As a working mother, keeping track of your time and productivity is an essential component to ensuring the balance between work and quality of life. But one of the scariest instances we all suffer from, especially when we are self-employed, is filing a tax return. If you've never done it before, it can be a very intimidating prospect, but also, if you aren't handy with numbers, it can feel the equivalent of learning how to speak Swahili! So what are the essentials that every working mother needs to know when it comes to filing your tax return and getting it ready?
Keeping Yourself Organized
Whether you learned from the first time you filed your tax return, or you have no idea what to do, the most important thing to help you along at any point is to have some sort of structure. If you have the money, then an accountant can tell you everything you need to know, and there are numerous resources to help you, such as QdosAccounting.com, but if you can't afford an accountant, then you have to get going with some sort of spreadsheet and make sure your receipts are all in one place. That way, when it comes to preparing your tax return, you won't waste time trying to find that odd receipt! Keep everything in one handy shoe box, create a spreadsheet, and start to input every single job you've been paid for as well as your expenses. Sometimes it can be confusing as to what receipts you should keep for tax purposes, TurboTax.intuit.com can certainly help, but it depends where you are in the world. There are different guidelines based on the national authority, especially when your expenses are concerned. For example, in the UK, childcare isn't considered to be a taxable expense.
Preparing Your Finances
Once you have a plan of action in place, keeping track of your finances becomes easier. There are programs that can help you with this, as long as you have a good idea of your incomings and outgoings, and making sure that you put money aside, just in case you owe any back tax, is going to help you in the long run. A lot of people make the mistake of looking at the money they get paid as the whole paycheck, and don't put any aside for tax purposes. This is why it's vital for you to get into the habit of putting 20% of your paycheck away. That way, when you have completed your tax return, and you see how much money you owe to the government, it won't be that much of a shock to the system, but also think about what are taxable expenses and what are not. For example, your utility bills are taxable if you work at home. And this taxable expense is then taken off your bill, so it's important to know exactly what you can, and what you can't claim for.
It isn't that complex, just as long as you know how much you are earning in comparison to how much you will earn after you complete your tax return, but as long as you know exactly what you can claim expenses for, and not file your tax return without any expenses, that is when you will be that much more at ease.