End 2020 With A Check List

checklist

Congratulations 2020 is almost over. You made it. 2020 is a year that we won’t forget anytime soon. Some of you may have been impacted significantly, some of your things didn’t change much. Now is a good idea to wrap up any loose ends before December 31. A checklist can save you stress and better prepare for the next year. Here are a few things you can do to have a successful 2021.

  1.    End-Of-Year Reviews

The end of the year is a great time to do performance reviews with your employees. This opportunity allows your employee to see what they have accomplished for the year. Plus, a chance to set goals for the new year.

  1. Get W-2 Information Ready

Typically, W-2s are due by January 31, now is the time to make sure all information is correct. Get a jump start on it, so you won’t be in a hurry. This can be done during end-of-year performance reviews so you kill two birds with one stone.

Check each employee:

  • Social Security Number-make sure the number is correct.
  • Employees Address- they may have moved this year.
  • Employees Name-they may have gotten married, legally changed it, divorced, etc.
  • Any Withholdings-Medicare, federal & state income tax, social security, insurance, etc.
  • Number of Dependents-birth or adoption of a child
  1. Catch Up on Bookkeeping

Balancing all your books at the end-of-the-year is a good business practice. Be sure all your income and expenses are accounted for the year. This will help you make financial decisions in the coming year. Sit down with your accountant to make sure everything is in order. Pro Tip: SWVA Tax & Accounting is the best place to do this!

  1. Take a Look at Your Marketing Plan

Objectively look at your marketing plan and see if your goals were met. You may have not met them all, which is fine. This is a good time to make any necessary changes so you can meet your goals. Re-think and plan how you want to use marketing to drive more business to you. Remember changing a marketing plan is ok if it doesn’t work.

  1. Set Business Goals for 2021

With the year coming to close, set goals and a plan to reach them for the next year. As a business owner goal setting challenges you to get better at what you do and how to do it. Bear in mind goals are good as long as they are reachable and realistic.

  1. Thank Your Customers

Today every small business needs all the support they can get. Take the time to thank all your customers with a thank you card. Let them know you appreciate their support over the year and look forward to the new year. Plus, this is a good time to announce an event that kicks off the new year.

  1. Take Time off and Celebrate the Holidays  

Everyone needs time off including business owners. Make arrangements so you can take time off and enjoy it. It only comes once a year so take a break. Drive around and look at Christmas lights with family. Or make holiday treats with family and friends. Regardless, take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it.

    Tailor your end-of-year list so it works for you and your business. Every business owner needs an accountant to help them be successful. Look no further than SWVA Tax & Accounting for all your accounting needs. They can help with a wide range of services from Quick Books to financial analysis. Click here to book online or call 540-250-3198 to schedule an appointment. We’ll run the numbers, while you run the business.

Yes, Data Breaches & Identity Theft Impacts You and Your Business

Data-Breaches

Too frequently there are data breaches that result in customers having their identity stolen. These data breaches can directly impact your business or individual taxpayers with significant losses.

What is a data breach? A data breach is when unauthorized individuals “hack”  into organizations and harvest personal information as passwords, credit card information, and social security numbers. Typically, data breaches have happened to retailers as Target and second parties that gather information like Equifax. Even the U.S. government has experienced data breaches in the past.

Typically, if a business has a data breach and identity theft happens to customers, they will inform customers and give them a period of identity protection. This is done at the expense of the business and free of charge for the customer. As data breaches and identity theft have become more common, victims can seek tax relief. The IRS has recognized the impact of identity theft on taxpayers and has become more sympathetic. Having the IRS recognize identity theft is a problem for taxpayers. The IRS has changed tax codes to reflect this issue.

Taxpayers that have experienced identity theft can deduct losses they have suffered. Bear in mind tax laws are different for business and individual taxpayers. Sec. 165(a) will let individual taxpayers deduct any losses that occurred during the year. Businesses as partnerships, sole props, and corporations can deduct losses under Sec. 162(a) that caused a data breach or identity theft. If you or your business has experienced identity theft it is advisable to seek a tax accountant for guidance. They will be able to help you with claiming losses and navigating tax laws you may not be familiar with.

To protect yourself and your business from identity theft can do the following: 1. Have unique and different passwords for your smartphone, email, and online banking for example. The more unique and stronger your password the better. 2. Be careful what websites you visit and links you click when online. If the website looks strange or too good to be true say away. 3. At least once a year get a free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com. If something is wrong you can fix it before it impacts your credit and ability to buy a house or car. 4. Do not freely give out your personal information over the phone. If someone suspicious asks for your personal information hang up.

Data breaches and identity theft are something that cannot be completely avoided but you can be proactive about protecting yourself. If you are unfortunately a victim of identity theft take action today. Don’t wait tomorrow. SWVA tax accountants can help you with identity theft deductions. We are here to help you with all your tax needs. Don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online today with SWVA Tax Accountants. We’ll run the numbers, you run the business! Visits us at https://www.swvatax.com/ for your tax needs.