with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
It’s beginning to look a lot like
Christmas tax time….
No, I haven’t lost it. Not yet, anyway. The way my taxes worked out for 2007, we got enough of a refund to cover my first two quarterly tax payments for 2008. Which means that my first get-out-the-checkbook, kiss-my-money-goodbye tax payment to Uncle Sam for this year is due on September 15th.
Lord knows I have made many, many mistakes in the business side of organizing my freelancing, over the years. Luckily most of them are even documented here in this space. Heh. So on the rare occasion when I get it right, I hope you’ll excuse me while I crow just a little bit.
And I know, it’s weird. But yes, Virginia, I’m excited about my taxes.
Longtime readers of Cornered Office know that I spent most of January recovering from my sloppy bookkeeping of previous years. I vowed to get organized; I started logging absolutely everything in Quicken; and I hired an accountant.
So I’m not just excited to be sending my money off to the IRS (because, really—all other things being equal—I would rather keep it!), I’m just pretty stoked to be on track, for once.
It’s not an insignificant check to write, but I have the money because I anticipated the expense. No biggie, there. What’s more, I am feeling zero angst over my tax situation because I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and there won’t be any unknowns or surprises when it’s time to prepare our 2008 taxes.
The most exciting part, for me, is that I have grown ridiculously fond of Quicken. It’s true! Last year, I headed to the accountant with a folder of papers and about half a clue as to what needed to happen next.
“Do you have any business deductions?” he asked me.
“Oh! Yes! Right here!” I told him, exceedingly proud of myself, as I held up the receipt from my new computer.
“Where are the rest of them?” he asked.
“The… rest?” I said. I was stumped.
Fortunately, the accountant is a good sport and a nice guy, and as he walked me through Remedial Deductions for Dummies we found a few other items, but he kept insisting that the total was too low and I kept insisting that that’s all there was.
This year I’ve been keeping meticulous records in Quicken, and I am astonished at how things like postage and mileage actually add up when you bother to keep track of them. It’s like magic. I mean, it’s like I’m actually running a business here, or something.
And yeah, I do periodically make myself some pretty charts and graphs to check out how much I’ve made this year, so far, too. It can be powerful encouragement to be able to check out my year’s income thus far with a click of the mouse. And being able to do that without panicking over what (unknown) amount will be due to the government? Well, that’s just plain priceless.
Sometimes it really doesn’t take very much to make me happy.
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