4 Steps to Ensure a Successful Tax Return
Updated: Jan 12
Everyone wants to have a successful tax filing season and we’re here to help you with the steps to take now to ensure a smooth process. Here are a few simple steps we require to ensure everything moves as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Step 1 - Don’t Delay in Sending in Business Income and Expenses
Let ATBS do the heavy lifting on your bookkeeping now before the busy season arrives! We need the full picture of your income and deductions before the tax preparation process can begin.
Stay diligent in sending receipts each month and if you need to catch up in sending ATBS your receipts from prior months, now is the time for action.
Don’t spend time on things that aren’t necessary. Per diem is a large deduction for self-employed truck drivers. The documentation that the IRS requires can be supported using your electronic logs and your settlements. Make sure you are saving your electronic logs frequently. You can save time by not having to send ATBS your E-logs and food receipts because we’ll calculate your per diem deduction based on the number of days you spent on the road. Also, see our ATBS App for our per diem tracking tool to make per diem tracking even easier.
Step 2 - Complete the Annual Tax Questionnaire (Tax Organizer)
You’ll want to be prepared to send the below documents submitted to ATBS as soon as possible as the new year rolls over. Some of the below documents won't be available in January but that doesn't stop you from preparing and being ready for when these documents are available. A great first step is to complete and submit the tax organizer that ATBS will send in December 2022. The tax organizer is used to kick off the whole tax process. Without a completed tax organizer, we won’t be able to get things moving. While we understand it can be a fairly lengthy document, it allows us to find every possible deduction to reduce your tax liability.
Tax forms are also important. When your tax forms are available make sure you send a copy to ATBS. Forms such as:
W-2 (Wages from employee jobs)
1099’s (Compensation from self-employed activity or other types of compensation)
If you do not receive a 1099 look for a similar replacement document that verifies annual revenue such as a year to date (YTD), factoring statement, or other similar statements.
1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C (Health Insurance)
Bill of Sales for purchased or sold pieces of equipment
A copy of your prior-year tax return if ATBS did not file the return
If you need help or have questions, please give us a call. Each year, incomplete tax organizers result in a significant slow-down in the tax return process. The sooner we receive your completed tax organizer, the sooner we can begin your tax return.
Step 3 - Make Sure You’ve Paid in Full for Services
Before we can get started on the tax preparation process, make sure you’ve paid your ATBS service fees in full. If you didn’t have one of our Rumblestrip full-service packages for twelve full months and you haven’t yet made the accounting completion fee payment, then it’s likely that you have outstanding tax service fees. If you are unsure about your current balance or would like to discuss payment options, please call us at 866-920-2827.
Step 4 - Be Available
We often have follow-up questions as we work through specific tax situations for clients. One of the most important things we ask of our clients is that you’re available to promptly respond to emails and voicemails from ATBS employees. The number one reason why the tax process is delayed is because we are unable to reach a client for answers to critical questions we need to complete their tax return. The sooner we can get things answered, the sooner we can move you along in the tax preparation process.
Bonus Tip - Pay Your Quarterly Tax Estimates
The purpose of filing a tax return is to report tax liability due to the IRS or file a claim for a refund. The IRS can’t assess penalties and interest if you don’t have a balance due. One of the top reasons that businesses fail is tax debt. To prepare and get ahead of any surprises you want to make all of your quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year. Doing so will help you avoid penalties and interest from the IRS.