Get Your Business Together

As tax time looms, most of us start to feel the stress of getting our papers and information together. If you're a business owner, like myself, you might feel double the stress as your prepare your business and personal taxes. Here are a few ideas to help get the business side of things ready for your tax preparer:

- Purge Your Files: Go through your paper filing system and shred/recycle anything that won't be needed for your 2014 taxes. If you're not sure what you'll need, contact your tax preparer or check out the IRS website. Now, these files should be relatively empty and available for whatever you collect during 2015.

- Clear Out the Office, in General: Are there stacks of things for shredding? Take them in to a shredding service. Broken electronics? Recycle them properly. (Ask me if you need a resource for these services!) Make sure the office is ready for work, not other tasks that are taking up your time.

- Tackle Those Receipts: Every business has expenses. (If yours doesn't, let me know how to do that!) The IRS will now accept scanned documents just as well as the original, should you need supporting documents. Consider scanning receipts in 2015, as they come in on a weekly or monthly basis. As for the receipts you have from 2014, look through them and jot down on the receipt what kind of expense it was (food, supplies, services, etc.).

- Look at the Numbers: Time to take out your checkbook and balance it! Or, at least, open up your computer program used for tracking expenses. Make sure you've noted all those receipts over the year, as well as all the income. Make sure the amounts in each category of expenses equals the same number of your yearly total expenses!

- Make Sense of Your Inbox: Sift through your electronic correspondences for proof of expenses, income and donations. Save a screen shot of these communications instead of printing them out. No need to waste paper, ink and space in your file. Save the screenshots to your 2014 Taxes digital file.

- Wait for Your Refund!

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