Does Tax Preparation Stress You Out?
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1. Have the Proper Organizers on Hand
The All-in-One Income Tax Organizer pictured would be a good substitute for the larger more complex accordion file my husband uses. The Budget Book pictured would make it easier to keep track of personal finances than the organizer I use now. It has more budgeting features for keeping track of anticipated expenses and income. The Tax Minimiser is designed especially for small business owners.
2. Set Aside a Time Every Week to Organize Receipts
Early Preparation Prevents Last Minute Stress
|Image Courtesy of Pixabay|
We bought the software on a Wednesday and then we tried to get the data together. I worked on my Schedule C forms and Personal Information while Hubby gathered the other data on the rentals for Schedule E.
A few minutes later he developed some mild chest pain, so we were off to the Emergency Room. He does have heart problems, and it seemed wise to be safe rather than sorry. He was OK, but we didn't get home until early morning and we had to sleep late. Neither of us was at our best for the rest of the day, either, and we had to spend Easter Sunday working on taxes. We did finally finish by the deadline.
Weekly Organization During the Tax Year Could Have Prevented This Stress
As demonstrated above, we can't know ahead what the future holds. We cannot predict medical events that can occupy our time when we had intended to start our taxes. The solution? Start preparing your taxes for next year now by keeping receipts organized as you get them. At least once a week make sure you have receipts in the proper pocket of your organizer and that you have written the business purpose for each receipt.
I prefer a desk bill organizer since I thought Quicken was too complicated for my situation when I previously used it years ago. Even though it imports bank and other financial information automatically, it was not intuitive to use. I made mistakes because I didn't understand how to use it properly and those mistakes were impossible to undo. If you can use it properly, Quicken makes it easy to import your tax information directly to TurboTax.
3. Keep Track of Deductible Mileage
Whether you use your car as an employee of a company or for your own business, you may be able to deduct your mileage. To do that you have to keep track of your business miles driven.
Sometimes we can get impatient or find that it's hard to read the odometer and record mileage for every trip. We often make the same trips repeatedly for business, as when we visit a certain rental property, bank or the post office. You may only need to document the exact mileage for that place once, and then just record the date, place, and miles traveled the next time you go. Another great way to see how many miles it is to a destination is to use Google Earth. When you ask it for directions from one place to another, it will give you the total miles for the route you take.
Whatever System You Use, Start Now to Relieve Tax Preparation Stress Next Year
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