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Getting Organized Now

Just like with your routine check ups to the doctor and the dentist to make sure you are on track with your health and not thrown a curve ball with an ailment looming, a trip to an accountant can offer the same peace of mind for your financial health.

It’s October. The foliage is changing to gorgeous colors of red, orange and yellow. There’s a slight crispness to the air. Fall is fantastic. Isn’t it? It is a transition into a new season. We can also look at it as a time of preparation. The holidays are fast approaching, and then the New Year will be here before you know it. Then oh my, here comes April! And, that means, tax day!

Don’t let those dates stress you or slip up on you. You have time now to prepare so that before April you are ready to deliver a beautifully, organized package to your tax preparer. Sounds great right? So, how do you do this?

Keep up with work expenses
Whether you are working on taxes for your business or yourself, you need to keep up with documentation that shows work expenses. Don’t forget to factor in your cell phone, mileage, and amenities that help in your job. If you aren’t sure if it qualifies, ask your tax attorney. Keep a log so that you can easily add to it. Entering your mileage or expenses immediately will help it become a habit. Now that’s a great habit to adopt!

Check on medical charges
This needs to qualify for a certain amount, but you have encountered some surgeries in the last year and/or spent a significant amount in prescription drugs, you may qualify. Find out the amount and determine if you need to begin asking for those receipts from the doctor and pharmacist. There is no harm in researching this area a bit.

Kiddos Count Too
Paying for childcare? We often forget about those after-school programs and summer camps when we think of childcare, but in some cases those can be considered a tax deduction so make sure you ask for a statement at the end of the summer or holiday. Most camps won’t automatically send these to you. 

Give Generously and Wisely
There are many valid and important charities to give to. This should be a process that you begin early for the next week. How much are you able to give to charity this year? Budget how much you can and then begin searching for the charities that you want to give to. Don’t forget to ask for a receipt or a statement to be sent. It is important to keep up with your charitable giving.

Every little bit counts. Being organized will help your tax preparer seek out the best options for you, even suggesting some thoughts on expenditures that could help your budget in the future. If you don’t know, your tax attorney will. No question is insignificant. It could lead to a deduction or even a way to help you tighten your budget. By the time April rolls around, hopefully you find yourself less stressed and more organized!


About JHM Certified Public Accountants
Since its founding in 1977, JHM Certified Public Accountants has grown to specialize in accounting, auditing and tax services to nonprofit organizations. Additionally the firm serves a diverse range of business clients throughout the Southeast Tennessee/North Georgia region, ranging from small start-ups to large corporations, with a significant concentration of clients in the construction, hospital, nonprofit / governmental and assisted housing industries

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