Now that 2018 is here, it's time to begin the process of closing the books on 2017, distributing 1099s, and paying taxes. We've got all the help links on how to perform the necessary steps in all TOPS products, as well as answers to the most commonly asked questions our support team gets regarding the year-end process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this mandatory? You are required by law to provide information on taxable income that your community(s) paid to vendors. Most commonly, this takes the form of 1099 forms, which need to be provided to the payee, as well as the IRS. Every community is also required by law to file taxes, even if it is a non-profit corporation or deemed exempt. Some states also require additional forms or services, such as semi-annual audits of community accounts. Find out the deadlines for each step as well as the potential penalties you face for noncompliance here.
What exactly does closing the year mean? As a full-function accounting program, TOPS allows you to close out the General Ledger for each fiscal or calendar year. While closing your year is not mandated by law, it is highly recommended that you complete this process. Closing the year can help prevent transactions from being posted to dates in which no further transactions are allowed. It can accommodate for comparative reporting between years and budgets; and for communities in states requiring regular auditing, closing the books can significantly ease the time and expense of the audit.
Do I have to close the books in TOPS immediately? As a general rule, you may continue to process for January (or whatever the first month of your fiscal year might be) even though you have not closed the year. TOPS can interpret transactions by date and will recognize the dates in the new year and automatically keep them separate from transactions for the year just ended. However, if you are using the deprecated Payroll module in TOPS Professional, you will need to close the year prior to cutting your first payroll checks of the year.
What if my company follows a different fiscal year than the standard calendar year? As 1099 tax forms are due on a specific date required by the Federal government, you will need to process your accounts payable for year end, specifically to generate the necessary forms. However, there is no restriction in any version of TOPS that prevents you from closing your General Ledger according to your fiscal year.
What forms will I need? We highly recommend you consider an e-filing service for your tax form submission. It's easier, faster, and much less of a hassle. Greatland's Yearli allows you to directly submit your TOPS data to their system, which can generate printed forms for you, or file electronically on your behalf. If you do wish to print the forms yourself, you will need to get STANDARD 2 PER PAGE 1099 LASER/INKJET FORMS, which are available at any office supply store or forms supplier.
What reports do I need to keep for my records that I should print out before I get started? 1. Print a final Income/Expense (P & L) Statement for the year 2. Print a final Balance Sheet for the year 3. Print a cumulative, full detail General Ledger (set the date range to the entire year)
Can I undo the closeout if I realize I made a mistake or forgot to include something? While it is possible to restore a closed year, the steps can differ based on the options you selected when you performed the close. If you need to back out a close year transaction, we highly recommend you contact support to walk you through the process.
What are the Federal withholdings for 2018 that I need for payroll? Due to the fact that the new tax law was not signed by the President until December 22nd, the IRS is still working on getting these numbers together. According to their statement online, they expect to have this information available before the end of January. When the data is available, you should be able to find it on the IRS.GOV site under the name Circular E, Publication 15. Here is a link that should work once the document is live (currently still showing the 2017 version).