Time for a summer financial check-up

The lazy days of summer offer a great opportunity for small business owners to take stock of their company’s finances and make any necessary changes to their financial projections, especially their estimated tax payments.

“You don’t want to pay in more than you have to,” Gordon Spoor, a certified public accountant (CPA) in St. Petersburg, Fla. told the Associated Press. Funds used to overpay could be better used within the company. More information about federal estimated tax payments can be found in Internal Revenues Service (IRS) Publication 505. Local and state tax authorities may also be worth consulting, especially if a business has multiple locations.

Other areas to take a closer look at include capital investments and spending, as well as employee benefits. In addition to evaluating capital investments such as current office equipment needs, consider vehicles used for business purposes and the physical location of the business. There are numerous tax benefits available for making a business greener. A more energy efficient vehicle or building may also help reduce regular expenditures on fuel, electricity and other supplies.

When it comes to evaluating employee benefits, especially employee retirement plans, use the following checklist:

  1. Have all eligible employees been identified?
  2. Are all participants receiving their contributions as specified in the plan?
  3. Have contributions been made to employees’ IRAs on a timely basis?

Expanded checklists, including Publication 4284 – SIMPLE IRA Plan Checklist, Publication 4285 – SEP Checklist, and Publication 4286 – SARSEP Checklist, are available from the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

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