Avoid the rush – get prepared for tax time early

There is no doubt that the lives of real estate professionals and franchise owners can sometimes be a little bit hectic. Tax time, is often one such instance where things can get busy and stressful, as business owners rush to meet the looming June 30 deadline. Such instances have the unfortunate capacity to lead to unnecessary panic, oversights and sometimes even penalties and funding shortages.

So why not avoid these problems and get into tax-preparation mode now? You could save yourself a whole load of stress as well as put yourself in position to receive your refund in early July.

As a franchise owner there are a number of simple steps that you can begin taking now to ensure that you're ready for tax time.

The first step that anyone will tell you is to start getting your information and supporting documentation organised. Begin this process by ensuring your financial statements are up-to-date and reconciling all of your accounts.

Also, start gathering receipts, banks statements, loan statements, lease/hire agreements and copies of Business Activity Statements (BAS), ensuring that you put them in a safe, central and memorable place.

It is also a good idea to determine early on what taxes and deductions are applicable to you and your business. This type of information can be acquired through several different sources, including accountancy firms, the Australia Tax Office’s (ATO) official website (http://www.ato.gov.au/) and the ATO’s inquiry line (13 72 26).

At the same time, you should begin preparing evidence to substantiate claims you are intending to make for deductions in your business, including invoices and receipts. Remember, there is always a chance that your franchise could be audited and the ATO requires all businesses to keep financial records for at least five years.

When considering whether to employ a professional accountant, it is important to remember that many professional accountancy costs are themselves tax deductable. 

One of the obvious benefits associated with hiring a specialist is that you can rest assured knowing your business is only paying the amount of tax that is absolutely necessary. In addition, you will put yourself in the best position possible to know what you are owed, where your money is going and how to handle future audits.

At the end of the day tax time certainly does not have to be a complete scrambling nightmare. By actively seeking out information about your business’ tax options and getting yourself organised well in advance, you can move into a new financial year refreshed, with limited hassle and minimised costs.

Posted by George Tarbey on 22/05/2012 at 2:20 PM | Categories:

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