Four Ways for Accountants to Prepare for the 2016 Tax Season

Four Ways for Accountants to Prepare for the 2016 Tax Season

The joy of the post-holiday season always gets mitigated by one thing: the dread of the impending tax season and all the work that comes with it.

Take a deep breath: there’s still time to prepare before the madness begins. Follow these 4 steps to make sure you and your clients are prepared for the upcoming tax season.

1. Inform Your Clients What You Need to File

Accountants—you know how much information you need, but your clients may not. Get started now on giving clients a comprehensive list of what you’ll expect from them come January and explain how it can expedite the filing process. Schedule emails and calls to touch base with your clients—chances are something will need more in-depth explanation or at least a gentle reminder or two.

2. Advise Clients to Tie Up Loose Ends

Now’s the time for your clients to scour the preceding year’s activity for loose ends. Outstanding invoices and payments should be taken care of first—CPAs should get their clients started on trying to resolve any issues of income yet to be collected or paying vendors who’ve yet to be compensated. These are just examples; every business should have a process for tying up loose ends at the end of the year.

3. Prepare for Changes

Accountants can benefit from taking on an instructive role with their clients by sharing their expertise. One of the most practical ways is to send out communiques outlining changes in tax codes regarding the recent fiscal year and alterations to the filing process for the impending tax season. The year 2016 will not only bring Affordable Care Act penalties, but the usual substantive changes that happen to tax laws every year. Visit Paycor's CPA Resource Center for links to communications about 2016 Social Security and tax changes that you can share with your clients.

4. Check and Double Check

The cardinal virtue of tax season is thoroughness. Going over everything with a fine-toothed comb before filing can help mitigate stress or worry, but more than anything each mistake or omission caught by re-examining documentation and reports will save time and money while preventing undesirable consequences.

We advise you to start now— there are little hidden difficulties in every tax filing, only made more complex by the size and scope of a client’s business. Getting on the same page in your accountant-client relationship and having a to-do list like this to get ready for tax season are just the things that can prevent headaches and all-out panic from happening when tax season does arrive. Visit Paycor.com/CPACare for resources to help you every step of the way.

Sources: Journal of Accountancy, American Institute of CPAs, U.S. SBA

More to Discover

Payroll Risks and Controls: Everything You Need to Know

Payroll Risks and Controls: Everything You Need to Know

Believe it or not, running payroll is a risky business The IRS estimates that 40% of small to medium-size businesses end up paying a payroll penalty each year. Whether you’re a large organization or a small one, there’s always a risk of payroll errors leading to fines, penalties and sometimes litigation. Protect yourself from fraud and human error Businesses that run payroll on their own, especially small businesses, are at a much higher risk of being disrupted by fraudulent activity and human error. From ghost employees to hour padding to buddy punching, when a company lacks the appropriate internal controls to manage its payroll, it can run into big trouble. Here are 6 common payroll risks and controls you can implement to mitigate...

401(k) Match Limits 2019: What Payroll Administrators  Need to Know

401(k) Match Limits 2019: What Payroll Administrators Need to Know

It’s a relatively small change, but it’s a change for payroll administrators to take notice of. As of November 2018, your employees’ contribution limits for their 401(k) increased to $19,000 from $18,500. The increase raises the total annual contribution amount (employee plus employer contribution) to $56,000 or 100% of the employee’s salary if they make less than that. Most companies typically offer 3-6% in matching funds, but there is no limit to the amount an employer can contribute as long as the annual cap isn’t reached. 2018 & 2019 401(k) Match Limits Defined Contribution Plan Limits 2019 2018 Difference Maximum employee contribution $19,000 $18,500 +$500 Catch-up contribution for employees aged 50 or older $6,000 $6,000 No...

Webinar: October Web Summit - Compliance from Hire to Retire

Webinar: October Web Summit - Compliance from Hire to Retire

From managing recruiting compliance data to accurately tracking employee hours, you need a partner who can offer the right technology plus expertise to help mitigate risk. Register for this webinar to see how Paycor can help prepare you for all of the compliance challenges in managing the employee lifecycle!We will be reviewing these 4 major areas of compliance: Recruiting Hiring Payroll People Management Speaker: Brett BeilfussBrett has been the Senior Bank Marketing Program Manager for Paycor for the past three years. He works exclusively with Paycor’s Bank and CPA referral partners, whose aim is to help their clients mitigate risk.

Webinar: October Web Summit - How to Design your PTO and Paid Leave Policies

Webinar: October Web Summit - How to Design your PTO and Paid Leave Policies

As companies seek to offer employees more flexible work arrangements, designing paid time off and paid leave policies has never been more challenging. In this session, we will unpack the imposing array of federal, state and local laws that must be considered when designing lawful and effective PTO and paid leave policies.Speaker: Katharine WeberKatharine is a Principal in the Cincinnati, Ohio, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She has successfully assisted countless clients in handling their labor and employment issues in both Ohio and Kentucky. Her expertise also includes litigating wrongful discharge cases, managing discrimination cases, negotiating collective bargaining and severance agreements, advising management on employment relations...