No matter how you slice it, if you’re a C or an S corporation, September 15 is the last day to file if you have filed an extension.  We’ve been over this time and again, but just like Christmas, even though we know what date it will be here on, there are always some last-minute shoppers.

What can you do?

For starters, be organized.  At the same time, if you are one of the last-minute folks, it will pay you – and save you considerably – if you do a few things before you make that wild-eyed last-minute run to our office…

I find the most frustrating part of filing taxes is trying to corral all the information me and my team need.  Once we’ve got it all assembled, the process is always fairly quick.  What sorts of things do we need to know?  Sure, this is usually stuff that’s “easy” and undoubtedly in the paperwork we’ve already been using, but every year, a few poor souls struggle to make sure all this information is here to use.

  • Social security number(s)
  • Tax ID Number for all corporate entities
  • Any applicable W2s or 1099s for other income (1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-K)
  • Last year’s tax return
  • Other income (self employment income not on a 1099)
  • Retirement account or IRA contributions
  • Student loan interest statement
  • Education costs (form 1098-T)
  • Home mortgage interest expense
  • Charitable donations
  • Checking account information for refund or payment
  • Health Insurance information – including a 1095-A if you bought in the Marketplace

All this assumes that you have the current and correct financial statements and bookkeeping documentation available.  As much as I hate to say it, this late in the year, if you are struggling to put the basics in the above list together, an extension might be the smartest thing you can do until we can all wrap our arms around your company’s finances.

There’s one thing that I always try to stress to clients this time of the year.  If filing taxes frustrates you, take the time to set yourself and your companies up for success in the next year.  Create the bookkeeping and financial systems and documentation that make it easier to file and save you money on the volume of time me and my team spend getting these things straightened out.

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