It’s tax season here in the USA.
When I first started my business, I used to be totally stressed out during tax time. Can you relate?
Fortunately, I’m not stressed out this year.
That’s because after completely dreading the process for way too long, I finally got smart and put some systems in place.
(Plus I’m still feeling jazzed and energized from my helicopter-skiing trip last week in Telluride to celebrate my brother’s 40th birthday. Heli-skiing was an incredible experience and I did not expect to be so fascinated by “assuming the position.” If you’re curious, you can read about it on my personal blog: www.EpicLifeTour.com.)
Back to dealing with taxes…
Here are some tips to make the process easier:
1. Have a separate business checking account. (You’d be amazed how many coaches have been
in business for years and still haven’t done this.)
2. Have a dedicated credit or debit card. Use it for as many of your business expenses as possible. This makes tracking soooo much easier. Plus, most financial institutions will send you a year end summary that categorizes your expenditures.
3. Hire an accountant or tax preparer who specializes in small business owners. Even if you are the “do it yourself” type, utilize the services of a knowledgeable professional at least once who can make sure you’re maximizing your deductions and doing things right.
4. Use financial tracking software like Quicken or Quickbooks. Have your financial data entered
monthly, ideally by someone other than you!
5. Set up a separate bank account for tax payments and contribute to it monthly so when it is time to pay your quarterly or end of year taxes, you already have funds set aside.
6. Use your daytimer/online calendar to track business meals and miles. Write down who you met with and how many miles you traveled to get there.
Ultimately, the secret is having a system in place that keeps you on track during the year so you’re not frantically pulling together all of your data a week before taxes are due.
If you have any tips you’d like to share, post them here, I’d love to hear them.
If you have specific tax questions please contact a qualified tax professional.
I’m sharing these tips because they have been very helpful for me and my clients. However this is not any type of tax or legal advice. I am not an accountant or attorney, nor do I play one on TV :-)
Congrats Louise! Isn't great to feel organized. Ha ha re: "Assuming the Position" Never got a pic of me in the position, but you can see what it's like on my http://www.EpicLifeTour.com blog.
I'm getting smarter every year, and surprise surprise managed to get my taxes done a month early this year! Woohoo! I hired an accountant and a bookkeeper to make sure that I'm doing all the right things and to keep track over time with all the things I'm doing. It feels good to be getting so organised and have these fundemental systems in place. Would love to see some pics of you 'assuming the position'! ;)