2022 Year End Accounting Checklist for Accountants, Bookkeepers & Tax Preparers
As the end of the tax year approaches and the deadline for filing taxes close up on American Taxpayers, they must start planning their tax returns. To do so accurately, taxpayers must gather all their accounts and documents containing information regarding transactions carried out throughout the year. Doing this will allow you to maximize your tax returns and lower your tax bills, therefore ensuring that you are not entitled to fines for inaccurately reporting your finances. Let us cover all the practices you must abide by, by listing them in the form of several checklists.
Year-end Balance Sheet checklist:
- Balance your assets and liabilities:
You must balance your assets and liabilities before you file your taxes. To ensure that your balance sheet checklist is in order, perform a reconciliation of all bank statements, including credit card, cash, and loan accounts, by the end of the year. It would be best if you accounted for all the ins and outs of your bank account, and business expenses, including the ones that are yet to be processed. It is also essential for your business, in case you carry out business on an accrual basis, that all accounts payable and invoices raised for customers be documented.
- Capitalize fixed assets: It is important for taxpayers to ensure that they capitalize on all their fixed assets following the capitalization policy that applies to them. The expenses that fixed assets are capitalized properly and tax returns are maximized, account for expenses such as
- The acquisition price
- Any commission paid for the acquisition
- Legal fees, survey costs
- Unpaid taxes for the asset and the cost of removing unwanted elements from the asset
- Cost of repairing and maintenance of the property under consideration
- Enforce appropriate accounting practices: Ensuring that no transaction is documented twice in the books and accounting for all loan premiums correctly will ensure an accurate representation of a company's finances, ensuring that you clear your tax bills well within the deadline and maximize your tax returns
- Ensure that bad debts are accounted for: To ensure that taxpayers do not end up paying taxes for income that they are yet to receive or about to write off as bad debt, they must also check out the accounts receivable aging. You must report the lousy debt your business has incurred, write it off, or send the debt details to a collection agency before you file your tax returns.
- Balance out loans: You need to ensure that your loans are in line with your balance sheet and that you have mentioned all applicable interests and premiums as expenses while filing your tax returns.
- Report all the pending payments: If you run your business mostly on cash, it is important that you enter the checks that are written in December but are yet to be cleared before you file for tax returns. However, if your accounting is done on an accrual basis, you should account for all the payable accounts and customer invoices. This ensures that all your expenses and income in a year are accounted for.
- Miscellaneous: Record your outstanding PPP loan, and ensure that an accurate balance is established between your payroll liabilities, as well as December Sales taxes and the payments you make in January. While calculating the tax returns you are entitled to, you must remember to account for your receivable Employee Retention credits.
- Ensure appropriate accounting of revenues: Make sure that your revenue accounts are in line, and check for any negative revenues that need to be documented in the individual business expense accounts. One must also consider whether they must be accounted for as a discount or cost of goods sold. You must also account for any grant, income, or receipts related to Covid-19, as they are tax-exempt on all levels.
- Compare your new statement with the old ones: You must compare the old profit and loss statements to the current one to ensure that they are accurate and the ratios are balanced. It would help if you also compared the cost of goods sold for the current year and different months within the year with older ones to ensure that they are reasonable. Calculate business expenses as a percentage of the revenue and observe if the percentages seem somewhat comparable. If they vary vastly, you must check your calculations or your cash flow for errors. A comparison of statements can help you detect anomalies, that can help you obtain the tax returns you are eligible for.
- Miscellaneous: While closing your books, you must remember that a purchase expense over $2,500 counts as a fixed asset. If you buy three pieces of equipment, and none are individually worth over $2,500, they still count as expenses. It is also suggested that you skim through your uncategorized and miscellaneous incomes and expenses to code them appropriately unless they are minuscule enough to be ignored.
- Review your charitable donations: You need to review your sponsorships and promotional expenses and categorize them under advertisement expenses, as they are not charitable deductions. Only when you donate to a qualifying NGO can you mention your donations as a deductible while filing your taxes. You cannot list advertisement expenses, considered business expenses, as tax-deductible!
- Handle your forms correctly: Gather all the 1099 forms you have received, and compare the amount mentioned on them, with your revenue accounts. In case there are vendors that are eligible for a 1099 from you, make sure that you have a 1099-S. Get your W-2s and W-3s that are to be copied and sent to your Social Security Administrator, and employees.
- Back your data up, off the grid: If you use accounting software to calculate and file your taxes, it would be wise to back up your data off the internet if you still need to back up your data throughout the year. Losing your account data can be a big issue if you have yet to file your tax returns.
- Set up a closing account password: If your accounting software requires you to close your accounts manually, you must set a closing account password to ensure that your previous year's records and revenue accounts cannot be modified without authorization.
- Retain your documents for the future: It is a good practice to retain a digital and a physical copy of all your documents related to income and expenses so that you can refer to them if clarification is needed. Filing amended tax returns also becomes more convenient for taxpayers if they retain digital copies of their documents.
It is suggested that you follow these checklists, to ensure that everything is accounted for and that you are not missing out on possible deductions or tax returns. If you fail to report an income, that you have not recorded in your books either, you might have to pay penalty charges to the IRS as well. Therefore, it is very important for you to close your financial books accurately. However, you can take this burden off your shoulder by hiring professionals to handle your accounts. NSKT Global specializes in providing accounting and tax services to its clients. NSKT Global houses a skilled and experienced workforce, guaranteed to perform accurate accounting and tax filing practices for their clients. Click here, and learn how you could benefit by letting NSKT Global handle your taxes and accounting!