By Neil Seidler, CPA, CMA
It’s getting to be Tax Time again for another year and so this week I wanted to talk about getting ready for completing and filing your income tax returns. Whether you use one of the tax preparation software packages that are available, or use a tax professional, you’ll want to have your paperwork together and have it organized. Spending a little time up front to have things in order will save you time, and money, in the long run.
Now is the time to get ready for your 2019 tax filing. You should compile any business income and expense statements and keep them with your invoices and receipts. Keep a file or envelope with the tax information slips that you will be receiving in the mail or by email. If you have made any charitable donations throughout the year you will want to put those receipts together with any that you receive in the next few weeks from organizations providing you with an annual receipt (your church for example). You will also want to put together any medical bills you had for the last year.
It’s also time to start organizing your 2020 income tax information. Keeping an envelope or a file folder with your receipts in it is a good start. A spreadsheet summarizing everything that is in the file is even better. Keep each category of item together and have a separate column on your spreadsheet for each. For example, medical bills paid, charitable donations made, interest paid or received on private loans, childcare expenses, investment advisor fees, etc.
By having a summary of the amounts paid and/or received, and having the supporting receipts saved, either in a file folder or saved electronically as a .pdf document in a file on your computer, you’ll make your tax time job much easier. If you enter the amounts throughout the year as they occur, it will always be up to date and it won’t be a big job at year-end to get it together. A little time throughout the year can save a lot of time at the end of the year. It also helps reduce the likelihood of having any lost or misplaced receipts. After all, lost receipts equal lost deductions.
Even if you take your shoebox of bills and receipts to your tax preparer and have them prepare your return for you, doing a little sorting and organizing before you go will make their job easier and save them time, ultimately saving you some money on tax preparation fees.
If you need assistance with your tax filings or other accounting matters please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help.
We welcome your questions and inquiries. If you have tax-related questions, or any other questions that we may be able to address, please email us or comment below and we’ll try to answer them in a future article. You can email me at TheRVTaxGuy@gmail.com .
The material presented here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to
provide, and should not be relied on for tax, accounting or legal advice. Readers should
consult their own tax, accounting and legal advisors to discuss their own personal
Neil Seidler, CPA, CMA, has served businesses and individuals across the USA and Canada for 35 years. As an avid RVer and recent full-timer he has a unique perspective on RV tax issues.
Read Neil’s previous posts here.