Tax season does not have to be a stressful time. Yes, the new year means deadlines and important dates are quickly approaching (the E- File window officially opens on Monday, Jan 27th!) but don’t let them scare you. What’s the best way to make this tax season easy af? Well, start early AND do the work now so that you set yourself up for the next year. Nothing eases anxiety like planning and there is no better time than to start now.
Here are 4 ways you can make this tax season (and the many after this one) headache free.
- Auto-file all tax-related emails NOW
This is a little trick that saves so time it’s actually wild
You should auto-file all of your receipts, e-statements, account information, any financial/tax related email you receive into one folder in your inbox. That way, you don’t have to search through millions of emails looking for that random big-ticket purchase receipt that arrived in your inbox last July when it’s time to file now. If you do a quick search in your email now, you could categorize everything to make filing seamless for you. It might take a little while to do, but once it’s done, you’re set.
Check this out for info on how to auto-file emails for Outlook and Gmail.
2. Make sure your organizational systems for old tax documents still makes sense
Everyone has their own method for their madness, but no one method is perfect. People get stuck doing the same things because they’ve always done them this way. That’s NEVER a good enough reason.
Technology changes, new apps are being developed as we speak – don’t be afraid to try out new ideas to improve your system. No one is above modification. If you’ve been slacking on the financial record keeping, below are a few FREE (yes, free) bookkeeping software to check out.
However you choose to keep old tax documents, just make sure you do — IRS advises to keep tax returns for 7 years after the filing date.
- Shred all unnecessary documents
I have two words: paper shredder …and two more words: the cloud
Simplicity is key. Tax season in itself can get us business owners caught up, confused and stressed ou. while some of us are good at holding on to important documents, we also can hold on to too much.
As a CPA, I’d rather not shuffle through a slew of unnecessary documents and unopened envelopes from clients. In fact, my office is (almost entirely) paperless. If you don’t need a document, get rid of it! And if you’ve securely uploaded the document in the Cloud, then shred the paper version! There is nothing else you need to know here – we don’t have to carry around loose documents, it just confuses everything and takes up unnecessary space.
Dropbox is a free way to store documents in the cloud
4. Ask your Accountant questions
This isn’t your specialty, you didn’t study this, we know this ish is hard! And by this, I mean t-a-x-e-s. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Accountants have worked very hard to get to where they are – that CPA exam ain’t no joke, trust me – so don’t worry about looking dumb, we’re here to help and we’re aware that this stuff is complicated af, true talk. Plus there are new changes in the tax law this year that may affect you. Remember- you’re not only paying for tax return filing – you are paying for clarity and peace of mind – so ask questions.
To more money in our pockets,
P.S. My new redesigned website is now up and running!!! And it’s funky bad yall (in a very good way). Check out my website and let me know what you think.
P.P.S. Stuck on taxes? Then join me LIVE this Tuesday Jan 28th at 10am PST/ 1pm EST where I’ll be dishing out some key tax filing tips and answering your tax questions. If you are not yet a member of #theBLT – my dope online community of over 800 entrepreneurs where we dish about business, money, and life matters — then join before Tuesday so you can show up LIVE get your questions answered. Join today!