4 Simple Steps to Get Ready To Get Your Taxes Done

Get Your Taxes Done

Tax day will be upon us before we know it (April 18, in case you were wondering). Maybe you’ve already done your taxes and are ready to go. If so, kudos to you; I’m impressed! Maybe you’re like me and haven’t done them yet. 🙂 If you’re the latter, I thought I’d give you my simple four step process to make it easy to get ready to have your taxes done. As a side note, I want to take a minute and discuss why I now use an accountant and no longer do my taxes myself.

I had been doing my own taxes up until last year. I bought another property the year before and also started my own business (although I was still working an 8-5 job). With adding more tax variables I decided to start having an accountant do my taxes. It’s not that expensive (about $100) and it saves me so much time. I used Turbo Tax, but still, it would take me awhile to go through all the questions and make sure I entered everything correctly.

Over the past few years I’ve taken a different perspective on my time. Honestly, time is the only thing we can’t get back (I’m sure you’ve heard that statement before, cliche, but true). We all have the same amount of time, but yet we all treat it so differently. My mentality used to be, “I’d rather do it myself and save some money.” My mentality has switched to, “I’d rather spend a little money and pay someone to do something they can do much faster than I could.” That way I can spend my time doing something more worthwhile, something I do enjoy doing or even something where I can be making money. It’s been a big mind switch and it really makes sense to me. I would much rather be spending time doing things I enjoy instead of getting frustrated and taking way too long to do things I’m just not that great at or don’t enjoy doing as much.

That being said, I’m not telling you to get an accountant or to stop doing things you don’t like doing. Your taxes may be very simple and you can get them done in a matter in minutes or you may enjoy doing your taxes. We all have to do things we don’t enjoy at some point, it’s just nice when you get to do more of what you enjoy or what can increase your income rather than spending your valuable time on something someone else can do much better and faster for not that much money. You, of course, decide what you spend your time and money on. Onto my simple steps to getting ready to get your taxes done!

Step 1: Make a List

The first thing I do is make a list of everything I’ll need to give to my accountant so I don’t forget anything. My list includes the below:

  1. W2
  2. Interest paid on my three mortgages.
  3. Interest earned in my different savings/checking accounts.
  4. Taxes paid on my properties.
  5. Tithing.
  6. Any donations made.
  7. Any expenses for my business.
  8. Any expenses for my rental properties.
  9. Any updates on my home.
  10. Any medical bills, if there were a lot.
  11. Taxes paid on my vehicle.
  12. The statements from my investing accounts.
  13. State refund amount
  14. Closing cost statement on new property purchased
  15. Proof of health insurance

If there is more than one item for each, like the three mortgages, I write each lender down to help make sure I don’t forget one.

Step 2: Add Up Expenses

The next thing I do is make an Excel spreadsheet with all of my expenses for my rentals, another spreadsheet for my business and another for my property. I enter in all the expenses I had and total the expenses at the bottom. I try to do this throughout the year, but not everything gets put in the spreadsheet when it happens…

I include things like mileage, handyman services, educational items (like a business coaching program or books I’ve purchased), email service provider for my business (Convertkit, which is great by the way), any items that needed to be replaced in my rentals (like a sink faucet), etc.

Step 3: Get All the Paperwork Together

Once you know what you need to provide then it’s easy to login to each account and print out each item. Or maybe some of them have come in the mail so you can use those statements. When you print each one, check it off your list to make sure you get everything.

Step 4: Call Your Accountant

I like to call my accountant before I go drop off all my paperwork and ask if there’s anything I’m missing. I don’t want to waste time going over there and then having to go back if I forgot something.

Another thing I like to do is call accountant throughout the year if I have questions or if something changes in my life (like buying another property). I like to know the answers to the questions before it becomes too late to do something about it or before I forget. Also, just giving him a heads up what’s going on, he can tell me if there’s something I should be aware of.

Now you have steps to get ready to get your taxes done – make a list, add up expenses, gather paperwork and call your accountant. Hopefully those steps help make it easier to get your taxes done this year. Share anything tips you have about getting your taxes done in the comments below!

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field