Tax season is stubbornly in full swing, despite the fact that most of us could do without it. If you haven’t been keeping good books all year, now is the time when your world crumbles around you. (You’ll need your sense of humor). If you find yourself lamenting your situation, make a commitment starting now to never be this disorganized again.
The best reason to get organized is that it will save money. Take, for example, these two cautionary tales — one personal, one business related.
- Decades ago, my ex and I were bad record keepers. We didn’t keep anything financially organized. We paid for fines and extensions all the time. Our marriage faced an existential crisis every April 15th that crescendoed with a white-knuckled car ride to the post office shortly before midnight. Add to that the fact that I usually didn’t have stamps and had to wait in line. It’s truly the stuff of nightmares.
- We have clients that have come to us, professionals, that have not done any of their bookkeeping for an entire year. We’ve had to go back and figure it all out for them. We get them up to date. It costs them a lot of money, whereas if they had hired a bookkeeper, they would have seen a net savings.
One of the things that we’ve learned over the years is that something is better than nothing. Accountants need to have something if you’re waiting for other, required documents to complete your taxes. If you have just part of them done, it’s a good idea to send them to your accountant anyway — especially if you have estimates you need to pay. Even if you’re going to file for an extension, you still have to pay your estimates.
We Tackle Taxes with Organization
Most accountants have deadlines around March 1-15. Some accountants say that if their clients don’t get their documents in before a certain date, the accountant will automatically file for an extension because it would be impossible to get them done in time.
Sometimes I hear people talking about doing their taxes themselves. I always recommend using a Certified Public Accountant because they know so much more than we do. They’re up to date on all the current deductions and laws.
It’s just much more efficient to be organized, not only for tax reasons, but for personal reasons. Being organized just makes life easier. I think people are a little intimidated by numbers, so I try to explain in a more holistic way: Money is another form of energy, and it can flow towards you or away from you. Negative thoughts and actions — like procrastinating — push it away from you. It’s a good idea to keep a lot of positive thoughts and behaviors — like organizing — in your consciousness, and feel that positive money-energy flowing towards you.
For more information on how Judith Heft & Associates can make your life easier, contact us.