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  • Fabiola Litherland, CPA

The Ultimate Year-End Tax Planning Checklist

Updated: Dec 31, 2019


Year-end is here, and while 2019 closes and another decade begins, it is time for self-employed/business owners to proactively plan for 2020.

Year-end is more than just preparing financials for the upcoming tax period; it is a key time for business owners to evaluate the health of their company and make appropriate changes for the following year. It is also important for tax minimization strategies before the year is over. Allocating adequate time to review key considerations for a business’s wellbeing properly will result in a clear strategy for the forthcoming years ahead.

Before bringing in the new year, take the time to review the following checklist of critical items to discuss with an experience CPA. If a topic on the list isn’t familiar, be sure to examine with a tax adviser for optimal planning.


Year-end planning considerations:

  • Revenue recognition and lease accounting requirements for Financial Reporting

  • The deadline is quickly approaching for private companies effective January 2020

  • Shoring up the balance sheet for December 31st for upcoming financing opportunities

  • Review financial ratios – banks and other lenders look at the December 31st balance sheet for the coming year financing opportunities

  • Evaluating tax structure – C-Corporation, S-Corporation, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship

  • With the recent Tax Reform changes, the company’s tax structure could be modified for significant tax benefits.

  • Maximizing the 20% Section 199A qualified business income deduction for pass-through business owners

  • Evaluation of accounting methods for tax purposes (Cash vs. accrual methods)

  • Buying new equipment/trucks for a full tax write off under Section 179/Bonus Depreciation

  • Maximizing deduction of business interest expense under the new limitations 163J

  • Deferring income or accelerating deductions for tax bracket, deduction, or credit planning

  • Evaluation of multi-state activities for tax compliance

  • Review of retirement plan contribution options

  • Self-employment tax planning

  • Succession planning

  • Is there an exit strategy to maximize enterprise value, a planned retirement, or an emergency?

  • Evaluate eligibility for tax credits (Including R&D Credit and Work Opportunity credit)

Don’t tackle the year-end checklist alone; partner with an experienced Certified Public Accountant for growth in 2020 and beyond.



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