The dreaded tax season is looming. An entire year of work, sales, invoices, payroll, and more is all condensed into a bunch of paperwork and numbers. It can be a stressful time for anyone. With the COVID-19 pandemic, tax time could be even more stressful than ever before. In-person visits to the accountant may be limited, teams within the business may be working remotely, but documents still need to be organized and submitted on time.
Thankfully, there are some helpful ways to prepare for tax season and reduce the amount of stress that comes from the tax season crunch. No promises that tax 2020 will necessarily be enjoyable, but definitely manageable.
Stay Organized with Document Management
Organization, or lack thereof, is what can really make or break tax season. The seemingly endless flow of receipts, invoices, payroll documents, tax forms, and everything else a business needs for tax 2020 is enough to overwhelm anyone. Add in the additional tax rules put in place due to COVID-19 through the CARES Act, the fact everyone may be working from home trying to collaborate for tax filing, and whatever other curveballs come along the way between now and filing day; it’s all very daunting.
Document management can help keep the whirlwind of documents organized and available for everyone on the team who needs access. This is especially important in the case of distributed teams where multiple team members that need to collaborate are all working remotely. With document management, all the paperwork and files can be saved digitally and accessed through the cloud by anyone who has permission. Each item can be organized where it needs to be for easy access and review. This makes putting everything together much simpler.
It’s also much easier for everyone to collaborate during tax season. New versions of documents can be uploaded with clear version history tracking to see who did what and when. With document management in place all year long, everything is sorted on-the-go and there’s no need for the mad scramble at tax time.
Securely Share Documents with Professionals
Once all of the documents are organized, it comes time to drop the stack of paperwork off at the accountant’s office. This is a big milestone every tax year because, although the taxes aren’t done, they are moved along to the next set of hands and real progress is being made. However, the dramatic drop of a pile of documents may not be so satisfying thanks to COVID-19. Accountants may have their offices closed to in-person visits or may be working from home like many others. That document dump may have to be done digitally this year.
However, simply emailing documents to the accountant may not be the best way to digitally deliver these sensitive documents. Email, while a great communication tool, is not the most secure way to send information that needs to remain private. Unfortunately, email can be compromised and the documents sent by email are not protected from snooping eyes. To ensure security when digitally sending documents this tax season, using a secured file sharing system is advisable. There are various services that offer secure file sharing and work with a range of equipment manufacturers. Best of all, these systems easily integrate with existing document management systems to make sharing seamless and simple. While the audible “thud” of a stack of documents hitting an accountant’s desk can never be replicated, the time saved should more than make up for that missing piece of nostalgia.
Deducting Printing Equipment and Supplies
Printing equipment, and the supplies that keep this equipment running, are vital pieces within many businesses. Even with digitization efforts, it can be very difficult to continue normal operations without printing equipment. In many cases, the costs associated with these devices are essential costs. However, there are ways to make the most of those expenses come tax season.
In the case of printing equipment, many businesses help offset their costs by claiming depreciation on their equipment. Much like a vehicle, printing equipment will slowly lose value over time. And, much like a vehicle, this is an essential part of doing business in many cases. By claiming depreciation, a small amount of the cost of the equipment is claimed back as a tax credit over the usable lifetime of the equipment.
For print supplies like ink and paper, these are business expenses that can also be claimed when submitting taxes. Of course, it’s always important to maintain receipts and records of purchases until tax season rolls around.
Making Tax Season Run Smoothly
For most people, tax season will always be a dreaded time of year. But it doesn’t have to be so stressful. With some improvements thanks to document management and secure file sharing, tax 2020 could be the first tax season that doesn’t leave you worn out and stressed out.
To learn more about document management solutions and other tips for tax time, contact the experts at Doing Better Business today.