I just finished Taxes...and this small business/not quite a business of mine did not make them easier. All the hassles left me with some new tax year's resolutions to try to make things easier for myself next year. Here's ten things I plan to do differently (or better).
1. Keep better track of the of items I give away (I can count them as advertising cost).
2. Keep better track of the items I won in giveaways, which are supposed to be reported.
3. NOT use my income from sales in my Zazzle account to buy things from Zazzle. I had to go through every order I made and figure out how much I had spent that hadn't been included in the payments they sent me so I could get my total income. BIG PAIN!
4. Keep track of other stuff I buy for business (like packaging material for mailing giveaway items, or printing for files).
5. Keep all my business related reciepts in a folder where I can find them easily.
6. Learn how to use a spreadsheet to record and calculate all this junk.
7. Still keep a paper record because computers can crash and burn sometimes.
8. Get a new notebook with tabs for my paper records (DONE!).
9. Start earlier! Don't wait til the last minute to fill those tax forms out!
10. Write my congressman about making it easier to report income that doesn't show up on your W2s (like babysitting, mowing lawns, Zazzle and Ebay income, etc.) On the IRS website on this subject, they complain about revenues lost when people don't report money from these small side jobs--but just figuring out how to report it is a major chore (I wrote a little guide here). Since there's no paper trail on most of these, and they're asking us to report them on the honor system...the least they can do is make it simpler (IMHO)!
So, after finishing taxes this year...is there anything you plan to change to make it easier next year?