As the end of the year draws near, it’s time to start thinking about your tax strategy. If you’re a small business owner, there are a few things you can do to reduce your tax bill and maximize your deductions. Planning ahead and doing some year-end housekeeping can help you make the most of any tax break that your business qualifies for. We have identified six smart tax moves to consider before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.
Write Off Bad Debt
The IRS allows you to write off bad (un-collectible) debts before the end of the year and deduct those that are unpaid from your taxable business income. By writing off this debt, you can reduce your company’s tax burden for the current tax year.
Note, that if the customer ends up paying their invoice in the future, you will need to reverse the write-off and declare the payment as income. It’s best to discuss this with your tax advisor to ensure the process is handled properly.
At the end of the fiscal year, businesses can reduce their taxable income by purchasing business equipment, supplies and other assets that will be used in the coming year. If your business is in a good financial position, replenishing office supplies or stocking up on inventory, could give you a larger deduction.
Businesses can choose to prepay for services they will use in the coming year. For example, insurance coverage, subscription services, business rent, association dues and other fixed expenses can be paid in advance, reducing your businesses taxable income for the year.
Small businesses typically use the cash method of accounting, meaning a company recognizes income when cash actually changes hands. This method allows for the option of taking income this year or next year. If you anticipate being in a lower tax bracket next year, you might want to defer income to take advantage of the lower tax rate. Waiting until close to the end of the year to invoice clients will defer income to the next year and lower your current tax bill.
401(k) Plan for Employees
Setting up or contributing to an employee retirement account can reduce your business’s taxable income. Business owners can claim a tax credit for the cost of setting up and administering a 401(k) plan. The potential tax savings are usually more than enough to cover the cost of setting up and funding the plan.
Many businesses give end of the year bonuses to their employees. These not only serve as extra incentive for employees, but they are also commonly tax-deductible for businesses that operate as corporations. You can deduct the cost of any bonuses paid to employees, if the bonus was given as additional compensation for services, not as a business gift – decreasing your overall tax obligation.
Now is the time to start planning your end of the year tax strategy. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to reduce your business’s taxable income and keep more of your hard-earned profits. Taking advantage of these year-end tax planning strategies will aid in minimizing your taxes and help make next tax season a little less taxing.
The small business tax professionals at Motl Accounting are here to ensure that your business is taking full advantage of deductions, write-offs and other tax benefits to end the year right.