Can you believe it’s now April? It feels like time flies after the New Years Day and before you know it, you’ll be filing your taxes again.
Today I am sharing with you the things you should start doing RIGHT NOW to avoid stress when filing your income taxes at tax time:
Have a plan
One helpful hint I’ve learned from my business coach 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 before the tax deadline! Instead, do a little every day, and you’ll have a relaxing tax filing day. 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: utility 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.
- Record-Keeping: How to Keep Business Records
- Small Business Owner and Unpaid Taxes
- Tax Time: Check If You Qualify for Home Office Tax Deductions
- Hiring an Accountant: What to Look For
- 5 Tips for Small Businesses During Tax Season