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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Organize Your Receipts & Taxes

Welcome to another week of Organizing! If you are just checking in, we have been organizing our lives for the past 7 weeks using Jennifer Ford Berry's book, Organize Now. It's been really great!

If you are catching up you can see the past posts here:

Week 1 about Organizing Your Mind and Life Vision HERE,
Week 2 about Organizing Your Priorities HERE,
Week 3 about Organizing Your Schedule HERE
Week 4 about Organizing Your Cleaning Schedule HERE.
Week 5 about Organizing Your Personal Information HERE. 
Week 6 about Organizing Your Finances HERE. 
Week 7 about Organizing Your Bill-paying System HERE.

This is a timely post as tax day is upon us! Are you done with your taxes yet? My husband and I just met with our certified public accountant on Saturday. It was a good and productive meeting. My husband likes to say that there are two things in life to not be cheap with - good tax advice and good legal advice. :) It was great for me because my dear husband has been helping me organize my business receipts and information this year so it was ready for tax time. Thanks honey! :) 
If you have a business, be sure to talk to or hire someone who is well versed in business. There are so many things that are eligible to write off on taxes as long as they are related to your business. Home office space, office supplies, professional dues, utilities, mileage (it's up to over .50 per mile!), postage, travel costs for business, etc. Just be sure to keep very good records throughout the year. I would suggest getting a separate business credit card and checking account. This helps to keep everything separate and makes it easier at tax time.

This Week's Goals:
1. Sort out and categorize all receipts.
We like to keep ours in a simple accordion folder along with our bills. We separate them by month and my husband logs them into our Quicken program, usually every Sunday evening.
2. Categorize your tax papers.
This may include pay stubs, W-2 forms, 1099 forms, dividend statements. Credit card statements, bank statements, medical statements (any out of pocket. if it adds up to $6000 or more, you can include it on your taxes). Donations, including non-cash donations to places like Goodwill. Student loan interest paid, etc.
3. Be sure to keep record in your check book ledger of any debits to your checking account.

Get in the habit of cleaning out and processing all receipts from your wallet or purse each week. (this one is a work in progress for me! :)

Get into good habits of sorting and filing receipts as you get them so you are not scrambling at tax time. That can be so stressful!
If you need help with your taxes, or esp. if you own a business, hire someone! It can pay huge dividends if you do and is well worth the money.
For more information about organizing your receipts and taxes, please read Organize Now.
Next week we will organize our files. Another great one for this time of the year.
Thanks again for joining along this week. I hope it was informative to you. As always, I love to hear from you. Please feel free to link your blog with mine so your readers can benefit and join along too. And please share your tips. They are always so great! :)
Have a great day!!

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