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Information You Need for Preparing Business Tax Returns

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Before you begin working on your business taxes or turning your business tax records over to your tax preparer, here are the documents and information you need to gather and record.

1. Business Tax Return from Last Year

You will need your business tax return from the previous tax year. Be sure you know which tax form is appropriate for your business type.

2. Information on Your Accounting Method - Cash vs. Accrual

You will need to know which accounting record you are using - cash or accrual. You can find this information on your Tax ID number application or you can discuss this question with your tax preparer.

3. Tax ID Number (Employer ID Number)

You should have a Tax ID number or Employer ID number (EIN) for your business. If you have employees, the two numbers are the same. You will need this number and the information from the EIN application in order to prepare your taxes.

4. NAICS Classification

You will need to know the NAICS classification for your business, both for the Employer ID Number application and for preparing your business taxes.

5. Balance Sheet as of the End of the Tax Year

You will need to do the accounting to prepare a balance sheet for your business for the end of the tax year. This information is necessary in order to answer some questions on your business tax return.

6. Profit & Loss Statement for the Tax Year

Before you do your business tax return, you will need to complete a P&L (Profit and Loss Statement) for the tax year. This statement itemizes all types of revenue and expenses so you can transfer them to your business tax return.

8. Mileage Records for Standard Deduction or Actual Miles Driven

You will need to collect all the information on your business mileage during the year. Whether you are using the IRS standard mileage deduction or collecting information on actual expenses, all of the information needs to be in place so your mileage expense deduction can be determined.

9. Information on Inventory to Calculate Cost of Goods Sold

To calculate Cost of Goods Sold, you will need information on your beginning inventory, inventory purchased and sold during the year, and inventory remaining at the end of the year.

10. Information on Your Corporation

If you are filing a corporate tax return, you will need information on your corporate start-up, including the date of incorporation and the date the S-Corporation election was made.
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