Tax day, April 15th, will be here before you know it and businesses need to start organizing their files now in order to have the correct documents to properly prepare their tax returns. Companies need to go through their documents from the previous year, and then organize and determine what files need to stay in an office and what business documents can stored in a self storage unit.
Business Documents Needed for Tax Preparation
Tax preparation services such as TurboTax have provided a handy small business tax planning checklist for the documents that are needed to fill out business tax forms. The IRS also has a website to help small company owners and those who are self-employed with their tax forms and preparation needs. Listed below are just a few of the required business documents that are needed in order to fill out a tax return. See the websites above and your professional tax preparer for more information that could be specific to your business:
- Income Records-These documents include gross receipts from sales and services, returns and allowances, business checking/savings account interest and other income.
- Cost of Goods Sold (If applicable to your business.)-This paperwork includes totals for inventory, beginning and then end of year total dollar amount, materials and supplies and any inventory purchases.
- Expenses-There should be documentation saved for all business expenditures including, advertising, phones, computer and internet costs, and travel expenses such as hotel, mileage, meals, tips, tax, and internet connection.
- Business insurance-These documents pertain to business insurance and not personal insurance, which goes under a different form category.
- Professional fees-Any types of fees from lawyers, accountants or consultants would fall under this type of document requirement.
- Office supplies-It is important to keep tabs of any pens, paper, stable and other consumables used by the company.
- Rent expense-Office space rent and business-use vehicle lease paperwork are required for tax preparation.
- Home office expenses-These documents include square footage of office space at home, mortgage interest or rent paid, homeowners insurance and utility forms.
- Wages paid to employees-When you think of tax forms, the W-2 and W-3 forms instantly come to mind. These would also include employee payroll forms needed for federal and state payroll return, employee benefit expenses, contractor’s forms and 1099-Misc forms.
- Other expenses-Lastly, there should be paperwork for repairs and maintenance of the office, estimated tax payments and other business related expenses such as health insurance and premiums paid.
How Long Should a Business Save Documents?
After businesses have gathered and then prepared their tax forms, documents should be organized and stored in a central area either in an office or in a self-storage unit. Federal and state laws require the retention of specific business documents for accounting records to personnel records.
According to federal and state laws, certain business documents can be placed into archival storage, while other documents need only to be retained for as little as two years. Business files for the current year should be kept within the office and then can be stored outside the office in a storage unit starting the following year. All corporate and fixed asset records, accounting records such as financial statements, check registers, general ledgers and income tax returns need to be retained permanently. Other accounting documents such as accounts payable or receivables, bank statements, expense reports or charge and cash slips can be shredded after seven years.
Self-Storage Solutions for Business Files and Documents
Renting a self storage unit is a great place to store excess business equipment, files and documents. Storing documents in self-storage helps to reduce the clutter in your office, while increasing work space and productivity! Stop N Stor offers many business storage solutions, such as file and document storage at our 6 Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah area locations. Our storage professionals will help determine the best storage unit size for your business storage needs.