Now the holidays are done, vacations are wrapping up – it’s time to get ready for the next big season in business: Tax season! It’s that magical time of year when business owners start dredging through piles of receipts and reports to get their tax returns done correctly.

Unless you are in the financial industry, it’s likely that this is not the most exciting time of the year for you. Even if you outsource your tax preparation, you still have a lot of work to do before April. We’ve put together some quick tips to make tax season a little easier on you.

#1: Start Early

Get started on your taxes now; don’t wait until the last minute. Start talking to your accountant about which deductions you can take. The earlier you start, the more deductions you’ll be able to hunt down. Start getting your records in order to identify any potential trouble areas. The more time you have to track down missing receipts, the easier the process will be.

#2: Get Rid of the Shoebox

If you’re keeping your records in a shoebox (or file box) – it’s time for an upgrade. There are several apps and automation systems designed to make expense and record tracking easier. Try Expensify for your Apple products. A great option for Android users is Smart Receipts. You’re one click away from faster tracking!

#3: Do a Backup

If you do keep your expense reports and records on your computer or in an excel spreadsheet, you’ll want to keep a backup. The last thing you want to deal with is a loss of all your files two weeks before taxes are due. Invest in an external hard drive that you store in a secondary location. You can also store your records on the cloud.

#4: Start Preparing for Next Year

Tax prep for business is a substantial undertaking. The best way to streamline your tax season is to take small steps throughout the year. The longer you wait, the more of a nightmare it can become. Be consistent with your expense tracking and enter them into your accounting system as soon as possible. Keeping regular notes about each of your expenses while their still fresh in your mind will make sure your records are just right.

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