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Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter
Next Year's Tax Resolutions

I was supposed to prepare my income tax data today.  Instead, I went shopping.  And ironed shirts.  (I hardly ever do that.)  And put away my snowman decorations and put up my Easter and spring decorations.  And switched some of my winter and spring clothes between closets.  I did a lot of things today!  But I haven't started my taxes.
It shouldn't really be that difficult.  After all, my documents are pretty well organized:
l      I have collected all of the 1099s and other tax forms in one envelope.
l      I have kept all of my receipts for potential tax deductions in one place all year.
l      My business records are on QuickBooks accounting software; it's just a matter of printing a report.
And, for the last month or so, I have done this very task for many of my organizing clients!
So, what's my problem? 
Even though my records are well organized, they are not organized in the same way that my accountant has asked for them.  He sent me a packet of "Tax Organizer" forms to fill out.  They are very helpful, in that they prompt me to include data I might otherwise forget.  The reason for my procrastination is that his tax organizer forms ask for the data in different ways than I have collected it.  I have to pull in data from various lines on my own reports to correspond with the data my accountant is looking for.  It's time-consuming!  It's annoying!  It's B-O-R-I-N-G!
So, every evening next week I'll be adding numbers together and filling out the forms.
When it comes to my 2008 taxes, however, things are going to be different!  When I've put my 2007 tax forms in the mail to my accountant, I'm going to make some changes to my 2008 record-keeping methods.  To make the tax task a breeze for next year, I'm going to:
l      Label my 2008 tax documents folders according to the categories my accountant has requested.
l      Modify my QuickBooks categories so that their names match the categories the IRS puts on the tax returns.  (This does bring to mind the question, however, of why Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, doesn't do it themselves!)
And in 2009, I resolve not wait until almost April to get my taxes done.  Oh well, as they say, the shoemaker's children have no shoes…

posted on: 3/23/2008 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
category: Finances

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Minimizing Financial Clutter

by Katherine Trezise

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About Katherine:

Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, based in Baltimore, MD. She is president-elect of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Katherine holds a masters degree in business administration, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®. Absolutely Organized specializes in helping people organize their homes, paperwork and financial records to make room in their lives for the things, people and activities that are most important to them.

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