Small business tax preparation 101: what to bring to tax appointments

If you’re on top of your small business expenses and other tax-related tasks, making an appointment with your tax professional probably doesn’t bring on stress. Maybe you have all required documents neatly organized in folders, or you’re using an accounting application that you’ve kept up with conscientiously throughout the year, so your tax pro can run the reports they need and get any other relevant information from you.

But staying on top of these tasks can be a challenge for small business owners. Luckily, we have some helpful tips on how to prepare for your tax appointment as a small business owner. Read on to gain insight into prepping for a tax appointment now!

Save up to 30% on your small business tax prep

Our experts are available in-office and remotely all year long

But, first: How long does a tax appointment take?

Small business tax preparation taking place in an office

If you question, “How long does a tax appointment take?” The answer is fluid – it depends on the complexity of your small business taxes.

Our Block Advisors small business certified tax pros are here to take the burden of tax prep off your plate. We take the time to understand the nuances of your small business and make sure there’s nothing missed – no matter if we’re helping you in-person, through a drop-off appointment or virtually

Here’s what one of our clients had to say about her experience at Block Advisors:

Learn more about our small business tax professionals.

How to prepare for your tax appointment

Below we outline the information and documents to bring to your tax appointment. Here are some of the important categories:

1 – Personal and business identification documents

While this might sound basic, it’s important to bring identifying documentation to your tax appointment, such as your Social Security number. Also bring your business Employer Identification Number (EIN). Most tax preparers also request your driver’s license as well.

2 – Download your books

While many tax preparers also run a small business owners’ books, if this is not the case for you, you’ll want to bring your tax and financials records, like a copy of your prior-year tax return and information about your business assets, liabilities, and equity. In addition, bring your profit and loss statements and balance sheets if you have them.

Need a hand with bookkeeping?  Schedule a free bookkeeping consultation to see how we can help with your bookkeeping needs.

3 – Expense information

One of the best ways to reduce your taxes is finding every possible expense to reduce your tax obligation. Tax pros can help to identify small business tax deductions you might have missed, but you can help them by being prepared with proper documents and receipts.

Have all stash of receipts in a shoe box?  You’re not alone. Don’t worry if your expenses aren’t documented in a spreadsheet. We’ll help you sort through it all.

Pro tip: If you haven’t been tracking taxable business expenses throughout the year, prepare for some work. Go through your check register or credit card statements to identify possible tax-deductible expenses for your tax pro.

4 – Sales totals and cost of goods sold

If you buy or sell merchandise for business use, inform your tax preparer of these amounts.

The cost of goods sold is the cost of producing goods produced by your business, including the cost of labor and materials used.

“I am a new business owner and this year was the first time I did business taxes. My tax professional was very informative and positive. She helped me understand how taxes for small businesses work. After talking to her, I didn’t feel so stressed.”


5 – Income

Create an income statement to track all revenue sources of your small business. What goes on an income statement? This could include income from your day-to-day operations as well as any investment or secondary income.

6 – Contractor or employee information

If you have contractors or employees, this is important information to bring to your tax appointment.

Anything you paid to your contractor or employees for services rendered must be reported. This includes health insurance and other benefits.

In addition, your tax pro will need your federal and state payroll information (via Form 940 and Form 941). Read more about other forms you may need, like IRS Form 1096.

Get organized and use a small business tax checklist

Preparing for your tax appointment is made easier with the right resources. Download our handy small business tax checklist and check out our extensive list of small business tax forms so you have everything you need as you go to your small business tax appointment.

Stay on top of your financials throughout the year

If you’re questioning how to prepare taxes for a small business, here’s a little trick of the trade – enlist help!

Need a hand with bookkeeping?  Schedule a free bookkeeping consultation to see how we can help with your bookkeeping needs.  

Get help with your small business taxes

If you have questions about small business taxes, bookkeeping, or payroll, we’re here to help. With millions of small business clients, rely on our Block Advisors small business certified tax pros to keep your business on track.

Connect with a tax pro now!

Block Advisors by H&R Block logo


Find tax help in your area.