It’s almost tax time again – where did the first half of 2017 go? After 15 years in business, you can bet I’ve been through my fair share of End of Financial Year (EOFY) periods. That doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to go through the process as a first year business owner though. Thinking back, I remember feeling a little scared because I’d never been through it before and while things have changed, there’s nothing quite like experiencing something for the first time.

The best piece of advice I can give to any new business owner is to get a quality accountant who is capable of explaining things clearly. Tax is complex and I still remember feeling like a bit of a dill for having to ask and re-ask some of the questions that I did back then. But at the end of the day, you need to be 100% clear and on top of your finances in business. So find and work with an accountant you feel comfortable with and who can help you to achieve your business goals.

Below, I’ve put together some of my top tax tips to think about before June 30. Remember, every business’/individual’s situation is different and unique so the below is general advice only and you need to see your accountant to get a full picture on your specific situation and needs.

Engage in tax planning 

Your accountant should instigate this but tax planning ensures that you’ve got a grasp on what’s taken place in the last financial year and what you can expect in terms of payments to the tax office or refunds. After your first year in business, if you’re making a profit, you’ll be placed on the Pay As You Go (PAYG) system, which makes life easier as you’re paying your tax as you go. Ultimately, tax planning ensures there are no nasty surprises in-store and gives you the chance to discuss what needs to/can be done (Superannuation contributions, stock control and so on) ahead of June 30 with your accountant.

Look critically at your financial year

At the end of every financial year, I always take the time to look pretty critically at my business. I ask myself questions such as: what worked? What didn’t work? What is unlikely to work moving forward? This is where I look at my cashflow, what produced profits and my expenses. With any area of the business that isn’t producing a profit or performing as well as expected, I consider its status and whether it is likely to become an asset in the long-term. Remember, after one financial year, you’re heading straight into another so it really pays to be on the front foot in my opinion.

Be prepared

This is perhaps one of the most vital pieces of advice anyone can give you at any point in time in relation to your taxes. The more prepared you are, the more you have any necessary documents in order and you know what’s happening within your business, the better. In my experience with finances, things can get out of control pretty quickly in terms of being disorganised. Especially in terms of start-ups and new business owners as the focus is often elsewhere. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, be sure to take a look at our Finance and IT templates. Not only are they easy to use, customisable and very cost-effective, they’ll help you to increase financial control of your business. This is all part of future-proofing your business and ensuring you’re in the best possible position to make the following financial year, your best yet.

No one enjoys tax time but let’s face it, paying tax is a positive thing as it means you’re making money and working towards your business goals. It can also be very stressful but I hope the above advice lends a helping hand. If you have any issues downloading the templates you need, or if you have any questions, please contact me. Meanwhile, if you think tender writing is going to be a vital part of your business strategy next financial year, feel free to reach out ahead of time.

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