Monday, January 20, 2014

Tax Season's Greetings

There's an old notion of getting a visit from the tax man. As if today's income tax is some reverse Santa Claus taking a percentage of toys from boys and girls based on income level and number of dependents. We should be so lucky. There is no gentleman knocking on our doors and handing us a bill. It's up to each individual to recognize that it's that time of year. They have to do their own math to figure out what they owe (or pay someone to determine what to pay). Most importantly, everyone needs to have the pertinent information available in order to prepare their taxes.

For businesses, that means they not only need to have their own finances in order, they need to provide W2 forms for their employees. The sooner they're sent, the happier the employee.

For smaller businesses that don't outsource their payroll, Tops makes it easy to order and print their own essential tax forms. These W-2 forms are compatible with laser printers and can be printed directly from payroll software. Tops also provides envelopes to ensure security, along with 1099 forms and matching envelopes.

The real key to avoiding stress at tax time is to be prepared in advance. Throughout the year, keep all tax information in some sort of file. Track deductions throughout the year with a planner rather than try to go back through old receipts and figure out which purchases are applicable. This helps in the event of an audit as well, as that kind of documentation is hard to forge in hindsight when planners from the previous year go out of stock. If you're filling out the forms by hand, you'll also want a calculator, a reliable pen with anti-alteration features, and, let's not kid ourselves, correction tape.

Finally, with so much sensitive information out in the open, some of it may need to go away when the filing's done. Households and businesses alike will want to make sure their shredder is up for the task.


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