CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESS CLIENTS
THINGS TO BRING TO
YOUR TAX INTERVIEW
- If you need help organizing your business records, I can assign one
of our bookkeepers to complete the task for you.
- If you use your car for business, you should take the year-end
odometer reading now so that you can allocate between business and personal mileage and
expenses. Please fill out a
Summary Sheet for each vehicle used for business. Be prepared to justify your business
auto usage for the IRS. Other assets that need allocation between business and personal
use are home computers, cellular telephones, aircraft, boats, dual-use VCR players and
cameras, country club expenses, and vacation homes.
- If your primary place of business is in your home, your business and
personal home expenses need to be allocated by dividing the exclusive business use square
footage by the total home square footage. Generally, most people who own their homes do
not want to claim the home office deductions after understanding all of the ramifications.
People who rent the homes they live in generally elect to claim home office expenses. We
can discuss this at your tax appointment.
- If you purchased new equipment or autos with a cost of over $500
each, we need to know the date each was acquired and its cost and description in order to
prepare the depreciation schedule. We also need to know if you sold, traded or discarded
any of the items that may have been on your depreciation schedule in prior years.
- All income should be totaled, and all expenses should be broken down
into categories. Meals and entertainment should be in a category by itself because of its
special tax treatment. Be prepared to justify your travel, meals and entertainment
expenses for the IRS. Unless we prepared your financial statements for you, you should
bring in a copy of your balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the year from your
bookkeeping staff or printed from your computerized bookkeeping program. In addition to
the printed reports you could also bring in a back up data disk with last years
information if you use QuickBooks, Quicken or Peachtree software on a Microsoft Windows
- If you paid over $600 to any non-corporate independent contractors in
your business, we will need to prepare 1099 forms for each of them by January 30th
unless you have already filed them. To prepare the 1099s we will need the name, address,
social security number and amount paid to each person who is not on your payroll.
- Calendar year corporation tax returns are due to be filed on or
before March 15. Partnership, limited liability company and sole proprietorship tax
returns are due on or before April 15. Returns that are not completed by 20 days
prior to the filing due date will require an extension of time to file, and any tax due
will need to be paid along with the extension forms.
- Please complete and bring the
Sheet and attached Engagement Letter.
Answer all questions on the Miscellaneous Questions list to save time
during your interview.
- For S corporations, C corporations, limited liability companies, and
limited partnerships, we will need to know when you paid your California franchise tax
(usually $800), and for which tax periods the payments apply.
- New clients should bring last years tax returns.
- Please bring year-end payroll reports and employee W-2 forms (if we
did not prepare them).
- We need year-end lender statements showing interest expense on loans
for: vehicles, equipment, buildings, lines of credit, etc. If the lender did not
calculate the interest expense for you, then bring in your original loan contract and we
can calculate the interest expense.
Please provide the following items if they apply
to your business:
- Year-end credit card statements showing interest paid on unsecured
- Your year-end product inventory balance at cost from your detailed
- Your year-end aged accounts receivable and aged accounts payable
reports if you are using the accrual basis of accounting.
- The business owners health insurance premiums and other fringe
benefit payments separated from disbursements for the companys other employees.
- Details on any company charitable contributions including items
donated and method used to determine value.
- Details on loans to or from the company of cash or other property,
including repayment terms, and interest rates, etc. This would include loans to or from
officers and employees.
- Name, address, social security number and phone number for each of
the companys owners (new clients only).
- A year-end bank reconciliation for the companys business bank
accounts (does not apply to sole proprietors).
- Any IRS or state tax board correspondence you have received.
- A list of questions you may have; any
other projects that may need our assistance.
- Any other documents you feel may be needed or that you want to