Written by Salina Jivani
Taxes. It’s one word that gives most people a run for their money…pun intended. If 2019 will be your first year filing taxes, or you’re simply tired of the stress and chaos associated with tax season, now’s the time to make quick fixes so you’re not buried in an avalanche of stress (and paperwork) when tax time does roll around.
Track your income and expenses
Most people start the year off strong, doing a meticulous job of tracking expenses, only to fall off the bandwagon about midyear. Now is a good time to start back up where you left off and log your gross receipts, sales, employee wages, and other such line items so that when it comes time to list everything on your taxes, you’re not having to backtrack and tally several months’ worth of figures.
Consider your deductions
Perhaps one of the greatest perks of taxes are deductions. Keep a thorough log of “ordinary and necessary” expenses so that you can quickly access these numbers when it comes time to enter in your deductions. Remember, deductions lower your taxable income. Losing track of your deductible items will mean that you’ll end up showing a higher income, meaning you’ll end up paying more in taxes.
Start gathering documents
By now, you should know the tax drill. You’ll need your previous year’s bank statements, payroll documents, accounting documents, etc. to submit to your tax accountant or keep on hand if you’re filing your own taxes. Start printing and putting these documents to the side each month so you’re not left hunting for a year’s worth of documents at the last moment.
Preparing in advance is the key to success for a stress-free tax season. If in the end, despite your preparations, you’re not able to get everything in order by the April deadline, be prepared to request an extension.