It’s almost time for the yearly document dive. If you’re a small business that files your federal income taxes annually, preparation is key. Here’s a quick tax preparation checklist to help you get you ready.
Calculate your income for the year
To understand your income for the year, total your receipts from sales or services. Be sure to account for any returns or allowances to keep your books balanced. Also, don’t forget to factor in any interest you may have earned on business checking and savings accounts, since this is considered income as well.
Determine your expenses
Put together your list of expenses for the year. Expenses may include advertising, health insurance, meals and entertainment, office supplies, professional fees, transportation and travel expenses, utilities, and wages paid to employees.
Know your cost of goods sold
If your business maintains inventory, run reports to get a detailed look at your operations. If you have a Clover® device, use the tools in your Clover dashboard to create these reports. You need to know how your inventory levels and value compare at the beginning of the year and the end.
Meet with a tax professional
Consult with a tax professional before preparing to file federal and state tax returns to help eliminate any confusion with the process. They can provide guidance on new tax laws and advise you on which items you may be able to deduct. They can also aid you if your business is audited and can help make the process go smoother.
Start preparing for next year
There are several platforms and applications you can use to help you keep track of your taxes throughout the year. It’s also a good idea to stay in contact with your tax professional. They can provide support throughout the year and can advise you on ways to make the tax process easier next year.
We do not provide legal, compliance, tax or accounting advice. Accordingly, any statements contained herein as to tax matters were neither written nor intended by us to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on such taxpayer. If any person uses or refers to any such tax statement in promoting, marketing or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any taxpayer, then the statement expressed herein is being delivered to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction or matter addressed and the recipient should seek advice based on its particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
Many small business owners struggle to balance personal life with running their business, and holidays are always a challenge. To help you make more informed decisions about keeping your business open or spending time with friends and family, we gathered holiday sales and closure data from 2017 and 2018 across retail, restaurant and grocery.
When making your final decision about store hours and closures, be sure to consider all the unique factors affecting your business. This information is presented for educational purposes, and every business is different.
Stores saw minimal sales increases during Easter weekend, and 29% more stores were closed on Easter Sunday than previous weeks.
Like retail, restaurants experienced minimal sales increases, and 19% more were closed on Easter Sunday than previous weeks.
Sales lifted 20% on Good Friday, with minimal increases the rest of the holiday weekend. Shoppers were able to maintain their regular shopping habits, since most stores remained open, with only a slight increase in closures on Easter Sunday.
Stores saw major sales spikes, with 35% and 40% increases on July 3 and July 4, respectively. However, there was a 46% rise in the number of businesses closed than weeks prior, so not everyone chose to capitalize on the increased sales activity on July 4.
Restaurants saw modest increases, with a 33% jump on July 3 and 26% on July 4. Many restaurants chose to close during this popular cook-out holiday, with a 39% spike in closures on Independence Day.
Sales were highest during this holiday, with a 59% lift on July 3 and 43% on Independence Day. Closures on Independence Day remained low, with 17% more closed than prior weeks.
Retailers experienced some of their highest sales of the year during Thanksgiving weekend. On Thanksgiving Day there was a 39% increase in sales, and on Black Friday it rose to 43%. There was a 64% rise in closures on Thanksgiving Day, but minimal closures on Black Friday and Saturday.
Locations that remained open saw a 46% rise in sales on Thanksgiving Day, but 59% more were closed than prior weeks, which shows that some people prefer to eat out versus cooking at home.
Sales didn’t change much over Thanksgiving weekend, and there was a 28% increase in the number of store closures on Thanksgiving Day.
Last-minute holiday shoppers kept retail businesses busy with a 37% increase in sales on Christmas Eve. As expected, the highest percentage of closures happened during this holiday, with 31% more businesses closed on Christmas Eve than previous weeks and 76% on Christmas Day.
Restaurants that chose to stay open saw some of the highest sales of the year, with an 89% surge on Christmas Day. However, most were closed during the Christmas holiday. There was a 23% rise in closures on December 24 and 61% on Christmas Day.
Sales spiked 33% on Christmas Eve as people prepared for the holiday. Christmas also appeared to be the main holiday that grocery stores closed, with a 42% increase in closures on Christmas Day.
If you decide to change your holiday schedule, take a look at your sales data to discover what kind of an impact your decision may have. You can use your point-of-sale device to create business reports based on your personalized metrics.
If you need help meeting your customer’s payment needs on any day of the year – holiday or not – Bank of America Merchant Services is ready to assist you. Give us a call at 800.430.7161.
You hear about the rise of digital all the time. If you believe the news, smart phones and social media are taking over the world. All the hype aside, the fact remains that digital technology is the easiest way for you to reach new customers and retain the ones you already have.
How do you get started? Here are a few key strategies.
1. Maintain an up-to-date website.
2. Use digital marketing to promote your business.
3. Loyalty through your Clover device
4. Accept and use digital payments.
Using these digital strategies could put you one step closer to attracting new and loyal customers. If you’re interested in learning more about these digital strategies, read Visa’s guide “Digital Transformation of SMBs: The Future of Commerce,” which Bank of America Merchant Services was proud to promote.
In each issue of Small Talk, we answer some frequently asked questions from small business owners like you. Read on. You may learn something new.
Q: What’s the easiest way to track and manage my customers’ purchase disputes?
A: Dispute Manager is an easy way for you, the merchant, to manage and respond to sales disputes (chargebacks and retrievals) using a secure web portal. The portal provides dispute data and allows you to exchange information and documentation to efficiently respond to disputes. Dispute Manager can help you reduce the amount of non-response chargebacks and enhance your financial controls. Plus, it offers you online help with preventative practices to reduce future disputes.
Q: How do I enroll in Dispute Manager?
A: Dispute Manager is offered to all Bank of America Merchant Services clients at no charge. You can enroll in Dispute Manager by visiting www.myclientline.net or www.businesstrack.com and selecting “Enroll.”5 If you need help, please give us a call at 800.430.7161.
Is your social media feeling a little stale? Download this handy promotional calendar for creative new promotional ideas!
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