Monday, March 12, 2012

TAXES and Tips

My husband would be the first to say I should NOT be giving tips on preparing for taxes.  However, I know fully well HOW to make it easier on myself, I just don't always adhere to it.  So I thought perhaps by sharing with you all, it will make me more accountable.

All you need is a  simple excel chart.  I custom make some for my husband and myself (he is a contractor).  That way we can make them work for us.  I am NO wiz in excel, and only had some brief training for a job I had a decade ago.  I know how to make it look pretty and add up columns.  But thats all we need to make it work.

I have a chart to log my miles.  Don't forget you can write off your miles.  I log the miles each time I run to JoAnn or the bank.  Anything related to your business can be written off.

I have a chart for my expenses.  This year I am breaking it down into categories; supplies, office supplies, online fee's, show fee's, shipping, and advertisings and promotions.  Really, if you enter the information each day, there is not a lot of work to do before taxes.  However, I usually end up entering the information by quarter when I do my sales taxes.  (last year was the first time I slacked WAY off on that and worked an entire day entering information).

And did you know Paypal has reports?  That is sooo wonderful.  You can run them by month or quarter and see just how much you paid in fee's.

Then I have a chart for income.  Each quarter I have one part for sales that included tax and one chart for sales that did not require tax.  This helps to make it easier for me come quarterly sales taxes.

For my husband, his is a little more complicated.  He has charts for what he pays his subs, what they paid him, income, expenses.....I guess its similar, he just has more charts then me. 

Come tax time, we just print them all out, double check to make sure things look right, and transfer to a main page with all the categories our accountant needs to enter.  Not only does this save us time, it saves us money at the accountants office.

Here is a sample of what we each take to the accountant.

Income     Expenses
    Show / Booth Fee's  
    Etsy Fee's  
    Paypal Fee's  
PA 1st Quarter   Shipping Fee's  
    sales tax paid   
PA 2nd Quarter      
PA 3rd Quarter   Total $0.00
PA / NJ 4th Quarter   Other Expenses  
    advertising / promotions/ web  
total $0.00 office supplies  
materials and tools  
Charity / Offering   travel expenses  
women in business jewerly (materials only cost)      
penn view christian school jewelry (mat. Only cost)      
cash donation for flood relief      
beads to raise fund for Beads of Courage supply costs      
    total $0.00
total $0.00
Social Security Numbers
Justin Smith 
Staci Smith 
kid 1
kid 2
kid 3
Studio Square Footage- 117  
So think of ways to streamline your record keeping so its not a nightmare (like it was for me this year) and stick to it. 

Anyone else have tips to share to make this a better experience????


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. Any tip is helpful and appreciated. -Marlene

  2. Thank you for sharing this. This is my first year having to file for my business and I am overwhelmed to say the least.
    I'm STILL working on inventorying (is that word?) my beads and supplies. I wish I had done that from the beginning. Your explanation of what you do really helps.
    I wish I had some tips to share--maybe next year.
    Your jewelry is just gorgeous, by the way. : )
    Thanks, Eileen

    1. Eileen- you have to inventory everything???? I didn't. You poor thing!!!!! I just need write offs verses income basically. Good luck!!!!

  3. Great post, I am bookmarking! This really helps simplify what is needed. Thanks!