April 15th is quickly approaching … Here’s what you need to know

Wednesday, April 15, is the deadline for filing certain returns and taking certain tax-related actions. Here are the major deadlines:calendar-148311__180

  • Filing 2014 income tax returns for individuals. If you cannot file your return by this deadline, be sure to file an extension request by April 15. The automatic extension (you don’t need to explain to the IRS why you need more time) gives you until October 15, 2015, to file your return. An extension does not, generally, give you more time to pay taxes you still owe. To avoid penalty and interest charges, taxes must be paid by April 15.
  • Filing 2014 partnership returns for calendar-year partnerships.
  • Filing 2014 income tax returns for calendar-year trusts and estates.
  • Filing 2014 annual gift tax returns.
  • Making 2014 IRA contributions.
  • Paying the first quarterly installment of 2015 individual estimated tax.
  • Amending 2011 individual tax returns (unless the 2011 return had a filing extension).
  • Original filing of 2011 individual income tax return to claim a refund of taxes. Some taxpayers have tax refunds due them for prior years, and unless a return is filed to claim the refund by the three-year statute of limitations, the refund is lost forever.

8 step checklist to monitor and manage your business’ health

You get an annual checkup from your physician to monitor and manage your personal health. Shouldn’t you do the same for your business? To keep your operation in top shape, consider an annual business review. The benefits of such a review are evaluating current performance and better planning of future operations.hook-405091__180

Some things you should evaluate in an annual business review include the following:

1. Revisit your business strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Is your competitive position improving, or are you losing ground?

2. How did you perform relative to your business plan? Did you meet or exceed your objectives? Are sales, profit margins, and cash flow improving?

3. Get a pulse on your customers. An annual customer satisfaction survey is a great way to assess performance, obtain insight on potential new products or services, and to let your customers know how much you value their business.

4. Evaluate your team. Are you developing a superior team, employing their unique talents, and training them to improve performance? Do you reward on merit or simply on seniority?

5. How effective is your marketing? Are your current methods and channels working well, or are you simply doing what you’ve always done?

6. Meet with your insurance agent. Is your coverage adequate and appropriate for changes in your business activities and acquisitions?

7. Review your business tax strategy. Identify opportunities for tax savings. Are you using the right form of business entity? Are you aware of recent changes in the tax code that might benefit your business?

8. How is your score-keeping? Do your measurements track your progress or do they measure things that don’t matter? What are the key performance measures that drive your business?

If you are serious about improving your business, consider a yearly assessment of your operation. For any assistance you need, give us a call.