Get Your Financial Books in Order
Before you decide to make any last minute tax moves, you’ll need to know your business’ financial picture for the year. If you haven’t done so already, take charge of your books to determine what you’ve made and what you’ve spent in 2012. Whether you’re a solo freelancer with a box of paper receipts or a business owner with a bookkeeper on payroll, you’ve got to get a handle of your business’ profit and loss before you can do anything else.
Assess Your Tax Strategies
If, after organizing your books, you find yourself with a larger than expected profit, you may want to consider any major purchases you should make while it’s still 2012, particularly because, as of now, the Section 179 deduction limits are set to plummet in 2013.
In addition, if you haven’t already set up a retirement plan, you have until Dec. 31 to sign the paperwork with a financial institution to create a plan. Then you have until the extended due date of the 2012 income tax return to make tax-deductible contributions for the year.
Look at Your Estimated Tax Payments for 2012
Once you have a firm grasp of your business’ profitability for the year, you should assess the estimated tax payments you’ve already made, and then plan for your final payment (due Jan. 15), accordingly.
Hold an Annual Meeting for Your LLC or Corporation
If you’re operating your business as an LLC or corporation, you’re required to hold an annual meeting for your shareholders (corp.) or members (LLC). Don’t overlook these administrative requirements – if you’ve gone through the work to incorporate your business, you want to keep it in good standing.
Check if You Need to File Your Annual Report
The annual report is another admin formality required to keep your corporation or LLC in compliance. Depending on the state where you incorporated, you may be required to file a report once per year or every two years, due either on the calendar year (i.e. by Dec. 31) or on your date of incorporation. The bottom line? Make sure you know your annual report obligations and deadlines, and don’t be late.
Verify Your 1099/W2 information
If you have vendors and/or employees, this is the time to make sure your records are up to date. Put together a list (or update it) of all the vendors/contractors to whom you’ll be giving a 1099 for 2012. Make sure you have current mailing addresses and correct federal ID numbers. Likewise, if you have employees, update your records for current addresses, names, marital status, etc.
Close an Inactive Business
If you have an inactive business (and don’t plan to revive it back online next year), you should formally close it by filing an “Articles of Dissolution” or “Certificate of Termination” document (if it was operating as an Inc. or LLC). Until you actually file this paperwork with the state, you’ll still be on the hook for an annual report, fees, tax returns, etc. For this reason, you should definitely take the time to close your business within 2012, so you’ll be free from any financial or administrative responsibilities next year.
Touch Base With Your Best Customers
Your business would be nowhere if it weren’t for your customers or clients. In the midst of preparing your year-end tax reporting and evaluating your business’ cash flow, make time to personally contact your best clients or customers. The end of the year is an ideal time to show your customers how much you appreciate their business, as well as find new ways you can serve them even better next year.
How are you preparing your business for the end of the year?
This month is a busy month for all of us , but set aside some time to take care of your business!
Another to-do for your holiday list: incorporating your business. Give yourself the gift of protected personal assets for 2013. Corpnet can advise you on the best corporation for your business type. Contact us today for a free business consultation.
We work in all 50 states and our services are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our goal is to make everything easy for you so that you can focus on what you do best – running your business-even if that means shutting your current one and moving onto your next new venture!
Reach out to us anytime with any questions as your business is our priority!
Nellie Akalp is the CEO of CorpNet.com, an online legal document filing service, where she helps entrepreneurs incorporate or form an LLC for their new businesses. Connect with Nellie on Twitter or visit her free resource center.
Editor’s Note: Orignial content written by Nellie Akalp for Mashable.com. Re-printed with permission from Nellie Akalp.