Finish 2023 strong with our Year End Small Business Tax Planning Checklist! As the year comes to a close, there are a few business housekeeping items that Lake Norman small businesses will want to shore up before year-end.

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This checklist covers a few tasks to perform in order to properly close out the year.

Other steps may be appropriate depending on your business and industry.

Year-End Tax Planning | Lake Norman Small Business

If you have not already reached out to your accountant to connect on any last-minute planning, you should do so before the year closes. Once the year is over, the ability to plan for taxes becomes increasingly limited. 

Update Your Company’s Books

If your company’s books are not updated regularly throughout the year, you definitely want to start here.

It is challenging to prepare for and plan for taxes without current financials. Updating the books before year-end will also make it easier to timely file your tax returns.

You should ensure that all bank and credit cards have been reconciled in your accounting software, as well as summarize any business expenses you paid with personal funds so the expenses can be captured and deducted.


Reach out to Vendors to Obtain W-9 Forms

In anticipation of 1099 Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC that will need to be issued by the end of January, it is a best practice to review your list of vendors that may require a form 1099 and double-check that you have a completed W-9 form filled out and signed by the vendor.

Once the year is over, it can be challenging to scramble to collect the necessary information, so the earlier you can obtain the W-9, the better.

Ideally, you should receive a completed form W-9 while onboarding a new vendor. 

Get Together Information for Tax Returns

You’ll also want to start gathering documents your accountant will need in order to prepare your tax returns.

Such documents may include copies of invoices from fixed asset purchases (i.e., purchases of equipment, furniture, and leasehold improvements).

Also, locate and provide any correspondence received from a tax authority that you have not previously sent to your accountant.

Additionally, you may want to summarize the business miles driven throughout the year and claim the related deduction.

Year-End Payroll Processing

Make sure to contact your payroll service provider to see if any additional information is needed to complete your company’s payroll year-end processing. There could be specific reporting requirements for certain w-2 employees, which would need to be provided to the payroll company. More details can be found in the article below. 

Take a physical inventory as of December 31st

If your business is required to track and report inventory balances for tax purposes, preparations should be made to perform a physical inventory count as of December 31st.

Start Planning for Next Year

As the year comes to an end, you’ll want to start planning for the following year. You should review the current year’s results against the goals you set last year and then set goals for next year. We recommend you also start working on your company’s initial budget for next year. 

We hope you found our year-end business checklist useful. Wishing you and your business a successful 2024!

If you would like additional help, you can contact Schwinn CPA PLLC  by calling (704-742-2277) or sending them an email at

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