Small Business Taxes Checklist 2012

Staying organized always makes doing a difficult and detailed task that much easier. And with a task like doing your taxes, staying organized can often in itself become a huge ordeal. But just like going out of town or heading to the grocery store when there’s nothing in the cabinet, making a checklist can keep you from forgetting something crucial.

But what do you include on a tax checklist? When there’s so much to consider, it’s hard to know where to even start. Breaking things down into a few subgroups can make a huge difference, though. Like  this…

Personal and Income Info

Some of the most basic info you’ll need for your taxes is personal and income info. Even the simplest tax form out there will require this. This includes:

-        Social Security Number

-        Dependent information

-        Birth Dates

-        W2 Info, for you and other family members

But that’s certainly not the end. Income info can also cover info and forms like:

-        Any 1099 info, including the new 1099-K form

-        Unemployment

-        Alimony received

-        Rental property income and expense

-        Social Security benefits (SSA-1099)

-        Sale of property info


Adjustments are anything that changes the amount of your income that is taxed. This can either increase your refund or drastically alter the amount you owe to the IRS. Adjustments include:

-        Student loan interest

-        Moving expenses

-        Alimony

-        Energy credits

-        Educator expenses

-        Self-employment payments like health insurance and pension plans

Itemized Deductions

Sometimes the standard deduction on your taxes covers more than itemizing. However, sometimes – and especially for sellers who made a lot of profit – this isn’t the case, and you need to itemize. Itemized deductions include:

-        All business expenses (include receipts! Stay tuned for "Common Tax Deductions for Online Sellers")

-        Child care costs (depending on status)

-        Education

-        Adoption

-        Charitable donations (plus proof! The IRS is a stickler about this)

-        Mortgage interest

-        Medical/dental expenses

Taxes Already Paid

Have you already paid some taxes? Undoubtedly you have paid quarterly estimated taxes, or maybe you anticipated a big year and put last year’s refund toward this year’s tax bill.  To make sure you get credit for the taxes you already remitted, gather all info related to:

-        Income tax from 2010

-        Quarterly Estimated Taxes paid throughout 2011

-        Real estate tax

-        Property tax

Bank and Other Info

Finally, you’ll need some info from your bank to transfer your tax return to your account. This will include:

-        Bank account number

-        Routing number

-        Full name on account

Checking Status

Sometimes you just want to know where your tax refund is. We get it. To do this, you’ll need:

-        Amount you’re owed

-        Social Security Number

-        Your filing status

Hopefully a checklist like this can make things much easier for you. If you see it all laid out before you, eventually you can power through it and move on to spending your refund!