Year Round Tax Preparation

By: Rachel Yoshida

For all the people who own a large or even a small business, it is nothing new to keep up with important items for your taxes. Taxes may not necessarily be that big of a headache for anyone that always files their taxes using a short form and a W-2. Those of us who must file a long form using itemized deductions, well, it is another matter.

If you have ever been quickly approaching that dreaded April 15th deadline and are still searching every nook and cranny for any receipts, important papers, check statements and so on and so on, then it should be apparent to you that you are not very adept at keeping track of those all important things through out the year. It is really no laughing matter, one missed receipt or purchase and your tax debt or tax return can be altered.

No accountant likes to be bombarded at the last moment before tax filing time with a paper bag or box full of jumbled up, unorganized tax information. Chances are you will be charged more for their services when they have to be sorted and categorized by them. It can be a time consuming job when it has to be done all at once.

While you are standing in your accountants office with your overflowing bag or box full of paperwork and you see someone come strolling in smiling because all of their stuff is neatly tucked inside file folders all labeled so neatly, it will make you wish you had their discipline. You can be that disciplined with a lot less effort than you might think. It is all about a simple routine you can do once a week in a few minutes.

First of all you need an itemed list of the various categories of receipts for expenses that you have like gas, utilities, car repairs, home repairs, etc. Then you will need a shorter list of any places that you receive income from. In January of the year, make out a folder for each month. If you must, keep a small container of some kind in your car to put loose receipts in and pick one day of the week to clean it out. Make sure that at the end of each month any receipts or important papers, such as your check statement, have all made their way into that folder. You can go even further and total all the like items together such as your gas expenditures and have one monthly total already added.

This may not be all the tax preparation work that needs to be done by you at the end of the year, but it will give you a great head start when all your papers are in monthly folders and it is not necessary to go all over the house gathering them up at the last minute.

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