Block Time On Calendar

Start Tax Preparation Now

 

Try these tips to organize your tax documents and files:

  • Block out appointments with yourself on your calendar to complete the work. Be reasonable about how much you can accomplish at one time.
  • Estimate the time you will need and then double it.

Research filing and extension deadlines … know the IRS dates.

Keep a copy of last year’s return on-hand.

Gather all reported tax forms (W2’s, 1099 dividends, 1099 interest, etc.). Then organize data by type.

Sort data into specific categories: e.g. donations (money and in-kind).

If you prepare your taxes electronically:

You can import last year’s taxes onto this year’s form by using the same software as the previous year.

If you prepare your taxes manually:

Below are sources that may carry the forms you need:
www.irs.gov (Sends them at no charge)
• Some local libraries and post offices
• Office supply stores (for larger quantities)

Use a tax organizer. (Search “tax organizer” on web for free ones to download.)

If your taxes are prepared by a tax professional:

Make an appointment now.

It will be a huge relief to get this job done. Personally, I can’t wait to finish mine.

Spring: The Ideal Time To Attack Office Clutter

Most of us think of springtime as the perfect time to get rid of clutter in our homes. We envision coats bulging from the closet and drawers filled with things you don’t need any longer. But the same problem exists in many offices and home  offices; piles of paper, files strewn about and random items taking over good real estate on the desk or credenza. If this describes your work area, here are a few ways to clear your space (and your head).

Ask yourself:

1) Are you honestly going to read those papers and magazines? If the answer is no, then give yourself permission to toss them out without feeling guilty.

2) If I change my mind after I’ve thrown out a paper, then what? In many companies the person who sent the document originally keeps a copy. Or, the information may be easy to pull up on the web. Then again it might be available through a professional group such as the local bar association.

Clutter may not just be physical. It comes in other forms as well. How many times has a thought popped into your head and then disappears? No matter how often you push it aside, it keeps returning. Write it down. Often, you need to act on it. Once you add it to your to-do list or assign it to your calendar, then you no longer have to keep remembering it. The best part: your head is now clear to focus on important things.

Clutter can also be technological. Your computer, smart phone, iPad or Kindle can be loaded down with documents and apps that you do not use. They’re in the way when you are searching, making it difficult to find what you are looking for. It prevents you from being creative and saps your energy and focus.

Make the clutter disappear. It sounds easy enough but, unfortunately, will not happen without you taking action. Set aside time to deal with it, even though you prefer to be working on something else. It could easily take a few hours which you may want to do all at once or in small increments. As long as the time is blocked out on the calendar, you can feel confident that the job will get done. Before you know it you’ll be back in control of your desk and technology tools.