Accountants can get frustrated too. One of the things that can make it harder for us to do our jobs is when people leave their tax to the last minute. It’s something we understand completely of course. Running a small business or building a career isn’t easy and worrying about tax is not something you want to have to do when you get home from work or you wake up on the weekend. Regardless, looking after your tax is still a vital part of your financial life. It’s something that has to be factored into your time.
We like to recommend that you make your tax a part of your entire financial year. Instead of waiting for tax time to come around, you can plan ahead and prepare for it so that your tax return doesn’t take you by surprise. The biggest benefit of this is that you’ll be aware of any potential problems or difficulties before they become major issues that can hold up your return or even lead to a tax bill.
We have some recommendations for staying on top of your tax throughout the year, and we think this advice could make your life a good deal easier!
1. Keep track of the important dates
It’s important to know when your BAS statements are due, when you have to to lodge your tax return and when the financial year is over. This kind of information can come from your accountants, but you should have it noted down in your calendar each year. These are some of the most important dates for any business owner, and being aware of them can make all the difference for your level of preparedness.
2. Manage your records efficiently
When the time comes to start working on lodging that ever important tax return, you don’t want to be left scrambling for documents that you put in a shoebox somewhere. Keeping your records will save a fair few headaches down the track, so establish a proper filing system and make sure you keep copies of everything. If you’re not sure whether you need to hold onto a document or receipt, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The ATO never fined anyone for keeping too detailed records!
3. Look after your bookkeeping
This goes hand in hand with good record keeping. You should be working with an experienced bookkeeper for your business, tracking your transactions and cashflow. There's some amazing accounting software available to help you do that. You’ll have options from Xero to MYOB Cloud, but what you choose as your bookkeeping app should be whatever works best for your business. If your bookkeeping software and processes are set up efficiently and correctly, that will be half the battle!
4. Choose a pro-active accountant
You want to make sure that you are able to communicate with your accountant throughout the financial year. An accountant shouldn’t just be a voice on the other end of the phone. You should be able to have regular face to face conversations about your cashflow, the effects of your financial decisions and the state of your superannuation. A good accountant is one that can handle your taxes; a fantastic accountant is one that acts as a trusted partner and advisor. They are ready to invest the time into you that your finances and business demand. Charltons specialises in offering that level of pro-active communication to our clients, and we believe it gives them an advantage.
When your tax is a priority for you throughout the year, you’ll be in a much better position to keep it compliant and carefully managed. If you make sure you follow some of the advice we’ve listed here, you’ll be able to enjoy peace of mind and the knowledge that your tax will be well taken care of.