Do You Make These 5 Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes?

Do You Make These 5 Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes?If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time or are just getting started, then you probably already know that small business accounting is not as easy as it sounds. Not only do tax laws regularly change, but accounting standards and practices change too, which makes it easy for a small business owner to get tripped up and make a few mistakes.

But keeping the books for your small business doesn’t have to be stressful. We want to help you simplify your life, save money and reduce stress by learning how to avoid these five basic bookkeeping mistakes.

1. Mixing Money. You might think it’s not a problem, but the IRS disagrees. Co-mingling your personal and business funds together is simply bad business and as a LLC or Corporation it could potentially cause a breach in the “corporate veil.” Not only is it a risk to your asset separation but also you may have to pay an IRS penalty if get caught. No matter what, keep your business and personal account spending separate. Take the time to speak with a small business accountant to help determine the best way for you to transfer money from the business to you personally or vice versa.

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Why Did I Just Get a 1099 MISC in the Mail?

Why Did I Just Get a 1099 MISC in the Mail?This post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

You probably thought you were done getting mysterious tax forms in the mail, yet this one shows up and ruins your day. You weren’t expecting any more forms at all and were even close to finishing up your taxes once and for all. What are you supposed to do with this thing?

The answer is you must have done some freelance work at some point in the last year, because the 1099-MISC is the form that independent contractors and freelancers receive in lieu of a W-2. Whether or not you remember performing a freelance job or not is irrelevant – it’s time to deal with it.

If this is the case or if you’re still learning about tax documents, we’re here to help! Let’s take a look at what the 1099-MISC is and how you can use it.

What it is

As stated above, the 1099-MISC is what independent business owners like freelancers get at tax time instead of a W-2. But why do you get a separate form? Why don’t your clients just send a W-2 and be done with it?

The answer is in how different parties handle taxes. When you have an employer, they handled most of your tax liabilities for you. They withhold the portion of your taxes the government agency needs and pay it in for you. This doesn’t happen with freelancing. You have the pleasure of paying the necessary taxes to state and federal taxing authorities yourself.

So when April rolls around, employers send a W-2 that has not only your income info but also how much tax they paid in for you. A 1099-MISC, though, only has how much money you made through that particular client. So if you charged someone $1000 to write blog posts for a year, they will send you a 1099-MISC that shows your total income through them as $1000.

What to do with it

You’re probably wondering why you need a tax form to tell you how much you made through clients. After all, you keep good small business bookkeeping records, so what’s the big deal?

Well, this information also goes to the IRS so they know how much income they should expect to see you declare on your income taxes. So don’t file it away just yet.

The first thing you should do with the form is to check your records. Are you sure that 1099-MISC is correct? If you got multiple forms, have you checked that they’re all correct? Verify independently that the form matches your records; otherwise, you’re going to have a big problem on your hands when the IRS comes knocking.

For example, say a client accidentally recorded that they paid you twice for a job. They’ll send you and the IRS a record that they paid you $2,000 this year, while you were actually only paid $1,000. The IRS will expect to see you declare that $2,000 on your income taxes, and will make noise if you don’t.

When you’re sure your 1099-MISC forms are correct, file them away for a few years. Even though the IRS ostensibly has a copy of your 1099-MISC forms, you never know when you might get a “dreaded letter” fro the IRS and need to make your case.

How many 1099-MISC forms did you receive this year? Were they all correct?

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The Importance of Small Business Bookkeeping

The Importance of Small Business BookkeepingBy Greg Lindberg, 1800Accountant Writer

In the eyes of most small business owners, bookkeeping is likely one of their least favorite things to do. When you sit down and think about it, who truly enjoys pouring over lengthy spreadsheets and calculating financial figures that will often make your head spin? Even though bookkeeping is not a highly popular task it is still one of the most important priorities on any business owner’s to-do list.

Bookkeeping is a practice that involves maintaining all of the financial records of a business. It is vital to keep a keen eye on the profits a small business generates, the money it pays in the form of expenses, and the taxes it incurs on a regular basis. When you can see a clear snapshot of this information in front of you, the financial side of your small business will immediately become very important to you.

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