This post is brought to you by Robyn Amott, Bless This Mess
For many of us EOFY is like cramming for an exam at the last minute, an exam you've had all year to study for. Pulling together all your records can be all too consuming and stressful. But it doesn't need to be!
Professional Organiser Robyn Amott works with clients who have often not made a claim for up to five years.
Here are Robyn's top tips on how to take care of your current EOFY claims whilst establishing a system for future years.
The biggest key to removing the stress and reducing the time it takes is by implementing an effective system along with changes to your daily/weekly routine/schedule throughout the year.
1. Firstly it's important to know what documents are relevant, what you can and cannot claim. Establish a checklist to remind yourself.
2. Make a Mess – choose a large flat surface on which to start grouping relevant documents in accordance with their category/tax year.
3. Set up a simple 'one stop shop' system – simple Tax pocket folder/s in which you collect anything tax related throughout the year.
4. Create spreadsheets in which to lodge all your incoming and outgoing expenses. Consider the categories these expenses/claims fall under ie: Business/Personal/Medical/Investments etc and create a spreadsheet/flow sheet for each relevant category.
5. For every document you lodge into your spreadsheet give it a big fat tick, that way you'll know it's already entered and can save you a lot of time when your cross checking.
6. Scan receipts and invoices into your computer and save in folders that correspond to the names of your spreadsheets. To save on time & disc space scan a number of relevant documents onto the same page. Coincidently.
7. Save everything onto a disc and pass onto your accountant for processing.
Robyn adopts a 'hot sheet' approach to the way she keeps up to date with her taxes.
Take a few minutes each day/week to empty your handbag/purse and then enter your receipts/invoices into the spreadsheet before filing them away in their relevant Tax pocket/folder.
Additionally, consider whether your records are already being kept by a third party. For example if you always keep up to date with your medical claims with Medicare and your Private Health Fund then it's as simple as printing off the EOFY statement they provide to their members.
At the end of the day if it's all just too much to tackle on your own don't be afraid to outsource. Utilising the services of a bookkeeper/VA might just save your sanity, and is money well spent!
Bless this Mess empowers individuals with theskills and systems to organise and maintain their spaces & life.
Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net / Grant Cochrane