Moving Files From Old Computer To New Computer Quickbooks 2005 Tax Time Tune Up

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Tax Time Tune Up

Save money and stress by using these quick tips to get started on your taxes. Fix your paper filing system or use filing system kits to make sure this year goes better than last April 15th!

Simplify your taxes Paper tips:

1) Get a file box or filing cabinet to hold all your tax-related files and forms from the past few years.

2) Write the year, start date and start check number on the outside of your checkbook. If there is more than one, number the logs to make it easier to find the right one. Complete records go into your tax inbox every year.

3) As you sort your mail, place all 1099s, W-2s, and any tax-related materials in your tax box. Use the colored accordion file folders in your “tax box” for incoming tax documents.

Got a good filing system, but bogged down in old data?

4) Pull last years financial files, any business expenses, proof of income and any tax related items.

While you are extracting old files, replace the new file folders for all your common home and business or personal financial and legal documents.

If you don’t have a functional filing system for your home or business, I recommend selecting last year’s documents for taxes and filing after setting up the FileSolutions® pre-printed color-coded filing system kit for the year that fits to your needs. You can check out the Home and Small Business file packs for yourself at the link below in the Author’s Resource Box.

Tips for computer tax preparation:

5) With tax preparation software, you can complete your federal and state returns in about 90 minutes – if you’ve completed the steps above. I use TurboTax to do my taxes. Then, I have a tax professional audit my return for less money than it would cost to have my taxes completely prepared by a CPA.

You can use Intuit’s TurboTax software online for FREE if:

• You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

• OR You were 62 or older

• OR You were 22 years of age or younger

• OR served on active duty military (including the Reserves and National Guard).

If you are familiar with HR Block tax preparation, they have an online program or software you can use to do your taxes. Both HR Block and Intuit offer free preparation and electronic filing for simple filings (used with W-2s).

I don’t feel comfortable putting my private information “out there” during the time it takes to prepare my return. The sense of security I get from knowing my information sits on my computer is worth the $29.95 cost of TurboTax and I can still e-file.

6) On the other hand, my favorite CPA recommends filing your taxes electronically. This saves letters and long lines at the post office on April 15. Both the filing service provider and the IRS check the return for errors when you send it. Then, you correct it and top up without penalty.

Tax Tips for Computer Accounting Software:

7) Whichever financial software you use (Quicken, QuickBooks, Microsoft Money), print out your log for the past year. Add it to your tax filings the same way you would your checkbook records.

8) BACK UP your year-end accounting records.

Make a backup copy of the software itself from your original installation CDs and store it in the same box you archive your data. This is critical if you upgrade your financial software or switch from one program to another.

9) My financial advisor recommends printing the reports you use for taxes and checking for any errors or missing deductions by tax category. Catching bugs and fixing them is much easier now than it was on April 14th!

After the April 15 tax advice:

10) Separate and place all current and older tax related files in archive boxes. Label each filing box on the outside by tax year. 11) Put a printout of your calendar/date book and phone message book in the tax file box – this is all proof of business use.

12) Put the archive boxes with previous years’ records into storage after you put all the backup tax documentation in it. Include a copy of the tax return itself, as well as 1099s, W-2s, etc.

Use these tips and you’ll never end up saying, “I can’t bear to do my taxes the same crazy way ever again!” Less aggravation means fewer mistakes and a better result—even if you pay taxes instead of getting a refund.

Special bonus tax tips throughout the year:

Choose which credit cards to use only for business, family and personal. Carry a card only for online transactions. Keeping only one credit card for online use limits your exposure to fraud.

At the end of the month, use your credit card statements, automatic/transaction register, and checkbook to track expenses for your ledger or software instead of tracking all the bills. Between these and your bank statements, you’ll get a quick overview of your current month’s financial situation.

Keep a transaction log for auto mileage and miscellaneous transactions. You must have a record to deduct vehicle expenses, and if you have a record, the IRS does not require you to keep receipts for expenses under $75.00.

You can easily set up your handheld device (eg Palm Pilot) with an Expense Notes section to record your business expenses. It’s up to you to qualify for as many small business discounts as possible!

Copyright 2010 Eve Abbott All rights reserved.

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