How to Start Tax Season 2014 Off Right

Another year has come and gone, and that means another year’s worth of taxes are due soon. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to start tax season 2014 off right.

Can you believe it’s already 2014? If you’re anything like me, you’ve been writing 2…0…1…3 *shoot! scratches out* 4 all year.

Anyway, another year has come, and that means another year of taxes will be due before you know it. And remember, the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be finished and waiting on a refund check! Here are some tips to help you tackle tax season 2014 in record time.

1. Make a list

For many small business owners and freelancers, the hardest part of getting started with taxes is determining the dozens of moving parts that make up your taxes. Instead of keeping vague words like “expenses” and “income” circulating in your head, write down a specific list of things you need to complete the task at hand, like “Travel write-offs from that conference in San Francisco, receipts from Shoeboxed, get a copy of that receipt from Susan,” etc.

Using a list means you’re much less likely to lose something important– or worse, miss a deduction! The list will serve as your guide to navigating your taxes. If you get all of your papers (or even better, digital versions) organized beforehand, you’ll have everything at your fingertips whenever you need it.

2. Go digital

Hiring a bookkeeper and paying them to sort through your piles of paper can be quite expensive, but at the same time, you don’t want to be stuck without copies of your important documents in the case of an audit. What’s a savvy small business owner to do?

Go digital, of course! Electronic versions of your documents are much easier to manage than hard copy ones, so this tax season use a service like Shoeboxed to digitize your records, or perhaps invest in a ScanSnap and go DIY style.

If you’ve kept digital records throughout the year, you’re already one step ahead! For those of you who are just now moving towards a paperless lifestyle, now is as good a time as any to get rid of the clutter and step into the 21st century. The IRS has accepted digital documents since 1997, so it’s about time to go paperless and make your life easier (and your office less cluttered)!

3. Get those deductions

Around tax time, there’s one thing that small business owners are sure not to forget about: maximizing their tax deductions. No one wants to pay more than they have to, right? Make sure you factor in enough time to determine which deductions you qualify for so that you don’t miss an opportunity to save money.

If you’re a small business owner, check out our free white paper, “Five Proven Methods to Reduce Small Business Taxes.” It’s full of helpful tips and tricks to make sure you take advantage of all possible deductions!

4. Don’t miss the deadline

The tax deadline this year is Tuesday, April 15, 2014. If you aren’t going to make the deadline, don’t just skip it– check out this guide to filing a small business tax extension.

Are you ready to rock your taxes this year? Let us hear your best tax tips and tricks in the comments!

Author: Emily Farrar

At Shoeboxed, Emily focuses on keeping our users happy and engaged. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Public Relations and an avid Tar Heels fan. She enjoys traveling, staying active and spending time with her six-year-old Maltese, Madam.