Three Weeks Left

With three weeks left in the year business owners have a few things to consider:

1. Have you gotten your books in order? - Many business owners use the "shoe box technique" to keep the books in order.  This is not advisable.  Business owners should use Excel or an accounting program such as QuickBooks to record financial transactions during the year.  Within the next three weeks it is important for business owners to get their books in order.

2. Minutes in order? Corporations are required to maintain meeting minutes during the year.  Many small business owners fail to get this done.  It is important to stay in compliance with Federal and State laws that corporations make certain minutes minutes are maintained.

3. Year end information - Many businesses deal with or hire independent contractor (i.e. professional services, extra labor, etc.).  It is vital, and required by law, that every business obtain the name, address and social security number of each contractor hired.  Be sure that you obtain all of the required information, even if the contractor was paid by cash.

4. Time to reflect - After you have resolve the above three matters it is important to reflect.  Reflect on the events that surrounded your business this year.  During this time I suggest that you ask yourself the following questions: (a) What areas did the business fail in? (b) Is there something you can change? (c) Where did the business excel? This helps you place the year in perspective so that the necessary adjustment can be made during the coming year.

If there is a need for assistance in any of these areas, we can refer someone to you.

Year Closing Tax Tips

As we approach the end of the year many people are thinking about the upcoming Christmas holiday, spending time with relatives and friends.  While that is good, we should also think about how we can lower our tax liability before December 31st arrives.  Here is a short laundry list of things that most of us can do:

Spring cleaning in December - Go through your closets and sort out items that you truly need and items that you do not need.  What you don't need give to charity but remember to itemize a list of what you are donating.  Also give the item a true value based on the age of the item and the wear the item has.  This might be a good time to go through rented storage space.

Rid yourself of under-performing securities - If you have securities that are losing money you might want to consider selling the securities in order to take the loss on the sale of stock.  Don't worry, if you don't want to get rid of the security you can always buy it right back at the lower price.

Charity - Consider making a year end gift to a charitable organization.  This will assist in meeting the need of others and give you a deduction all with one stroke of the pen.

These are just a few simple things that do not take a long time to do.  Take some time and save some tax dollars before 2010 is complete.

The Towles Group Inc can assist you further, give us a call at (516) 522-2676 or visit us at