Friday, January 22, 2010

Tax Time? Soon!

Yes, I'm organized and I'm getting my ducks in a row so I can file my 2009 income taxes. Isn't that a terrible word: taxes? How about: government waste? How about: happy day?

Whatever you call it--I doubt anyone would say "happy day"--it will soon be time for all my American friends to pay the piper.

For my part, I get ready for tax time all year long. I have a spreadsheet I made on Excel that lists all my tax deductions incurred throughout the year: mileage, office supplies, professional fees, and so forth. That way, when this time of the year comes along, I'm ready to fill out my Schedule C without too much trouble.

Of course, I kinda cheat, too, because I use the to file my taxes. The program is free, with only a charge for the electronic filing. It is cheaper than TurboTax and does all the figuring for me. It asks all the right questions, and fills in the correct amount so I don't worry about arithmetic. It also adjusts yearly and asks the right questions about things that have changed, tax-wise, from the previous year.

So all I have to do is plug in numbers, which isn't too difficult if you've done your work ahead of time.

But, what if you haven't? Should you panic? Not yet - you've got until April 15th to do that! Seriously, if you're not an organized person, this is one area of your life where you need to be. Pull your checkbook registers out and begin compiling your own spreadsheet of expenses. Don't forget mileage, because at $.55/mile deduction, it can really add up fast.

And remember, if you have a net loss on your writing, you can deduct that from your taxes, thus reducing your gross income. That means paying less taxes, which we can all smile about.

I ALWAYS have my taxes done by the end of the first or second week of February, and with a little planning and hard work, you too can file, and get that kiss-me-quick-before-I'm-all-spent refund.


D.S. White said...

Okay... you are way too intimidatingly organized for me! Maybe I'll be like you when I grow up. LOL.

Tribute Books said...

Katie - I hear you - I try to have my taxes done by at least the end of February. I use Quickbooks to keep track of everything. I've been trying to purchase TurboTax on eBay for under $55 - but it's been difficult this year.

Malcolm R. Campbell said...

My wife takes care of all the taxes, so as far as I know, the whole tax thing is is smoke and mirrors. You seem to have it down to a science.

Thanks for stopping by the VHP readers club on Yahoo over the weekend. Hope to see you there from time to time.


Anonymous said...

I gotta love TurboTax! That program is well worth the cost every year for how much stress is saves me and my husband.

Margaret Fieland said...

Katie, good for you for doing your taxes so early. Mine are almost always late -- one of the forms I need (income from family business) almost never comes until late March or early April. Then I have to bundle everything up and take it over to my accountant.

My youngest son did use one of the online tax services last year and was very happy with it. The federal form was free and they charged him $15 for the state form. Unfortunately, I can't remember which site he used.