Archive for January, 2013

The ONLY 2 things you need to conquer 2012 tax season, and on.

I honestly don’t understand why people dread the tax season. 
Unless you are buried and have not organzied your papers that come in the mail, from email, from your printer, since April 15, 2012. Then, Yes, I would be concerned, and have a headache.
But trust me, you need 15 minutes of your time and 2 items that I will describe below to set up your system once and never have to worry about tax season again.
Step 1: The majority of your 15 minutes needs to be spent on making a list of your accounts, stocks, mortgages that you and your household has. Get your checkbook out and make a list: your mortgage, line of credit, checking, savings accounts, IRAs, investment properties, W2, 1099 (if self employed or a contract), stocks, bonds. I guarantee you will 200% better once you see this completed list in front of you.
Step 2: go out and buy or pull out if you have one, a long, lined post-it note. Then transfer the list from above on this post-it note. Here is a sample. Yes, I suggest for it to be a post-it note for a reason.

Step 3: grab a manilla folder, put a label on the corner that says: 2012 taxes, in bold sharpie color. This folder is your destination of all documents that will be needed to prepare your taxes. Put in a highly visible place where you open your mail. I always bring all mail to my office desk, open, sort, recycle in one spot. My folder is the first one in my filing organizer behind my laptop. When you start getting the year end statements, put them straight in your 2012 taxes folder.

Step 4: take the post-it note list of your items, and stick it on the left side of your open folder. As the statements arrive and you put them in the folder, check off the items on the post it note. Most of tax documents start to arrive after January 31st.  by End of February, you should be all set. Make sure to double check your list, pull stuff of line if you have any online only statements, and you will be ready to head to your accountant!

This simple system has worked for me for over 10 years, my accountant loves me for my organization. If you think about it, just 15 minutes of prep time (the 1st time, then it’s only a new folder and a new post-it note, if you want), will save you hours of headaches and misery.

I run our real estate business with the same iron-clad precision and dedication. Cheers to your conquer!!!


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