It's getting toward that time of year again, so we thought we'd give you a bit of a leg-up BEFORE the dreaded cut-off day.
Get Organised and you'll avoid late fees and stress-outs. Lets look at some of the things that you can do to get ready for the Tax Department!
Set aside a few hours of uninterrupted time in your office – try not to allow yourself to be distracted. Paperwork can be messy, so stay focussed!
Create some ‘clear space’ in your work area, and get comfortable!
Begin by sorting your receipts. Keep a pen handy, and circle the date and amount of each receipt as you go, then organise them into months, July 2010 through to June 2011. (This is where that ‘clear space’ will come in handy!)
We find that creating a ‘receipts folder’ can save time and keep your records tidy throughout the year. Use a ring binder, and 12 clear plastic pockets. Label each plastic page with a month of the year, beginning with July, of course. Every time you get a receipt, just circle the date and amount, and pop it into the appropriate page of the folder. This will mean that your records are stored appropriately, and by highlighting the important information, they will be considerably easier to work with when the time comes.
Keep your phone records/bank statement/car expenses etc. in separate folders, putting the most recent bills (marked ‘paid’ with the date of payment) at the front of the folder – that way you can access the most recent information when you need it.
Use an ‘ACTION’ file tray for current paperwork, and a separate tray or folder for ‘Bills to Pay’. However, don’t be tempted to use these places as dump zones for unresolved paperwork –try to deal with paperwork the first time that you handle it!
Invest in some quality software if you are in business.
And remember, the more organised your info, the less you accountant should charge you to process your claim. So, get to it! No excuses!