When it comes to small business finances, checklists are the only way ensure you complete what’s needed and avoid forgetting something that’ll cause you a problem later. Here’s our checklists honed over decades to help get yourself ready and to trigger topics you’d like to bring up during your tax interview. At the end, we’ve added a valuable collection of useful tools you can use throughout the tax filing season and beyond.
Helpful Checklists for Small Businesses & Individuals
- Year-end Business Book Closing Checklist — Properly closing your books for the year means you won’t carry costly number messes into 2024 and your figures are optimized for tax time. Download & complete this checklist before your business’ tax interview to avoid delays from books that just aren’t ready.
- Business Pre-Appointment Checklist — Small business owners should scan through this checklist in advance of their business tax interview in order to have everything needed and to identify new tax areas to bring up during their meeting.
- Individual Pre-Appointment Checklist — Just like the business checklist above, this checklist should be used before your personal tax interview to cover all the areas unique to individual income and deductions. There’s even a space at the end to list out your questions so nothing slips through the cracks.
Useful Tax Tools for 2023
In addition to the checklists above, here’s a great compilation of useful tips for all things related to filing 2023 tax returns:
- Visit your IRS Online Account — The IRS has been expanding the types of information taxpayers can look up on their own, from tax account history, estimated payments made, and more. New this year, they’re even beginning to add business lookup abilities. Activating and using your IRS Online Account can save what in the past would have involved a lot of paper shuffling and phone calling.
- Check your refund status — Return already filed and wondering when to look out for your refund? Visit our Where’s My Refund? post for links to federal and state tax agency lookup pages and be sure to have your tax return on hand to fill-in the prompts.
- Pay your taxes online — Do you owe? We highly recommend you send your payment via the government agency’s website rather than try to mail a check (which can get easily lost, delayed processed, or mis-applied). Key online payment sites include IRS Direct Pay, Maryland individual, District of Columbia individual, Virginia individual, and Pennsylvania. (Related, here are the links for first quarter estimated payments.)
- Secure upload tax documents to your e-Cabinet — Before your tax interview, be sure to have securely uploaded copies of the tax documents you’ve gathered to your personal e-Cabinet to avoid a delayed start or the need to reschedule your tax interview.
- Extend your tax return — All Support and Active Members will have their return extended for them automatically if needed, but other Member levels can still request our team extend your return for you for a nominal price. Alternatively, you can self-file your extensions following the guidance we provide in our Filing Tax Extensions post.
- Protect yourself from Identity Theft — Recently have your identity stolen? Or want to be proactive from someone fraudulently filing a tax return under your name and SSN? You can register with the IRS for an “IP PIN” (Identity Protection PIN) where they physically mail you each January a six-digit code that must be included with an e-filed return using your SSN in order to be accepted by the IRS.
- Cut-off dates — February 23 is the cut-off for the last piece of information to complete S-corp and Partnership returns due on March 15. March 22 is the cut-off for Individual and C-corp returns due April 15. And April 30 is the cut-off for Exempt Organization returns due May 15.
- Up-to-the-minute developments — Any major tax legislation or procedure changes are shared in real-time on our Twitter feed or LinkedIn page, so if you hear that something seems to be going on, or just want to see a rundown of tax developments, be sure to scroll through our feeds for the latest. (Also checkout our summary of key 2023-2024 tax law changes on our blog.)
Making Taxes Easier
The right steps and the right tools make all the difference — And just reach out to our Tax Design Team if you have any questions along the way!