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J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2015: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line by Barbara Weltman

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CHAPTER 3 Recordkeeping for Business Income and Deductions

  1. General Recordkeeping
  2. Specific Substantiation Requirements for Certain Expenses
  3. Records for Depreciation, Basis, Carryovers, and Prepaid Expenses
  4. How Long You Should Maintain Records

 

Recordkeeping is a tiresome and time-consuming task. Still, you have little choice but to do it. Records show whether your business is producing a profit or a loss. The information in your records can enable you to prepare financial statements, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets, which may be required by your lenders or investors. From a tax perspective, you need records to determine your gain or loss when you sell property. And as a general rule, you must be able to back up your deductions with certain clear proof, such as receipts, canceled checks, and other documentation. If you do not have this proof, your deductions may be disallowed or force you to litigate in order to win your position (a costly and time-consuming activity). Certain deductions require specific evidence. Other deductions are based on more general means of proof.

For further information on recordkeeping, see IRS Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business (for Individuals ...

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