While many of us are doing all we can to get our taxes from 2010 ready to send off to the IRS, I encourage you to also think about your taxes for next year. What can you do differently to make sure things are easier and more organized? Below are a few of my goals mixed with some things we already do. I’m not a CPA and can do calculus easier than adding two numbers together, so I’m not by any means an expert in accounting. I’m very open to any tips or feedback any of you have, and I’ll also be talking to our accountant for some more ideas.
Have a good relationship with your accountant—Last year I called our accountant multiple times for advice and ideas on deductions and recording information for our taxes. He was great about providing us with what we need. Our accountant is not local, and while we are still looking for someone in the Knoxville area, we are very pleased with the way that the CPA has addressed our needs.
Keep good records now—Last year I recorded my mileage for work with pen and paper. This December I keyed all of the information into an Excel file, per a recommendation from my sweet friend Radeana, and I hope that it will make things much easier for next year. The auto-fill and auto-sum options of Excel make my record keeping a little easier.
Keep everything in the same place—I’ve started some files for tax receipts and information related to business and home. I plan to record information in an Excel file and keep the receipts in the desk files.
Most importantly have a budget that is written, decided upon by you and your spouse, and talked about regularly with your immediate family. I can’t tell you how much easier our lives are now that we have a written budget. It even makes paying taxes easier because we can look back on and review our records.
Keep information that contains passwords, credit card numbers, account numbers, and Social Security numbers safe. Make sure your computer is protected, but even if you think it is, be careful about what you put on it.