Best Practices to Get Ready For Tax Time

I know it’s a hot subject and today I want to talk to you about how to set up your business for tax time success.  Personal taxes are due today because of Emancipation Day. Everybody has tax on the mind so why not blog about tax strategies. That way you have a great time and a stress free time to do your taxes and also to set you up for success.  I also will discuss how to set up your records so that next April, you’re able to just breathe easy, have a good time, and not be stressed.  In today’s blog I want to make sure that you understand what to do and so what steps are needed.  For those of you don’t know me, I’m the founder of Steburg Law Firm.  In my law firm we do tax controversy and resolution which means we help you out when you have problems with the world’s most powerful collector. It is not the mob. It is the IRS and how to help you resolve your issues. We help to place you on the right path as well so that it’s not a recurring problem.  I’m a tax attorney.  My information is based on doing hundreds and hundreds of audits with hundreds and hundreds of business owners over the years. I’ve been doing tax controversy since 2006.  So I’ve done this a lot and I know where the pitfalls are because I’ve seen them over and over and over with my clients.  I want to make sure that you don’t make any of those mistakes.

The first question that I want you to consider is where you keep your documents for a tax time.  One recent client being audited for 2013 dropped off her documents for my review. These documents were literally in a shoe box.  She actually provided different shoe boxes for different months and for different categories. I then had the challenge of correlating these with the tax returns.   She was telling me every April she gets so stressed out and spends so much time trying to go through those documents so that she can give the information to the CPA who then prepares the documents for the tax returns.  That’s not the best way to organize your documents and plays a large part in people’s angst during this time of year.

Now that we have reviewed how not to keep your tax documents, let me walk you through what I believe are best practices for maintaining the necessary backup documentation. The first thing you will need is to get yourself some file folders.  You can get these at staples or anywhere you purchase office supplies.  I like the ones that open with a tab that you can affix a label onto.  But you can put your documents in a binder.  You can use another type of filing system these are just cheap and easy.  Use whatever works best for you.

Now you must decide how to label the folders. There’s an easy way to do this.   In my practice, I see it all.  The best practice I think I have seen is to use a tax return to determine the categories.  You have the different categories of expenses for your business on schedule C.  If you turn the page on schedule C you have your other expenses.  Those are your tab categories. That is all you need to do to have your documents organized in a way they correlate with your on tax return.

I hope you like this and I hope that you follow me “Anita Steburg” on Facebook or SteburgLawFirm.com.  We have a lot of information there and I’m constantly trying to update it.  You can also follow me on periscope by searching “Anita Steburg” where I can provide you more of my best practices as a business owner as well as an attorney on how to grow your business in the most stress free manner possible.

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