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VA Question: How Do I Deal With Taxes?

This question comes to me by email almost on a weekly basis.

I’ve answered it a few times, but I figure I better answer it again.

Taxes are very serious and should not be guessed at.

You must either educate yourself by reading books like, Small Business Taxes Made Easy, Second Edition, that truly give you the appropriate answers, or you must hire a tax accountant and do what they tell you to do. Maybe even both.

There is nothing you can do to avoid paying taxes.In fact you should be glad if you make enough money to actually pay taxes.

There are many strange myths being spread about taxes on the net and specifically many work at home forums, that boggle the mind. I’ve seen people who have no idea what they are talking about tell other people who have a home business that they only have to pay taxes on money if they earn over $600 for that person.

That’s not true.

I’ve also seen people tell other work from home business owners that they only have to pay taxes if they receive a 1099 in the mail. This is not true!

Come on people please read books and don’t listen to other people, don’t listen to me either! I have a business degree but I am not an accountant.

I feel confident that I do my own taxes correctly, but even though I have a business degree I read books written by professionals like Tax Mama’s book  Small Business Taxes Made Easy, Second Edition, because I want to do it right. Honestly, it’s just not worth the hassles to try to cheat on your taxes. Not knowing the rules, and doing it wrong will make you a tax cheat in the eyes of the law. Saying, I didn’t know, won’t cut it when the IRS comes to your door.

Plus, the honest truth is that most of you won’t pay any federal taxes on your VA work once it’s all said and done. Since about 45% of Americans don’t pay any federal taxes it’s very likely you might fall into that category. That does not mean you’re not successful at your business. Success is defined by you, not your tax rate. But for goodness sakes, this is your life, your business, make an effort to learn how to take care of this aspect of your business correctly. There are many tools that can help you, but they can only help you if you learn how to use them right. The best, most elaborate accounting software will do nothing for you if you don’t know how to do it right. One great software that is almost automatic is Outright.com it puts your accounting on autopilot. And you can get a free trial by clicking the link.

The great thing is, that once you learn to keep track of your income and expenses correctly it’s not hard! It’s easy. In fact, it’s so easy that you can do it in minutes a day. Those minutes will save you hours and hours of frustration during tax season, as well as alleviate the stress surrounding the issue of taxes. There is no reason why taxes should be even 2% of your focus. The best way to make them less of a focus is to get educated and hire someone to help you if you need to.

At the very least, while you’re learning about taxes keep track of your income and expenses. Even if all you do is write down income, and expenses, and throw the receipts in a shoe box that is better than nothing. That way you at least have everything in one place so that once you learn how to organize everything correctly you won’t have to search for everything for hours.

No matter what time of year you read this post it’s not too late to get your tax information in order. Get started right now.

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website http://www.barrypublishing.com.

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