Build a better tax file for the self-employed!

Follow these step-by-step instructions, specific to self-employed individuals, for assembling your 2018 tax documents that Carrie needs to file your tax return!


Start with Carrie's Schedule C checklist.

Start by listing your income and expenses, as categorized on the checklist.  You can write it out, or give us a spreadsheet, or a Profit & Loss Report from Quickbooks, or Wave, or your bookkeeper.  As noted in the detail of the General Tax Checklist, we don’t need to see any of your receipts.  We just need to see the income and categorized expenses.

Please note that entertainment for business purposes is no longer a deductible expense.

If Carrie did not prepare your taxes last year, please include last year’s depreciation schedule.

List the value of your inventory, as follows: the inventory on hand on Jan 1, 2018; the amount of inventory purchased during 2018; the amount of inventory taken for personal (not business) use, and; the inventory on hand on Dec 31, 2018.

If you use a vehicle for your business, and have mileage to claim, list the make and model of the vehicle, the first date you used the vehicle for business, the total miles driven [by that vehicle] in 2018, and the miles driven for business.  We also need the total amount spent for parking fees and tolls incurred while driving for business.

If you prefer to use the Actual Expenses Method for your vehicle, we need the total number of miles driven in 2018; the number of miles driven for business; parking fees and tolls incurred during business use; amount paid for repairs; amount paid for fuel; amount paid for maintenance, and; total payments (if leased), or total interest paid on any auto loan(s).

If you have a space in your home that is used exclusively and regularly for business, you can deduct home office expenses*.  We need to know the square footage of the home office, and the total square footage of the home.  We also need to know the date your home office was first used, and the value of the home on that date.  Once we have that information, we’ll calculate the percentage of your home that is your office and apply that percentage to the following annual expenses: rent or mortgage; real estate taxes; homeowners’ insurance; homeowners’ association dues; utilities, and; repairs and maintenance.

Again, you can give us this information in any form that works for you: a handwritten list, a spreadsheet, or a report from a software program or bookkeeper. It’s crucial that you have the receipts, but you can keep them in your files at home.  We just need the numbers.

Please note that in the past, some clients have brought stacks of receipts to our office, and Carrie has organized them into useable data before preparing the tax returns.  As you might imagine, that slows down our process significantly.  For the 2019 tax season, we’ll charge our standard hourly fee of $250 for any accounting that needs to be done prior to tax preparation.  If you need help, but would prefer not to pay our fee, please ask us for the contact information of the area bookkeepers we recommend.

*If you aren’t sure whether your home office qualifies for the deduction, we can help you figure it out. Just ask!

IN-HOME DAY CARE  If you run an in-home day care, use Carrie's Tax Preparation Checklist for In-Home Day Care Providers.