Surviving Tax Season 

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Tax time is here.  1099s and W-2s are on their way.  I know this because I have gotten a lot busier at my job as an accounting assistant.  Of course I am one of those people who enjoy doing their taxes.  I know, CRAZY.  But I guess that’s why I work in accounting.

I always found taxes are pretty straight forward as long as you have good records and all your tax documents (good tax prep software helps too).  But I am learning that for some people taxes can be difficult and time consuming.  Especially for people who own a business.  Last year was the first time I had a business to report on my taxes, and it was a learning process.  One of the best tools to help with keeping your business organized and ready for tax season is good accounting software.  At my work I do bookkeeping for several businesses and I use QuickBooks.  I love using QuickBooks so much at work I ended up buying it for my home office.

412xioca-xl-_sl160_ QuickBooks offers both a desktop version and an online version.  The Online version charges monthly, but is easily accessible from anywhere.  The online version is always up to date with the latest in QuickBooks, but can become costly over time.  The desktop version is paid for at one time and can only be accessed on the computer it is installed.  The upside to the desktop is it costs less over time, and you can use one version for a few years (unless you are in accounting and need to update each year).

Keeping good books for your business and good records for your deductions and write-offs is a great way to make the tax season go smoother.  Staying organized is key.  Keep all receipts that are business or deductible related and set up folders to separate different items (like sales vs purchases).  If you own a small business and work from home, a good home office is very helpful.  Try not to have all of your business stuff mixed with your personal stuff.  When I started my business I opened a checking account specifically for the business so that I could keep business expenses separate from personal.  It really helps to keep things organized.

Having organization and good accounting records can really help you out during the tax season.  Not everyone needs to go to an accountant to get their taxes done.  Tax software can be a less expensive way to complete your taxes.  I have worked with TurboTax and really like it because it is step-by-step and guides you through everything you need to know to get things completed.  Of course, some people may have larger businesses or more complex situations, in which case I do recommend an accountant.  Good accountants know their job well, and can help you get the most out of your taxes.  Good luck to all this tax season.

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