All Present and Accounted For

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”—Benjamin Franklin

     I enjoy establishing new routines and fixing old ones that don’t work for me. Last year’s attempt at tax organization is no exception. I knew it wouldn’t be good advertising for Nest Pretty to stress out my accountant by dropping off a box bursting at the seams full of jumbled receipts. So instead I spent most of last February gathering and organizing all of my paperwork so that my tax lady would praise my organizational skills. (It worked.)

     Even though I was done way ahead of time, waiting until February to get things together only added to my stress. I don’t want to repeat the same mistake this year. So to take the anxiety out of tax day, I decided to keep my paperwork organized as I go. That way when next February rolls around, I won’t just be getting started–I’ll be ready to meet my accountant.


     How about you? How much time did you spend last spring gathering together your papers, pay stubs, and receipts? Did you have a chance to organize them? Or did you just drop off the paper bag or busted box overflowing with receipts to the tax lady and run? Or were you one of the 10 million people that asked for an extension because you ran out of time?

     So why not take the time to reassess your personal tax system now. For example, have you regularly entered your business mileage into your app or spreadsheet? Are your pay stubs, bills, and bank statements filed orderly? Are you aware ahead of time of what deductions you can take and then have your receipts filed accordingly?

     Getting organized initially takes a little extra time, but it’s time well-spent. Below are a few examples of what kind of paperwork you should keep and file.  

  • Bank statements
  • ​Depreciation
  • Income
  • Invoices
  • Paypal statements
  • Taxes paid (including property taxes)

     You also want to file anything that could be used as a deduction. Below are some examples.

  • Auto
  • ​Business advertising
  • ​Business mileage
  • College expenses
  • Donations
  • Home improvement expenses
  • Medical
  • Office supplies
  • Travel
  • Utilities

     If knowing what to keep, organize, and file is overwhelming to you, or getting your taxes together every year stresses you out, then get your Ducks in a Row! Once you have your information-foundation laid in this program, set a goal to gather and enter your receipts, pay stubs, bills, and bank statements, etc., every month. I like to enter my info in the beginning of every month, then I don’t have to think about it again. Just a small investment of your valuable time every month pays big returns at the end of the year. Less mess, less stress.

     It’s true, tax day is not until next spring. But why wait until the last minute? Taxes are unavoidable, but the experience doesn’t have to be entirely unpleasant. Just imagine how much peace of mind you will have and how much less stress you will feel if eight months from now you have your Ducks in a Row and your taxes done. So choose to Nest Pretty and buy your own personal download of Ducks in a Row for just $99.

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