Monday, October 19, 2009

Time Flies

It's been waay too long since I've made an entry here and for that I am sorry. Hard to believe that it is October (almost November) already. Now is the time, if you haven't already done so, to begin preparing for tax season. Yes, that's right, it is almost upon us. There are an unprecedented number of new items to deal with this year, thanks to TAARP. A number of these are tax write-offs and incentives. Given the opportunity, it might not be a bad idea to get familiar with what is available until the end of the year to see if you can take advantage of it.

Here are the basic ground rules I use in approaching what to keep and what not to keep. If it has a tax impact, keep it, if not, toss it (unless there is some other reason, such as a dispute or legal matter that merits the item being kept). If you don't know what has a tax impact, it is a really good idea to become educated about such matters. You are welcome to ask questions of me, or consult your financial advisor or accountant.

The more organized your records are, the less money you will end up spending on having tax professionals organize your records. Basic organization consists of: Tax Forms (mostly these deal with income and interest deductions such as 1099's, W-2's, 1098's etc.); Schedule A items (these would be medical expenses, taxes paid like vehicle taxes and other itemized deductions); Schedule C items (which I won't go into now....too much explanation needed); Schedule D items (backup for any stock sales and the like that are captured on a 1099). If you set up files for these and routinely file bills and receipts in the files, preparing for taxes can be quite simple. And the additional benefit is that once taxes are done, you can file away the backup and you are already set up for the next year. If you want further detail on setting up your filing for taxes, please write me and let me know.

In the meantime, for those of you experiencing it, enjoy the fall weather.