The holidays are on us. With words of good cheer, who wants to think about taxes, right? But 2012 is only six weeks away.
Don’t let anxiety ruin your holidays, or your tax season. With a few quick and simple steps now, you can take a mountain of pressure off your shoulders later. Here’s my list of easy reminders to help you breathe easier when Uncle Sam comes knocking in 2012.
- Start gathering all the receipts you can find now. Check wallets, purses, coat pockets, planners, or anywhere else you might stash them.
- Over the next few weeks, put all the receipts you find in a central location if you aren’t already doing so. Make it work for you. A file folder, filing cabinet, kitchen drawer, or a shoe box. It isn’t what you use, it’s whether you can put your hands on the information when you need it without breaking into a sweat and wasting a whole day in a frantic search.
- If you do your own bookkeeping, make sure all your entries are up to date by the second week of December. If you pay someone else, make sure you’ve gotten all pertinent information to them. If you’re overwhelmed, hire someone to do your books. It’s surprising how quickly a good bookkeeper pays for themselves. Your time and energy are precious resources that cannot be retrieved later.
- Go to www.irs.gov and check for any new tax laws, or changes to old ones, that might affect you. Tax laws change constantly, so don’t assume you know what you may or may not deduct. Many times you may find there are legal, deductions available that you haven’t heard of.
- Get a tax check-up before the end of the year. Make an appointment with your tax preparer no later than December 15th. Find out if you’ve done everything possible to save tax dollars. This gives you time to make changes before the end of the year if it will help you. Don’t put this off!
- If you employee others, make sure you are in compliance with all current minimum wage requirements. Again, tax laws change often, so check the federal and the state(s) you hire in for up to the minute legal parameters.
Taxes need not panic you. With an easy preparedness plan, you can breeze through the season without any anxiety.
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
New International Version (NIV)
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.