Lower Tax Bills And Bookkeeping For Small Business
- Author Terry Cartwright
- Published June 8, 2008
- Word count 611
Tax authorities are often relaxed about the need for small business to prepare and produce formal accounting records. Often the requirement is simply that each business retains sufficient financial records to support the accounts submitted.
Such advice from tax authorities places a burden upon small business in that the vast majority are honest hard working people who are meticulous about keeping accounting records of sales made during the financial year. Unfortunately many small businesses are not so meticulous about keeping financial records of business expenses in their accounts.
A typical taxi driver may for instance keep a diary and record the daily receipts from his fares. If those recorded receipts are accurate then the total sales turnover for the year will show the correct total. The same may not be true of expenses and the accounts thereby overstated.
The total business expenses of the taxi driver would mainly include the fuel receipts plus the other running costs of the business. Typically a receipt for fuel will be obtained and kept in a file or shoe box. Some may get mislaid and lost and be missing from the final accounts preparation.
Other receipts for miscellaneous items may not even be retained as forgotten, lost or not thought of at the time of purchase. Examples may be purchase of the diary in which sales records are kept, business cards, other stationery, and cash payments for a whole variety of miscellaneous items.
The same practise is also often applicable to not just taxi drivers but many small businesses. A small business owner may visit a supermarket for groceries and also buy an item of stationery for business use the cost of which is lost when the grocery receipt is discarded. If close attention is paid then the stationery item could have been obtained on a separate receipt and the cost of the journey to purchase it also included in the business expenses.
The stationery item is just one example which could be multiplied hundreds of times with hundreds of different items during the financial year. While each item missed and unrecorded may not be significant the total could well be sufficient to significantly reduce the year end tax burden by lowering the net taxable accounting profit.
Having retained a separate receipt for everything it is useful if the receipts are filed and the bookkeeping system employed updated at least once a month and preferably each week. By updating the accounting records on a regular basis more expenses will be recorded as the memory will remember recent expenses more clearly and accurately.
Another useful method to ensure all business expenses are maximised is to keep a daily diary of all expenses incurred. Use the entries in the diary when updating the bookkeeping records to ensure nothing has been missed in the accounts.
The essential message is to be meticulous about keeping receipts for everything, no matter how small, and recording both income and expenditure on a regular basis so that items are not lost or forgotten and included in the bookkeeping records. By also keeping a diary of financial records even if a receipt has been mislaid the amount should still be included in the accounts. It could be disallowed later if the tax records are enquired into but that is a matter of negotiation with the tax authority from a standpoint where the financial records are correct.
In addition all small business should take some time to review all potential expenditure which can be claimed under the tax rules. Many valid expense items can be missed having been dismissed as ordinary expenses which may be business related and therefore claimable in the financial accounts.
Terry Cartwright, accountant and CEO at DIY Accounting, designs accounting software http://www.diyaccounting.co.uk/smallbusinessaccounting.htm on excel spreadsheets providing complete single and double entry bookkeeping systemshttp://articlebiz.com
There are no posted comments.
- Avoiding the flood — tax issues with water rights in agribusiness
- Social security benefits for a family (COVID-19)
- How to use QuickBooks Component Repair Tool?
- Do you want to reduce your taxes for next year?
- Will you be responsible with your tax refund?
- Getting started with QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll in Brief
- Are DSTs Right For Your 1031 Exchange
- Tax Return Makeovers By Kenya Woodard
- Why have all crypto tax attempts failed?
- Are You a Corporation? Know Why Consulting a Tax Accountant Is Vital
- Share capital or share premium for your Dutch company?
- Everything investors should know about 1031 sponsors
- Why is the income tax so high in UK?
- Should I do my own tax return?
- Get More Money Back on Your Tax Return with help from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
- Don’t Fall Victim to these 3 Tax Scams in 2018
- Find Out If 72(T) Penalty Free Income Is a Solution for You
- 20 Things You Should Know About The New Tax Laws
- 4 Key Reasons Why Payroll Is Necessary Within A Business
- Accounting for doctors and GP's: Basic advice & guidance
- What is Cryptocurrency and Do I Have to Claim it on My Taxes?
- Here's Why Small Businesses Should Tap Bookkeeping Services
- Tax Tips for Teachers 2018
- Tax Extensions in 2017
- What to Do After Filing a Tax Extension
- Budget 2017: How it affects you
- 5 Tips On How to Avoid Scammers This Upcoming Tax Season
- How To Get Your Solar Energy Tax Credit
- The Southbourne Tax Group: 10 Ways to Identify Accounts Payable Fraud
- The Southbourne Tax Group: 20 Ways You Can Detect Fraud