Blog Series: Real Tips from Real Accountants: Tax Tips

This year, we plan to provide our valued clients and blog readers with real advice from the real accountants that work here at Holbrook & Manter.

We kick things off with tips from some of our tax team as this new year officially gets underway. These are the folks who have the education and the credentials… who crunch the numbers and constantly follow the everchanging tax laws. Below, they tackle everything from organizing and planning to making estimated payments and extending and amending returns.

Reach out to us with any questions you may have after reading this blog:

Business clients with S Corp and partnerships returns …… please close you books as soon as practical and submit so we can prepare returns on a timely basis. Bringing in returns near deadline time will most likely create extensions beyond April 15th. Our busy season gets more and more compressed each year, so bringing in corporate/partnership returns to prepare in January/February really helps in scheduling and finalizing tax returns. It really should not take 8-10 weeks to close the books for year end. If a client has several entities, bring in return information as it is ready and not all at once (at a later date). We can always hold the completed returns until the client is ready to file, but we just want the work to come in steady throughout busy season. – Brian Ravencraft, Principal

Now is a good time to review your prior year tax return and support documents. Make a list of all the items you expect to receive so when you meet with your tax professional you have a complete file ready to go.– Bryan Davidson, Tax Manager

Now is the time to get a head start on overall tax compliance. Compliance can’t be achieved just at tax time; it is an on-going exercise. It is important to keep a pulse on tax changes and to always communicate with your tax professional. We like to be proactive versus being solely reactive in this space. Overall, keep an open mind as you start tax planning for the new year. – Now is the time to get a head start on overall tax compliance. – Justin Linscott- Principal

Organization is a key part of Holbrook & Manter’s processes when it comes to the preparation of tax returns.  The more organized our clients are during this time, the easier and more seamless the tax season will be for everyone.  We recommend clients spend time reviewing their year-end financials, creating a list of questions they may have regarding the financials, making us aware of any extraordinary events that took place during the tax year, and sending in their 2019 tax information as soon as they can in order to allow adequate time to prepare the returns.  – Jennifer Moore, Senior Accountant

It is very beneficial at the start of the year to do some financial planning.  One of the ways to increase your overall financial picture is to take full advantage of your employer’s 401(K) matching program as well as funding a pre-tax Health Savings account to pay for deductibles and out of pocket medical items.- Bradley Ridge, Managing Principal

Starting in 2018, the tax reform law changed the rules to tax children age 18 or younger (under 24 if a student) unearned income at the ordinary and capital gains rates that apply to trusts.  This resulted in higher tax for many filers.  This has been repealed.   Those that were negatively affected can file amended returns for 2018.  – Linda Fargo- Tax Manager

For our clients who make estimated payments for Federal, State, Local and School District taxes, check bank records from 2019 showing that the checks that were used to pay these items were cashed and to verify the amounts paid. Doing so will aid in the accurate reporting of estimated payments made on 2019 tax returns.- Mark Rhea, Senior Assistant Accountant

Organization. Organization. Organization. In the effort to save costs, take the time to organize and create a summary of revenue and expenses so that your accountant doesn’t have to do that for you. This is also a great time to be get off on the right foot for accounting for 2020. If you developed bad habits in 2019, this is the time to correct those when there is less transactions, ie. If you are a small sole-proprietor who co-mingled personal and business expenses in the same bank account, set up a separate bank account exclusively for your business.- Zac Anderson, Senior Accountant