Using Excel to Help You Prepare for Tax Season

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Personal Expense Tracking

How good a tax return is depends on the quality of information and documentation along with the expertise used when putting it together. The more organized you are, the simpler and easier the tax process should be. An Excel spreadsheet is an excellent tool to help keep you organized and they could help you make tax season as painless as possible.

When our clients arrive at our Newtown, PA office, some arrive with a shoebox full of receipts while others have their spreadsheets and supporting statements ready.  Regardless of your level of organization a few tips and a very simple spreadsheet can help start the process and make it far less painful.

When it comes to business expenses preparing a spreadsheet and regularly updating it can be a big help. Don’t delay until you have a big pile of receipts, documents, and information. Preparing for tax time is like gardening. It’s better to regularly weed so your flowers or vegetables have room to grow instead of letting things go for weeks and weeding becomes insurmountable. Don’t let taxes overwhelm or scare you. Instead of stressing about it, prepare for it and Excel can help. Hand written ledgers may be one way to go but it’s not the most efficient way.

Excel spreadsheets can help manage your tax data. A huge issue for business owners come tax time are their expenses. Business expenses are the costs you incur for your trade or business. They are normally deductible if the business operates to make a profit. The expense must be ordinary and necessary, or common and accepted, in your trade or business to carry out your business.

An Excel workbook can be considered a notebook, you can name it something like Expenses 2017 or Taxes 2018. A workbook contains sheets and you can add as many as you need. Each sheet has boxes called cells. AutoSum in a column or row does the math for you. With Excel, you can list your expenses and include details. Once they are all listed you can add them up automatically through AutoSum.

If you have any questions about businesses taxes or how to prepare to file them, we can help. We can also walk you through simple accounting procedures for your home and business so preparing your tax returns and your quarterly tax payments are not nearly as scary. Give us a call at 215-497-8888 or send us an email.

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