WHAT???? Why am I talking about taxes now? BECAUSE…it is almost the start of the 4th quarter. Which also seems to be the start of Holiday Season. Which means you are going to be busier than ever getting clients ready for holiday parties and vacations. Plus, there is all of your personal holiday duties and then WHAM, POW! It’s December 31st and your receipts are piled up in a stack. Your private client invoices are (hopefully) paid up-to-date but your check stubs from the various gyms are underneath all of your receipts. Then there were those estimated payments you were supposed to be making all year that you didn’t and hmmm…were all of those foam rollers you bought tax deductible? Yes. A mess. The good news is that you can do THREE things this weekend to help you get organized so that you can tie 2013 up into a bow on January 1st and actually file your tax return ON TIME. Ready?
1. GET those receipts organized & filed
It can be as simple as buying some manila envelopes and labeling them (gas, clothing, training equipment, phone bills, music, education, professional dues, etc). Go through the receipts and make piles on top of the envelopes, stick corresponding receipts into the proper envelope.
2. Invest in some online accounting tool and start entering in your transactions
I love Quickbooks. It is easy to use and one of the best investments I made early on in my biz. It will walk you through the set up process step by step. Then spend one day per week for the next 12 weeks to enter your transactions for each month. Yes, Next Monday, go through your checking account and enter your transactions for January. The following Monday, February and so on. You will have everything done by the year end. (I was NOT paid to mention Quickbooks)
3. Start looking NOW for a good accountant who works with small biz owners that will handle your tax return for a fair price. IF you do the work for them (i.e. enter all of your transactions/deposits into Quickbooks) all you have to do at the end of the year is hand them ONE report and they will be able to do your tax return with ease. I find that this should cost between $350-$700 depending on where you live. Look on YELP! for accountants in your area with good reviews. I know you are thinking it is crazy to pay that much for a tax return but trust me on this! They know the tax laws in and out. They will actually be able to save you money because you will be able to deduct more (including their fee!). Trust me.
This serves as your warning. Don’t make the same mistake year after year by not filing on time. Filing an extension is just one more thing hanging over your head. GET ORGANIZED NOW! You’ll love the feeling!