Labor day comes at me like a rush, every year. There’s a corporate tax deadline on the 15th of September to keep me busy and focused … but the truth of the matter is that the beginning of fall means that my team and I start to get real focused now.
Winter is coming. (Which means tax season.)
We’ve been working all summer, getting ready for the ACA implementation, analyzing potential tax law changes, and preparing for ones already in the books.
So it was nice to have the recent long weekend — and, despite the current place of controversy that unions seem to occupy, we’re well-served if we remember the great contribution they’ve provided to our culture.
The entire concept of a “weekend” (and not just one Sabbath/”day of rest”) was brought to us from organized labor. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workweek_and_weekend#History )
And, of course, we have “Labor Day” — the perfect transition into fall. This one started during the time of 7-day workweeks of 12-hour days, in the late 1800’s, as our country was in the throes of the Industrial Revolution. Times have certainly changed since then–and our economy is no longer driven by the manufacturing jobs of the past.
Our economy is now about *knowledge* … and that’s why I take the time each week to inform YOU about the “real world” steps you should be taking with your family’s finances, and how to be prepared for any circumstance.
Including the upcoming tax season — which, as I’m beginning to realize, will be here sooner than any of us think.
So I’ve put together a simple primer on what you should be pulling together, but the BEST way to be prepared is to have a conversation now about proactive strategy to minimize your burden. January through April may be “tax season”, but September-October is “tax planning season”–and to that end, I suggest you call us ((516) 449-2852) and set up a time for a tax planning session.
But regardless, here’s what you need to be making sure you have ready for 2015…
Long Island and Stamford Tax Expert on Making Sure Your 2014 Taxes Are Done Right
“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – Michael C. Maxwell
Believe it or not, now is the time to start making sure that you’ll be ready for a few months from now, when tax time is upon us.
Generally speaking, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return. Individual taxpayers should usually keep the following records and supporting items on their tax returns for at least three years:
• Bills, Credit card and other receipts
• Invoices, Mileage logs
• Canceled, imaged or substitute checks or any other proof of payment
• Any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
You should normally keep records relating to property until at least three years after you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. Examples include…
*A home purchase or improvement
*Stocks and other investments
*Rental property records
New for 2014 taxes: We will need to verify our health insurance during the tax process. I’ll be in touch further, in the future, about what that will require.
If you are a small business owner, you must keep all your employment tax records for at least four years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
Examples of important documents business owners should keep include:
• Gross receipts: Cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, invoices, credit card charge slips and Forms 1099-MISC
• Proof of purchases: Canceled checks, cash register tape receipts, credit card sales slips and invoices
• Expense documents: Canceled checks, cash register tapes, account statements, credit card sales slips, invoices and petty cash slips for small cash payments
• Documents to verify your assets: Purchase and sales invoices, real estate closing statements and canceled checks
Here’s the best part of all of this: By pulling together this information NOW, we can really work our “magic” and ensure that we aren’t simply playing catch-up for you after the fact. That’s what tax planning is all about.
So give us a call this week, and let’s plan out the rest of 2014 and beyond.
Michael J. Kessler, CPA