We proudly bring you Part 2 of 'Taking Some Pain Out Of Task Time' by Chris Remus.
In Part 1 of this two-part series I talked about why we experience pain at tax time, how we can relieve that pain by making the tax information collection process easier, and how Fancy Hands can help with that process. In Part 2 of the series, I’ll introduce you to how the three principles of Tax Pain Relief and Fancy Hands can help you take the pain out of tax time.
Principle 1 - Establish a Single Digital Repository for your Tax Information
This is a single digital storage location that you send all of your tax documents to throughout the year. By establishing this digital repository, when tax season approaches, all the information you need is already in one place.
Having all the information in a single place saves you the trouble of scrambling around at the last minute, trying to collect all of the information you need, while hoping you’re not forgetting anything. If you setup the Digital Repository the right way, getting the required information into it should be simple, seamless and self-organizing. Certain information collection tasks can even be automated, if you integrate your Digital Repository with other online services. For these reasons, my Digital Repository of choice is Evernote.
Here are some ideas on how Fancy Hands can help you with Principle 1 -
1 - Setup your digital repository, e.g. an Evernote notebook if you only file personal taxes or multiple notebooks if you file personal and business taxes.
2 - Research and develop a checklist of the information you need to collect for each deadline. If you use an accountant to file your taxes, Fancy Hands can also contact your accountant for a list that they may have available for clients to use. This also makes your accountant’s life easier, since he/she will be getting the information he/she needs, without having to follow-up with you to fill in the gaps.
3 - Add the checklists to the reminders of key tax dates that Fancy Hands set up for you in Part 1 of this series. (Link to Part 1, preferably #2 “Reminding you…” of Part 1.)
4 - Integrate additional systems with your digital repository to automate certain tasks like expense receipt and financial statement collection.
Principle 2 - Use the Single Digital Repository throughout the year
How you setup the Digital Repository is important. However, if you don’t use it throughout the year, it’s not going to be too helpful to you at tax time. Make sure your Digital Repository:
1. Is available to you on whatever device you may have handy when you come across a relevant piece of tax information.
2. Has extensions to make it easy for you to get the document, whether digital or paper, into the Digital Repository.
Again, I’ve found that Evernote excels in each of these two areas. There are also tools that allow you to automate the collection of some aspects of expense receipts and financial statements. You can link those to Evernote too and have them feed the relevant information into your Digital Repository for you throughout the year.
Here are some ideas on how Fancy Hands can help you with Principle 2 -
- Check to see that your automated systems are correctly sending the right information to your Digital Repository on a Quarterly Basis and help you fix them if they’re not.
2. Run digital expense reports, using a system like Expensify, on a monthly or quarterly basis, to generate digital expense receipts for you. Add the reports to your digital repository.
3. Send your financial statements, that have been automatically added to your Digital Repository by a service like FileThis, to your accountant or bookkeeper for reconciliation on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Principle 3 - Use the Single Digital Repository at tax time
This is where you feel the Tax Pain Relief. As tax season approaches, everything you need is now in one place, in your Digital Repository. If you do your own taxes, everything is in one place for you and you can focus on completing the forms, reducing your chance of making costly mistakes, since you won’t be distracted by having to collect tax information while simultaneously concentrating on getting your calculations correct.
If you work with an accountant, you simply need to share the Digital Repository with your accountant, if your accountant is tech-savvy, or export and send the contents of the Digital Repository to them, if they’re not so tech-savvy :) Either way, everything’s where it needs to be and once you get the information over to them, you can focus on the more value-added activities like making key tax-planning decisions for your household and/or business.
Here are some ideas on how Fancy Hands can help you with Principle 3 -
1 - Review the information in your Digital Repository against the checklist developed in Principle 1 and let you know what’s missing.
2 - Share the Digital Repository with or export and send the information from your Digital Repository to your accountant, for a truly hands-off experience.
3 - Pat you on the back for a job well done :)
In conclusion, while these principles may seem simple at first, the real challenge is addressing and following them throughout the year. The fact that your Tax Pain Relief system is very easy to use should help you actually use it throughout the year, be better prepared and feel less pain at tax time as a result. Using Fancy Hands to do some of the work and/or remind you of the things you need to do makes it even more likely you’ll follow these three principles and experience your Tax Pain Relief during this tax season and those to come for many years.
P.S. - If you decide to give Tax Pain Relief a shot, use code “FANCYHANDS” at check-out to receive 10% off the purchase price and access to a lifetime of free updates to the eBook.
About the Author: Chris used to really dread collecting all the information needed to file taxes. Since He was spending way too much time collecting various tax forms, bank statements, receipts, etc., this would lead to him being super-stressed and behind on a lot of other important things during tax season.
Over the past few years, Chris developed Tax Pain Relief to make the tax information collection process a lot easier and better for himself and is now excited to share that relief with others.