Filing Tax Extensions And Preparing For Next Year

Image via blog.directcapital.com

Image via blog.directcapital.com

Unless you were super organized and got in all of your information on time, you probably filed for an extension for your federal tax return. That is something you definitely want to do on time just as you would want to file your taxes on time. The last thing you need is to have any issues with the IRS, especially when you’re working on getting your own business together.

Filing an extension gives you about six months to get everything together for your tax professional. You’re probably looking for receipts on some of your business-related purchases or you are scouring through your bank statements to narrow down the amounts for each type of expense. And if you started a spreadsheet for all of this information, then you’re in better shape than you think.

The tricky thing about an extension is that if you do owe taxes, you still have to pay them by April 15th. However, if the amount is more than you can afford, then you want to make sure that you request to pay in installments.

To prepare for next year, you want to start taking action that helps you stay organized. If you’re not quite ready to sit down and create your spreadsheet (assuming you’re just getting started on a small, home-based business with a few expenses), you should designate a large envelope in which you will automatically keep all of your receipts. Stash away receipts from business dinners, office supply purchases, gifts for clients, marketing expenses, and everything related to what you do for the business. Put them all in the envelope and sort them later.

The word I’m not yet saying, the thing you want to avoid, is an AUDIT. You’ve already got enough to stress you out, and an audit shouldn’t be on your list of worries. If for any reason you should be audited, your preemptive organization will prove handy because you’ll have all of the receipts to back your itemized expenses.

While these are just helpful tips, you still want to consult with your tax professional to ensure that you will be able to deduct expenses before you make too many of them during the year. It’s just better to prepare now, even though you’ve just gotten done filing your taxes, so that you’re not caught by surprise next April.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

 

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Turning Failure Into Success

Image via theresadelgado.com

Image via theresadelgado.com

Failure is inevitable and if you don’t learn how to bounce back whenever it happens, you’ll find yourself stuck in a rut for a very long time.

How do you handle failure and turn it into a learning experience, one that helps guide you back onto the path of success? Here are a few ways you can confront failure to make it work for you:

  • Reflect Without Regret – Reflection time is important because it allows you to take a clear look at what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening in the future. If you close off your mindset and focus only how bad you feel, you’ll be unable to learn from the situation and you won’t get much out of your reflection time.
  • Ask For Constructive Criticism – Mentorship is a very important thing to have while you are trying to find the path to success. You will need constructive criticism from someone who can help you examine what you gathered from your reflection process. Choose a mentor who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth and who has been where you are. This person will guide you with constructive criticism, meaning that rather than put you down, they will show you how to get back up.
  • Revise Your Plan – Now that you know what works and what doesn’t, make revisions to your business practices. If cold calls were not successful, then don’t make them anymore. Find a different way to engage with potential new customers and clients. If your marketing proved more effective online than via mail, focus on how to keep generating attention to your business through your social media strategies.

If it helps to document these reflections, keep a journal you can write in at least once a week where you note down things that went great and which things needed to be better. You don’t have to be a great writer, just someone who can take down notes in a way that makes sense when you go back to read them. Perhaps make two columns headed “What Works” and “What Didn’t.”

Failure will happen, but it doesn’t mean that you need to give up. As part of your personal development, it means that you need to embrace that learning experience and make it work for you so that you keep moving forward with your business.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

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