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2021 Tax preparation checklist for U.S Small Business

A new year begins and a new tax season begins. Based on the IRS, the official deadline for filing a corporate tax return is March 15, 2021, for S corporations and Partnerships, and April 15, 2021, for sole proprietors and calendar year C of the corporation.

Preparing your tax return is an important step at this point, in order to help small businesses to stay ahead of deadlines this year, we've compiled a tax preparation checklist, the most basic things you need deal with before filing.

You need to prepare accurate and fully updated accounting books. The checklist will not be able to provide you with complete tax information. For example, it does not tell you about paying taxes. The checklist will help you to have the most thoughtful preparation before the tax return deadline.

Here's a list of items you may find helpful when preparing your business tax return:

Business information

  • Last year's business tax return

  • Articles of incorporation

  • Partnership agreement

  • Accounting records

  • Bank statements

  • Credit card statements

  • Payroll reports

  • Detail of asset purchases

  • Depreciation schedules

  • Detail of asset dispositions

  • Vehicle information


  • Gross receipts from sales or services

  • Sales records (for accrual based taxpayers)

  • Returns and allowances

  • Business checking/savings account interest (1099-INT or statement)

  • Other income

Cost of Goods Sold (if applicable)

  • Inventory

  • Beginning inventory the total dollar amount

  • Inventory purchases

  • Ending inventory total dollar amount

  • Items removed for personal purposes

  • Materials & Supplies


  • Advertising

  • Phones (landline, fax, or cell phones related to business)

  • Computer & internet expenses

  • Transportation and travel expenses

  • Commissions paid to subcontractors

  • Depreciation

  • Business insurance

  • Interest expense

  • Professional fees

  • Office supplies

  • Rent expense

  • Office-in-home

  • Wages paid to employees

  • Other expenses


If you, as a business owner, see that you cannot handle accounting on your own, consider hiring an accountancy service for contractors to help you with it.

Call Irvine Bookkeeping now for a Free Quote!

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