The second the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, tax season has officially begun.
From January through April, that nagging voice in the back of your head refuses to shut up until you’ve scanned and submitted every last detail to your tax professional.
What a headache!
This tax season, don’t let the stress of completing your small business taxes drive you nuts. It’s possible to finish your taxes easily and effortlessly, without enduring massive amounts of stress and without spending hours shackled to your laptop.
Follow our stress-free plan to finish your taxes in just 5 minutes per day (or less)!
1. Set aside 5 minutes each day to focus on your taxes. You might spend 5 minutes when you first arrive at the office, or 5 minutes before you leave for the evening. Whatever you choose, pick a time that’s consistent each day.
2. Scan 3-4 receipts each day. Whether they’re from last year or this year, scanning a few receipts each day will reduce the amount of clutter in your office, keep your purse and/or briefcase organized, and help you track the previous year’s expenses.Alternatively, you can spend 5 seconds one day dumping all of your paper clutter into one (or four) of our famous Magic Envelopes, and let us do the scanning for you.
3. Focus on one expense category at a time. On Monday, you might spend 5 minutes calculating some of your travel expenses. On Tuesday, you can begin going through your education expenses, or track what you spent on gas and car maintenance.
4. Force yourself to stick to the 5 minute rule – not more, and not less. Even if you accomplish hardly anything, setting aside the time to focus on taxes will keep you in the habit of dealing with them daily until they’re complete. On the other hand, allowing yourself to spend hours pouring over bank statements will quickly lead to tax burnout.
5. When examining your accounts, focus on one month at a time. There’s nothing more overwhelming than trying to determine income and expenditures for an entire year. Start in January of the previous year, and compare your receipt totals with your bank statements. Break the task down further by focusing on a single area, like meals and entertainment. Note any discrepancies you may find, then hang up your hat – you’re done for the day!
6. Spend 5 minutes emailing or calling your tax professional and discussing any questions you might have or forms you might need. On the days you’re really not in the mood to do your taxes, this action step can be a great way to “cheat” while still making progress.
7. Go over any unassigned receipts in your Shoeboxed account and assign them categories. Making sure each receipt has a specific tax category will speed up reporting and make it easier for your accountant to figure out what you owe (or what your refund should be!)
8. Check the Shoeboxed blog for any frequently missed write offs you may have forgotten about.
- Are you paying health insurance premiums for your employees?
- Do you own a company vehicle?
- Are you paying off student loans?
There are tons of write offs that small business owners don’t realize they can take. Make sure all of your bases are covered.
By starting in January or February and committing to just 5 minutes per day, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you’re able to finish your taxes – most likely long before April 15th rears its ugly head.
What tricks do you use to finish your taxes on time?