As the year-end approaches, small business owners in Southern New Jersey have a golden opportunity to fine-tune their financial strategies, prepare for the 2024 tax filing deadline, position themselves to save on taxes, and ensure their businesses are as financially healthy as possible as the year draws to a close.
Year-End Tax Planning isn't just about reducing your tax bills; it's also about making sure you're playing by the rules established by the IRS and outlined in the New Jersey State Tax Laws.
In this comprehensive post, we'll dive deep into seven crucial year-end tax considerations to consider and ensure your business is as financially healthy as it possibly can be.
We'll also take the time to break down each year-end tax consideration to show you exactly why each one is essential for business owners in the South Jersey Region to consider.
1. You Should Review Your Business Structure
The legal structure of your business can significantly impact how much you could possibly owe in taxes each year. Whether you're a sole proprietor, involved in a partnership, you’re structured as a Limited Liability Corporation (an LLC), or run a corporation, your choice affects your tax obligations.
Choosing the correct legal structure for your business can significantly impact the growth and profitability of your company - it's as important as picking the right tool to complete the job.
An experienced tax expert can help you determine if your current legal structure is the best option for protecting your business, saving on federal & state taxes, and reducing your overall risk.
2. You Should Have Your Financial Statements Reviewed by a Professional
As an experienced tax professional, we’ve been most successful by starting our engagement with a financial checkup before diving into tax planning. Think of this process as looking at a map or entering the destination into your GPS before starting a long road trip. In our experience, we’ve got to know where you are now (financially) before we begin to figure out where you're going or how we can help you get there.
Your financial statements (your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement) are like vital signs for your business - they help us understand your overall business health.
For most small business owners and accounting professionals, understanding these documents will help when making informed tax decisions, as well as provide a roadmap (or give some direction) when planning for the future of your business.
3. You Should Consider Making Major Equipment Purchases Before the Year Ends
Have you been thinking about buying new computers, office furniture, a new truck, any significant tools or equipment for the shop? Making a major equipment purchase before the year's end can be a savvy move. Doing so can often lead to immediate tax savings through depreciation deductions and bonus depreciation.
This common practice is usually a good cash flow option, keeps your business competitive in the coming months & year by upgrading your work environment or toolsets, and might even open up advantageous financing deals.
Taking the time to chat with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or financial advisor can help you figure out the tax advantages and ensure your end-of-year purchase fits into your overall financial plan.
4. You Should Consider a Strategy to Maximize Business Deductions
When it comes to deducting expenses to lower your tax liability, think of it as finding all the hidden treasures you can deduct, yet still having peace of mind that you’re doing so legally. In order to do this correctly, you simply need to implement a few accounting best practices by keeping excellent financial records and knowing the rules of the tax game.
Deductions can cover a lot of ground, from equipment and home office costs to vehicle expenses, travel, and professional fees. And don't forget about contributions to retirement plans and charitable donations – they can be deductible too!
A good tax pro can help you navigate this maze and help you end up with a healthier bottom line and less tax to pay. This simple approach alone can often support the case for speaking to a tax professional!
5. You Should Consider Deferring Income and Accelerating Expenses
Here's a smart tax strategy – delay your income and speed up your expenses. What does that mean? Well, this approach is a simple process of pushing off recognizing income to the next year and moving up deductible expenses to the current year. When done correctly, it's just a clever way to lower your immediate tax bill, improve your current cash flow situation, and maybe even optimize your tax rates.
To make this work, you'll need to strictly adhere to IRS guidelines, do some planning for the long term, and get some advice from tax experts who can customize the strategy to fit your unique financial goals and current situation. A good tax professional can execute this process flawlessly!
6. You Should Consider Contributing to Retirement Plans
Getting prepared for retirement or securing your financial future is a crucial part of tax planning. Having a solid plan to contribute to your personal retirement accounts not only reduces your current taxable income, but also ensures your financial well-being down the road.
Matching employee contributions to a company retirement plan can also be deductible. When you consider implementing employee friendly policies like this one, you can begin saving money on taxes while keeping your employees happy, retaining good team members, and attracting top talent to your business.
As a business owner, you're not just steering your ship now; you're also the captain of your full retirement journey. So think about it this way, when you contribute to these accounts, you're not just lowering your tax bill; you're investing in peace of mind and financial security for the years to come!
7. You Should Consider Making Charitable Contributions
Hey, don't forget about the feel-good part of your tax plan – charitable contributions! When you add a layer of giving to eligible charities into your tax strategy, you're not only going to experience financial savings, but you’re also going to get a “feel-good” sense of social responsibility. It's like getting a two-for-one deal - save money & feel good about it! By donating to various charities you find worthy, you can claim deductions that lower your taxable income, which means you have less taxes to pay.
Why Not Give To The Needy, Rather Than The Government?
Besides, making charitable contributions to worthy organizations shows you're a socially responsible business, which can ultimately boost your reputation. But just remember to keep meticulous records and make sure your contributions meet IRS guidelines for deductibility. Teaming up with a tax pro can help you get the most out of your charitable giving and make a positive impact on your community!
8. You Should Consider Planning Ahead by Consulting a Tax Professional
In order to be truly successful with year-end tax planning, you should consider working with a tax professional to maximize your chances of success. A proficient tax advisor is like having a trusted partner when you're navigating the complexities of the IRS Federal Tax System and New Jersey Tax Laws.
They don't just save you money; they're also your allies in managing risk and planning for a bright financial future. Their guidance ensures you're ready for whatever the future has in store. It's an investment in expertise that pays off in multiple ways - short-term and long-term!
Year-end tax planning isn't just about saving money; it's about making sure your business sails smoothly through the changing tides of the tax landscape. These seven considerations provide a roadmap for Southern New Jersey's small business owners who want to build a strong financial foundation and chart a course for sustained success in the South Jersey Business Community.
Rich SchwartzRich Schwartz and his CPA firm serve clients throughout Southern New Jersey. Rich has experience working with businesses providing trusted advice, financial solutions, and guidance to help them manage cash flow, plan for the future, and grow their businesses.
Rich has worked with hundreds of businesses across a variety of industries including medical, professional services, financial services, retail, manufacturing, distribution, and real estate. He has the ability to understand the unique challenges facing small business owners and the experience to provide the right solutions.