Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

Happy Tax Day

April 18th, 2011 by Deb McLean

Today is Tax Day (three days later than usual).  Most Americans dread this day like a trip to the dentist. 

For the majority, the annual tax filing deadline is a all about stress, disorganization and anxiety. Whether you stay up all night tracking down receipts or dread the thought of having to write a check to the IRS to cover additional taxes owed, Tax Day is not fun.

But the truth is, Tax Day is not Christmas, it doesn’t have to be the worst day of the year either.

Here are some ideas to help make next year’s Tax Day better. You can start today to make for a happier Tax Day in 2012:  As far as the IRS is concerned, if you can’t document your tax deduction, it doesn’t exist.

Keep your receipts all year long to prove you’re eligible for tax deductions – If you don’t have a receipt, it doesn’t exist to the IRS.  Especially true for small businesses.

Organize your paperwork  – Develop a system: use envelopes and create a dedicated drawer of the file cabinet or desk. The key is to stay organized all year long so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

Go paperless – Scan your tax-related documents and save them on your computer. (Be sure to back up your files)

Take a survey this year - Make notes about which parts of the process were most difficult. Which tax forms were most complicated? Which business expenses do you most need to keep better track of for next year? What were the problem areas on this year’s taxes that you want to do better/differently next year?

Take more out – It’s no fun having to write a big check to the IRS after a long year of work. Even though my husband says, “Paying taxes is a good problem to have,” it often feels discouraging to have to dig deep for that check. If you hate to write checks to the IRS, consider boosting your tax withholdings. Even an extra $50 a month can make a difference – that’s $600 a year in “forced savings,” much of which might come back to you in the form of a tax refund although it’s not as  financially beneficial as some other options.

Don’t go it alone – You might be better off hiring a tax professional to help you do your taxes. It’s never too early to start shopping around for an accountant and/or tax attorney who can help you. Make sure it’s someone you can trust.  Ask your friends for references – you might be surprised how affordable it can be to have a tax pro handle your tax return.

Tags: No Comments

Leave a Comment

0 responses so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.