Blast From the Past - Post 2
I found some old articles I wrote back in 2011. Think anything has changed in 7 years?
Easy-Breezy Stress-Free Tax Filing
Posted on 2/11/11
It’s tax time and you may be feeling a little frazzled. It can be overwhelming to deal with all the documentation needed just to file and make sure that you/your tax people have everything they need. I may not be able to help you with your 2010 issues but I can get you on your way to have a better 2011.
Organization is absolute key! Without it – you could lose a lot of money! So let’s start there.
What can you do all year long that’s easy, fast and simple to sort your receipts and paperwork? Multicolored File folders or Multicolored tabs on an accordion file. Color coding is a simple and fast way to sort without thinking or accidentally putting the receipt in the wrong spot.
At the end of the year, print out a Profit & Loss Report and a Statement Report for each client. This is something that can help you to reflect on what’s going on and how you can improve the financial aspect of the company. You can back date this so starting with 12/31/2010 is a good way to start the 2011 year with eyes wide open and make adjustments to protect your assets this year. Store these papers in the same file folder above. It could come in very handy. Make notes on them throughout the year as necessary – such as when a client finally paid on old debt, when you sent it to collections or what not. Yes, this information is probably always available to you in your accounting program but this way its right at your fingertips and if your program isn’t working right at the moment, no problem.
If you have children that deal with two homes, make sure you articulate with the other parent about the details of who is going to claim the child as a dependent. Both claiming a child on their taxes can lead someone into an audit. So make sure you are both clear on what is going on here. Once one of the parents has officially filed their taxes, that particular parent should remind the other parent that they have already filed and claimed the child or not. I’ve heard of a situation where both parents thought the other was claiming and neither did.
Stickers are a great way to signify what you have done on a particular tax year for easy reference later on. For instance, if you claim a house on one year, put a house sticker on your copy of your filed taxes. Childcare? A Baby or child. Inheritance or lottery? A dollar. Autos? Car. Major renovations? A hammer. You get the idea.
Dedicating a shelf/drawer to only your year-end needs is another great way to know where the necessities are when you need them.
Humans work best on visual queue’s, so finding ways to make things easier to deal with by sight will make your organization a breeze. Find what works for you and stick with it so it becomes embedded into your routine thus becoming quicker at organizing.
Angi of Lost in Office Space