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How to Organize Your Tax Documents

November 8, 2013

Tax time is one time of the year that is looked upon with dread by nearly every business owner. The piles of paperwork, the headaches, and the confusion are more than what most of us want to deal with. But it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you spend a little bit of time getting prepared and organized, the task at hand won’t be quite so bad. What about the bonus? You can file your taxes as soon as possible and get your money back. Why wait until April 15 when you can have your refund in February?

Try these tips to get your tax documents organized so you can file your taxes and get your refund quickly.

  • First, before you drop your documents off at your accountant or tax preparer’s office, make sure that you have your Social Security number with your documents. If you file your taxes jointly, make sure that you have your Social Security number and your spouse’s number, as well as the numbers for your children and any other dependents. If you are claiming a child care credit, you’ll need either the Social Security number or tax ID for your child care provider. If you do not have these numbers, the best case scenario is that your return will be delayed. The worst case scenario is that the IRS will refuse your deductions.
  • Next, make sure you have documentation verifying any source of income. Your employer(s) should send you a W2 by the end of January. If you do any work as an independent contractor, you need to get a 1099-MISC from the companies that you’ve performed work for.
  • Independent contractors and other self-employed individuals need to keep careful track of all business-related expenses. These expenses can include business equipment, office supplies, mileage, and the costs related to operating a home office.
  • You will also need tax forms for any savings accounts you may have, including retirement accounts, college savings plans, stocks, or mutual funds. You should receive an official tax form (either a 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, or 1099-B) for each of your savings accounts.
  • You can cut down on your tax burden by making sure that you have documentation verifying any home related expenses. The interest that you pay on your mortgage, whether it is for your primary residence or a vacation home, is tax deductible. You can also get credit for the property taxes or real estate taxes that you paid. You will receive a Form 1098 that verifies these numbers.
  • State and local income taxes get you credit, as well. Look for these numbers on your W2. If you are not a homeowner, you can still get credit for any personal property taxes that you may have paid, such as taxes on your vehicle. Whatever agency collected the tax should send you a statement for tax purposes.
  • Finally, keep track of your charitable donations. If you make a financial contribution greater than $250, you need a receipt from the recipient. You can also deduct mileage incurred while volunteering for a charity.

Let the experts at Acceler8 handle all of your tax needs. We help entrepreneurs and business owners realize their dreams and goals while also taking care of their regular business tasks like filing taxes and running their books. We can handle your financial statements, financial planning, and budgeting. We also specialize in helping minimize the impact of taxes on your business. Contact Acceler8 today for a free consultation and to learn more about how to make tax time just a little bit easier for your business.

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