04 March 2008

Tax tips for the self employed.

If it's sunny out, and baby birds are being eaten by cats and the allergy trees are blooming, it must be tax time!

I finally called my accountant for my tax appointment. This has been on my list of things to do for a while but I couldn't bear to do. Like registering my unregistered and unsmogged truck. Oops. That's still on the list. My accountant does all the hard work of my taxes, but I do all the work of getting my records (Records may be stretch. Do we count post-its as Records? And scraps? And vague memories of things?) in order to bring it to her to turn it into a blue folder with a giant bill inside of how much extra money I have to send to the government in April and every few months after that. After I sent them money all year long so we can do stuff like, I dunno, keep having a war in Iraq and making me to put a leash on my dog in my neighborhood field. That was a cheap and grouchy shot. I am used to this. I am hardened. I have been self employed for a long time. (Tax tip-Make sure to actually send the money to them! Don't just pretend, like as in registering trucks. Send it ON TIME. Trust me on this one.)

I actually don't have any idea how my taxes even work, but I have the nicest accountant in the world who seems to have a handle on it. She is the super genius that doesn't mind that over the years I have had sometimes overlapping businesses of horse training, graphic designing and college teaching. And even dog agility training. She just turns it into the magical blue folder of money I have to pay and lets me write off many, but not all things, in my life. Dog vet bills-no. Horse vet bills-yes. Jeans-no. Boots-yes. She is a very, very smart lady. Sometimes she gives me kleenex before she hands me the blue folder for the crying that can ensue at tax time. (Tax tip-you can also bring your OWN kleenex if your accountant isn't as thoughtful as mine.) I think that this year isn't a crying year though. (Tax tip-Yes, always think POSITIVE!)

This is what my record keeping system looks like. Many colorful folders with some things in them. It is interesting to note that the one dog who tends to eat paper is the one laying in the record keeping system. (Record Keeping tip-buying bright colored folders does not filing make! Nor does spray painting file cabinets! You need to actually place things in them.) Plus a lot of other folders and boxes and envelopes and purses and pockets with receipts and then there's also the little notebook and the binder from the attorney. And some stuff in the computer. And don't forget the office flood of the roofing fiasco, which means there could actually be more items stored in the garage that need to be gotten and added and put onto the spreadsheet (Um, spreadsheet could actually be stretching it. Do post-its count as spreadsheet? And a list of numbers I type into a blank text file?) that all has to be ready for my super nice accountant very soon.

So the first important part of starting taxes is that it is time to practice weave poles some more!

With an open mouth, jazz hands, and a slower dog today. We practiced with the border collie puppies the other day. I have huge jealousy of their weave poles. I am pretty sure neither of the puppies' people used Buck Owens as their secret speed weapon. We will rethink our strategy. Likely, they already did their taxes too.

Then,while looking for some tax things by searching on the word "tax" in my computer, I found these instead. And I thought I should show you. Because what is more exciting than photos of other people's dogs? Maybe hearing about their digestion issues?

Ruby in the tunnel. Just shredding it up.

Otterpop in the tunnel. Knowing that the zombies will pounce as soon as she exits.

I also washed my floor! And did laundry! And dog toenails! But actually, no taxes.


Elf said...

I made an appt with my tax accountant for this friday to force me to get my taxes done. It's wednesday. I have about 40 hours of billable work to do before I leave for CPE, plus a friend's spouse's movie debut, plus agility class, plus a meeting in Foster City between now and then.

When am I going to get my tax stuff ready to go? Plus there are important agility blogs to not fall behind on.


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