A bookkeeper is a person whose job is to keep the records and financial affairs of a business. Bookkeepers are responsible for some (or all) of a business’s financial information, which is generally known as the General Ledger. They also prepare your Profit & Loss statement as well as other reports needed for your specific business.
If you’re a contractor or you own and operate a small business, the IRS requires that you pay Estimated Taxes four times a year. Since you do not earn your money via W2 the taxes you are obligated to pay are not with held from your paychecks. Quarterly estimated tax deadlines each year fall on:
January 15th of the following year.
While often confused, bookkeeping and accounting serve separate and distinct functions in the running of a business. Bookkeeping is documenting, organizing and maintaining records for your business. Accounting, on the other hand, is the act of actually analyzing and interpreting the documentation and turning into meaningful data. Tax preparation is using the data provided from bookkeeping and accounting to prepare your tax return
While bookkeepers maintain the data needed to file your taxes, an accountant is likely the one who will actually prepare and file your taxes.
Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards to tax professionals. An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.