November is here! And of course, while that brings things like turkey legs, fall décor, and cooler temps, it also indicates that this year is coming to an end. The 4th quarter of 2021 arrived in October; so, it’s time to start planning for 2022. For North Georgia Tax Solutions and our clients, this season is all about organization and checking off our lists to prepare for the upcoming tax year.
We’ve come up with a check list of items that can help you prepare for a streamlined 2022. For every business owner, of all types and sizes, the key to avoiding overload is some forethought and planning. Use this checklist to make sure all your expectations for the next year have a solid foundation, and possibly save yourself from potential roadblocks come April.
End of Year Checklist
1. Ensure all of your licenses and permits are up to date or scheduled for timely renewal.
Owning a business often means collecting a slew of state and federal mandated licenses and permits. While you may think you have it all under control, it’s in your best interest to ensure that all of these licenses and permits are up to date. If any need renewal, get ahead of scheduling or completing the process. Missing or outdated licenses and permits can lead to hefty fines or even forced business closures.
To avoid this, check your state mandated licenses and permits like sales tax licenses or reseller permits. City licenses and permits may include a city business license, parking lot permits, zoning permits, and more. If your business sells services and products regulated by a federal agency, there are separate licenses, permits, and certifications that must be up to date as well. Lastly, it is your responsibility to keep track of any annual inspections or tests required for specialty industries.
2. Avoid competitor theft of your intellectual properties.
Some businesses may have ownership of properties like patents, copyrights, and trademarks. To ensure that you do not lose ownership, you should first make sure you have established the difference between them all. Once the differences are established, you can properly plan for renewal, and ultimately protect your business.
• Patents: Offer exclusive rights to an invention for a predetermined period. Patents cannot be renewed and are considered public domain once the patent has ended.
• Copyrights: Give authors of original works protection from infringement for the authors lifetime plus 70 years.
• Trademarks: Protect against infringement of words, phrases, symbols and/or designs. These help distinguish the origin of a product or service.
Trademarks have to be kept up with or are at risk of being lost to a competitor. There are certain guidelines that must be followed to keep ownership, as well as stipulations for applying for renewal. Though patents and copyrights don’t have a high risk of loss, maintaining proper records of all of these properties can help you be sure that your business owns the rights for years to come.
3. Review over your business’ corporate compliance.
While each business and state have varying compliance requirements, they should be reviewed annually by the business owner or by a professional. LLCS, sole proprietorships, or partnerships conducting business in another state must also check for stipulations and necessary documents for the state they are doing business in, as well as their home location. Any changes to ownership or business structure may also require application for a new Federal Tax ID number or EIN.
Staying on top of seemingly small compliances could save your business from all sorts of state and federal consequences.
4. Review Tax Withholdings or Estimated Tax Payments.
With the next tax year coming up, November is the time to do a tax estimate for your 2021 taxes. Employees should take this time to calculate their income and see if you should adjust their tax withholding or retirement contributions. Business owners should review tax structures and estimated tax payments. You should also plan for purchasing equipment before the end of the year or adjusting retirement contributions.
5. Contact a professional for help.
If you own a business, whether it’s your first year or you have lots of experience under your belt, you know how important it is to follow certain guidelines, laws, and regulations to stay profitable. Not only can it be expensive to fix mistakes in business, but your reputation and hard work are also put at risk. Be sure to contact a tax professional for any questions or assistance in making sure your business is ready for 2022.
North Georgia Tax Solutions has years of experience in helping businesses of all shapes, sizes, and ages plan for the end of the year. Contact us or schedule an appointment!