6 Year-end tax tips to help small business owners

The end of the year tends to be a flurry of closing out the books, managing holiday staffing and panicking about the New Year. Most businesses have already dealt changes in the new tax plan, but there are several useful tips from financial experts that can enable owners to enter the new year with a running start.

  1. Go through your books: Look at how your company did this year and measure the crunched numbers against what you expected going in. Also, check with your accountant to make sure that you have all the necessary information for them to start working taxes.
  2. Spend money: It may be possible to spend more money on the business to maximize your deductions. It can be as simple as paying bills before the end of the year, buying equipment or stocking up on office supplies.
  3. Defer income: It may be smart to defer income until after January 1 if it keeps you in a lower tax bracket.
  4. Check inventory: Owners may be able to claim additional deductions if the market value of the inventory is down.
  5. Look at a retirement plan: This is another great way to lower one’s tax obligations. If possible, up your usual amount to the legal maximum to shield that money. If you do not have one, there is still time.
  6. Donate to charity: It is the holidays, so it is the season for giving. Pick non-profits recognized by the IRS in order to best claim that deduction. It need not be cash – it may be possible to reduce inventory while claiming fair market value.

Now is the time to act

Addressing these issues enable owners to tidy things up for the end of the year, but looking at these tips may also point to areas of concern. If things do not look right, it is a good idea to speak with an accountant or even an attorney who understands the business implications of the new tax laws.