is where you can pay in installments for a certain period of time. Interest and fees may apply but at least you can budget these payments and get it paid off. If you owe 50,000 or less the IRS has a lot of flexibility and will give you up to 36 months. This is a popular way to resolve it, especially for cash-strapped businesses.
- Negotiation in circumstances is Possible: Yes, you read that right. Just because the IRS sent this bill, doesn’t mean you will end up in “debtor’s prison” and life as you know it will end. You may be able to persuade the IRS official to agree to a lower tax debt amount. Believe it or not, the IRS wants this off their books, too. The formal name for this program is the Offer In Compromise. There are set procedures that you have to comply with and you basically have to be insolvent with your financial situation in shambles to qualify. Unfortunately, if you are looking at this option – your business is on the downslide, with the future not looking that bright. That being said you don’t want to be here. The next step down from here is…
- Last Resort: Bankruptcy: Your business is dissolving and you can’t pay the outstanding tax burden. Filing for bankruptcy may be the smartest way to resolve it. This is only for businesses that are closing anyway. Consult a good bankruptcy attorney before taking this action.
The letter from the IRS is not the death knell to your small business. It can cause stress, however, so please don’t panic. You and the IRS want to do the same thing: get it paid off and move on. It can be done! Just take the right steps and keep doing what you and your business do best!
If you need tax advice, both personal and business, please contact our experienced tax and business advisory team at A. K. Burton, PC, for all your personal and small business tax preparation and accounting needs. Visit our website at www.cpa-maryland.com or call us at (301) 365-1974 for more information.