Being in business for yourself means that you collect a lot of receipts that you hope and pray will shave off just a tiny bit more from the amount you owe to the government at tax time.
If you are very organized, you keep books, have an ongoing budget, and save the receipts in files by category. I would just like to state that, without a doubt, I am not organized. I do keep a budget of sorts with the amounts and category listed, but I tend to just toss the receipts into a box willy-nilly. I figure if I get audited, the IRS can sort it out themselves.
If you are a tax person, an IRS employee, or a neat freak do not explode â€“ we all have our quirks.
A decade ago, this was not a problem. I am completely honest and the receipts were there to back up the expenses I have claimed. However, receipts have evolved and now contain a self-destruct mechanism that causes them to go completely blank in less than a year leaving my records open for interpretation.
Thatâ€™s not good.
I finally had a flash of brilliance when I realized that I could take pictures of the receipts with my iPhone and then move them to a special receipts folder with categories for each month on my computer.
When I remember to do it.
If it becomes necessary, I can copy the file onto a disk and have the whole yearsâ€™ worth of financials ready at a momentâ€™s notice.
Unless my computer crashes.
photo credit: Michael Napoleon