Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is it Tax Time Already?


Are you ready? The end of the year is upon us, are you ready to file your taxes?

If you are an organized person by nature, you'll read this in a calm matter wondering if you might have missed something. If you are not, you are already in a panic...am I right?

I thought you might like some help so we are going to offer some tax tips, some will apply to you, some won't. I do not claim to know everything about taxes, so please ask a professional if you are not sure about certain items. Ready? Let's get started...

Let's decide what you kind of information you might need. Here is a list of categories to help you. If you're not sure, make a miscellaneous file and ask your tax preparer.

The most common categories include:

Income - includes all payments received for services or products sold, how much, who paid you and the date payment was received.

Office Supplies - include postage receipts, paper, envelopes, printer ink, pens; just about anything you can get at the office supply store.

Inventory - you should keep a record of anything that you purchased to sell, along with who you purchased product from, the date purchased and the amount paid for product.

Equipment - did you purchase new equipment this past year? This includes computers, printers, a copier, even a new desk chair.

Auto Expenses - include gas, maintenance on your vehicle and mileage.

Utilities - an obvious one but includes your cell phone expense, internet service expenses, business phone or even a home phone if you have a detailed bill and can show exactly how much money was spent toward your business.

Charitable Donations - did you donate your products or services? Did you keep track of these? Also includes monetary contributions.

Travel and Entertainment - includes all travel expenses (hotel, transportation, etc) and also restaurant receipts as long as you really had a meeting or it was actually associated with your business.

Advertising Expenses - include business cards, catalogs, brochures, ads you placed, website designing fees

Do not forget to keep track of your website hosting fees, paypal fees, ebay/etsy fees, post office box fees, bank service charges, etc. These are ALL tax deductible. If you are not sure about something, put it in a miscellaneous file and ask!

You should always try to keep original receipts whenever possible. Also print out your itemized credit card statements and highlight expenses.

Keep your documents organized and stored in a safe place. By following these easy tax tips, you will also keep your sanity without having a panic attack at tax time.

Country Blessings,

Lori

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