This is part one of an interview with H. A. Beasley, founder and director of H.A. Beasley & Company, PC, an accounting firm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and ICS Law Group, PC. To listen to the first part of the interview, visit this YouTube link .
Question: Let me start by asking you why people have such a hard time filing their taxes on time?
H.A. Beasley: There’s no doubt that there are many reasons, but one that I think is common and avoidable is that business owners don’t have the right method of tracking tax deductions and otherwise keeping their business books.
We work for a lot of small business owners who don’t have an experienced bookkeeper on staff. Most of our clients who have hired an accountant or bookkeeper are so involved in other aspects of the business that they aren’t really in a position to know whether the records are complete and adequate. Tax time is when they usually finally discover that their records aren’t up to speed. At that time they struggle with how to solve that problem on time once they’ve discovered it.
I think another related reason is, tax time comes around and business owners do get help from outside professionals and the experience doesn’t go all that well. Many business owners have had bad experiences in trying to get outside help.
Sometimes the combination of difficulty in keeping records and having to work with an outside professional puts a business owner in a spin. Sometimes they don’t file needed tax returns for years. It’s common for us to new business owner clients come in to our office two, three, four or sometimes five years because of the bad experiences that started them down the road of not getting them filed.
Question: Five years of unfiled returns?
H.A.: It’s not uncommon. We’ve worked with entrepreneurs who had a bad experience with an inside person that they thought was keeping the records—and wasn’t. We’ve also worked with owners whose businesses just took off so much that they were unable to get tax and financial work done in the office.
Whatever the reason is, it’s just not that uncommon. I am talking about very small businesses that don’t have a large staff that keeps things going for them. They don’t really have the time and intonation to supervise that staff.
Question: Would it be fair to say based on what you just said that it is the smaller businesses that are the biggest procrastinators when it comes to taxes?
H.A.: I think so. We are here in here in Middle Tennessee where so many effective business people are running their businesses out of a vehicle while using a cell phone, they don’t know where to start when it comes to gathering records as they go through their business year. They often will hire a person who says they can come in and sit down in the office and take care of it for them. But they are not really well equipped to evaluate how well the job has been done until the end of the year comes and they sit down and do taxes. And if things are missing it is very hard to gather those things after the fact.
Stay tuned for next Thursday as we share Part Two of the interview with H.A. Beasley.