Recently we had to complete a complicated tax return, and even though it was the biggest tax bill I’ve ever had to pay, I felt so relieved I’d finally got rid of all that paperwork!
We’d put it off for so long, and I’d been dreading the process of finding all those papers. Just when I thought we’d assembled everything, our accountant rang and asked for another set of papers – but this time from several years earlier!
It’s only since learning about GTD that I’ve felt how powerful it can be to finally cross things off my list. It releases energy and creativity. It’s not good to waste energy procrastinating about something as boring as tax. So here’s a few simple things you can do to make tax time easier this year.
I’ve realised that the best time to start preparing for tax time at the start of the tax year. That’s because the first item you will need to locate is the Tax Return Summary from the previous year. If you arrive at your accountant’s office with a shoebox full of random papers, they know they’re going to get a lot of billable hours out of you! But if you look professional and organised, the interview will go much smoother and quicker. I keep all my small receipts in a little box marked with the financial year it relates to. And I present my papers in a display folder, with a sticky note on each piece describing what the document is about.
I’m glad I put the time into setting up a system this year. It’s one less thing to worry about next time.
How do you get organised for tax time?
More from the Home Office Series:
- Part 1: Elements of a functional home office
- Part 2: Using a Filofax to manage household bills
- Part 4: Clear your desk – clear your mind