7 tips that will have you tackling tax time like a pro

self employed woman doing her paperwork

With a number of different tax penalties and interest charges in place, filing late tax returns as a business owner can be costly. Late penalties can be avoided with good planning. 

To make sure you meet the tax deadline on time this year [and every year going forward], you want to set up a system to keep you organised, so you have your tax documents in order early on.

Here are 7 tips to help speed up the tax time process with ease and set you up for success.

1. Put all the key dates related to tax requirements in your diary now so you know when you need to plan to be prepared.

2. Consider a good small business software accounting package. Using an online electronic filing system will help you keep track of what’s coming in, and out, and keep the accountant costs down. Plus providers tend to offer a good range of support resources to help make things easy to understand.

3. Use good supporting tools. There are so many free or inexpensive tools you can now use to organise and auto-code all your day-to-day business transactions – like apps for receipt scanning and coding. If you can get in the habit of record as you go it will leave you with a whole lot less work to do when the time comes to provide the paperwork.

4. Lock away at least an hour a week in your diary to specifically review your accounts to make sure things are on track, and to update your records. Treat yourself with the same respect you’d offer your clients and always keep the appointment. 

5. Many first-time business owners are hands on in every part of the business, but tax planning and preparation might be one area to leave to a professional. A final check by a tax expert is a stress reducing way to know everything is done correctly, that you are fully compliant and that you have all the deductions you are due.

6. Get yourself up to speed on what’s what. Even if you do plan on using an accountant you ideally want to understand what they do and the basics of how tax works for your business. You can start by reading through the online information available from the Government and you might consider attending one of their tax essentials workshops  in your area.

7. Set yourself on course for that final step towards preparation by setting up the appointment you will need to take all your tax return information to your accountant now. Then prepare to meet it. Having that in your mind as a non-negotiable appointment will keep you on time, ahead of time.

It may sound a little time consuming and overwhelming to regularly record all of your business transactions but the forward planning is a sure way to make tax time a lot more efficient and pain free, and that means you can focus more on running your business!

If you're a small business owner and looking for a home loan, Pepper Money Alt Doc loans could be an option for you. To find out more about our home loan for self-employed, talk to us on 13 73 77 or speak to an accredited Pepper Money broker. 

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