03 Dec 2013

December? How did we get here so quickly?

Hoo boy, time flies when you’re taking care of business … cue up the Bachman Turner Overdrive song!

This month always seems to be over before we know it. There’s the office Christmas party, festive nights with friends, family and neighbours, and then the holiday stretch where not much really gets done.

We should, however, be spending a few moments making sure we’re ready for year-end.

We should be thinking about getting everything organized for the 2014 tax deadlines.

For some business owners, though, there’s a lot more to think about than piling all your receipts together.

Let’s get all your ducks in a row.

Get your small business ready for tax season

If you’re checking your business scoreboard, you should have a pretty good idea of how the checks and balances are … well … balancing out.

With the right strategy, you should be in pretty good shape. You can still take some steps to make the tax season easier on your schedule and your bank account.

Donate to charity

Tis the season to be festive … and to give. You have many opportunities to donate to charitable or political organizations in your business’s name and earn a tax deduction or credit.

Buy capital assets

You might be planning to add some equipment to your business operations. If it’s feasible, make that purchase now to take advantage of your capital cost allowance.

Pay out your family

If any family members pitch in with the business, their salaries reduce your income, which could lower your tax rates. Remember all salary must be reported on T4 slips, which are due before Feb. 28, 2014.

Top off your RRSP

If you haven’t already maximized your RRSP contributions, now is a good time. The total amount of your annual contribution can be deducted from your income — a terrific tax deduction.

Check your business expenses

If you are paying attention to your scoreboard, you should have a pretty good idea of how much you’ve already spent this year on business expenses. If you think that total might be a little low and you have some cash on hand, buy the things you need to increase your expenses and lower your tax bill. Think about office supplies or marketing!

Go to school

You might think you need to brush up on your business acumen or improve your skills. Plan to take a course in the new year but pay your tuition now to count your education tax credit against your 2013 taxes.

Hunt down non-paying clients

You have to do your very best to avoid accumulating bad debt. And you have to prove to the Canada Revenue Agency that you did. Do everything you can to collect on outstanding invoices … that extra cash might come in handy this time of year, too.

Throw a Christmas party

Your costs for hosting a Christmas party can be deductible. We’ll have more on that on Thursday!

Here to help

A1 Accounting, a Calgary accounting and bookkeeping firm, is here to assist you with your taxes and planning. We specialize in personal taxes and small-business accounting and financial services. Contact one of our tax specialists and we can help you optimize the tax benefits and credits available to self-employed individuals and small businesses.

Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 403-226-8297.