Organize for Tax Time – End Your Year Stress Free

by Lynnea Bylund on October 22, 2010 · 3 comments

It’s almost Halloween? Time flies between Halloween and New Years Day….. before long, it’ll be time to file your taxes again. There are things you should start doing RIGHT NOW in order to avoid stress at tax time, according to accomplished CPA and QuickBooks teacher Rebecca Tervo:

From Rebecca Tervo’s blog

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Have a plan – my business coach and mentor, Laura Roeder, teaches useful tips about goal setting and productivity in her programs.

One helpful hint I’ve learned from her is to turn big projects into smaller, bite sized tasks. Take those smaller tasks and schedule them into your calendar.

Once you’ve scheduled your time, you’ve got a plan.

How do you stick with the plan so you get your desired result? If you’re like I used to be, you probably give yourself way too many tasks to do, then beat yourself up when you don’t get them all complete.

Here are the habits I’ve formed so I don’t get overwhelmed by my plan:

I commit to working on a big project (like filing) 10-15 minutes a day CONSISTENTLY.

I set a timer, and commit to quitting when the buzzer goes off to start again when the next scheduled time is.

I listen to great music or an audio program (if the project allows) while I’m working.

Catch up on filing

The last thing you want to do during the holidays is filing! Instead, do a little every day between now and Christmas, and you’ll have a relaxing Christmas break.

Here’s a few how-to’s to get you started:

Gather up ALL loose papers, receipts, folders that are lying around your office into ONE area.

Begin by sorting into general categories. Example: throw away, client files, accounting records

No”I’ll think about it later” Piles! Make a decision right away with each paper you touch.

Be ruthless and throw away as much as you can! (keep all receipts, bills, bank statements, etc for tax purposes)

I was able to throw out piles of research, ebooks, and other papers because I know that I can find the info again online anytime I need it.

Have you missed anything?

As you’re filing, think about what kinds of information you’ll need for your taxes. Gather that info in a separate filing folder. Here’s a partial list of some things you may have forgotten:

    • mileage logs
    • home office: utlility bills and other home expenses that you’ll be able to write off
    • records for your cell phone
    • internet service bills
    • meal, entertainment and travel receipts
    • large business purchases receipts (computers, autos, furniture, etc.)

If you schedule filing time into your calendar starting today, it’ll only take a few hours overall, and be much less painful when spread out over a few months! You’ll be surprised at how much you get done in 10 minutes a day consistently.

I hope your year end goes as well as you’ve planned!

{ 3 comments }

1 Kena Samain April 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

This year my business is following all of your tax organization points.

2 Mahesh Sagar May 3, 2011 at 1:52 am

Great tips for tax reduction through proper organization. Thanks!

3 JethroB May 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Organizing brings peace!

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