For those of us in the United States, Tax Day is tomorrow (gulp). A few counties in my area have been granted an extension due to flooding, but I’d already tallied up my income and expenses and shipped it off to my accountant last month.
Naturally, the spreadsheet I spent several hours laboring over somehow got corrupted during the saving process (the single most important document of the year and my laptop goes rogue on me – seriously?). Fortunately, I had an earlier, non-colored coded version on my computer, so I just used that one.
I’m no tax expert (nor do I play one on TV), but the thing has kept me sane over the last few years filing taxes as a self-employed professional is Gmail labels. Each time I order something online for my business, whether it’s conference admission or some computer gadget, I label it “2010 business expense.” Reoccurring expenses like Skype get labeled automatically using Gmail filters. I use a similar system for charitable contributions. Then in February or March, I can tally up my expenses and donations in an hour or less.
What’s your tax season strategy? Do you keep careful records over the course of the year or scramble to find old receipts and invoices? Do you use an accountant or the DIY method?
For more on taxes, check out my interview with Brigitte A. Thompson, author of Bookkeeping Basics For Freelance Writers.
Flickr photo courtesy of David Reber’s Hammer Photography