Incorporate the necessary steps now to prevent common pitfalls
April 10th, 2015
Congratulations! By now, you've probably met with your CPA and made it through another year of tax preparation. For some, this can be a rather stressful time trying to gather a year's worth of information. Looking to avoid some of the pitfalls and stresses that you endured this year? Want to do a better job next year?
Here's the simple answer: Avoid the guesswork at the end of the year by tracking all of your personal and business expenses throughout the year with finance software. At the end of the year, gathering your tax information will be as simple as running a report from the software instead of guesstimating.
Make sure you meet with your CPA in October or November to get a head start on year-end tax planning. Your CPA will look at your books and give you valuable recommendations so you have your ducks in a row come January.
We have a few time-tested tips to make your tax planning easier:
Incorporate electronic software such as Quicken or Quickbooks into your household bookkeeping efforts. This is especially important if you have outside income from property rentals, a small farm or an in-home business (such as a small jewelry business, for example).
Track your charitable contributions throughout the year and do not rely on thank-you letters from organizations.
Remember to track your personal deductions such as mortgage interest, property taxes, and DMV registration fees.
You absolutely should use accounting software. Take the time to learn how to use it properly.
Keep your business and personal expenses separate.
Have dedicated business credit cards and refrain from using your personal cards for business, and vice versa.
If this was a particularly challenging tax preparation year, we recommend breaking down the preparation and meeting with your CPA quarterly. Although we're happy to help clean up your accounting records at the end of the year, you'll see enjoy a greater value from the sound business advice that an expert at Grimbleby Coleman can provide.
Remember - track, track, track all year!
Jeff became a principal of the firm in 2010. His specialty is tax, and he leads the firm's agribusiness industry team.
Jeff is a Modesto native, and grew up in a local farming family. He has an MBA and a Masters in Taxation degree, and is a CPA. Jeff enjoys “being able to explain a concept or communicate information that helps a client, and being able to learn from the experience of clients who are very successful at what they do.”
When he’s not helping clients, Jeff's focus is on spending time with his wife and three daughters. If it’s June, he’s outdoors—probably gardening, grilling, or hiking in the High Sierras. In October, you’ll find him spending time with family and still spending time outside if the weather is nice. But in January … where else would he be but in the office? “It’s tax season!”
Jeff’s favorite number is 2000. “For the year that I got married, and also started my first public accounting job.”