I'm going to write something that will annoy writers everywhere.
My taxes are done.
They've been done since mid-February and were filed in March.
Okay, you don't have to throw anything at me. Having a kid in college helps to force the taxes to get done earlier than most people. The FASFA form that needs income/tax info is due ridiculously early in the tax season. We first dealt with that in 1996, and after 4 years, it becomes routine. It helps, too, that I am married to an uber-organized man who is prepared to do our taxes at any given moment. He's my inspiration to make my accounting system, for what it is worth, efficient and constantly updated. Without him, I'd be pulling all my hair out and I'd be one of those people who shows up at the accountant's office with a box filled with receipts, saying "have a go at it."
For my writing business, I have spreadsheets that focus on total income, income by month, income by client, an invoice tracker, and expenses, which include mileage for travel issues. I have a credit card that I use for business purchases. I have a file folder in my desk where I drop in my pay stubs and another for any receipts or paperwork involving purchases. I haven't really traveled much for business yet, so those aren't expenses I've dealt with. That should change, however, when I plan to attend a couple of conferences this year.
I'm not a numbers person. I could never do this myself. Having an accountant who is familiar with self-employed business tax issues has been a godsend. But having all my ducks in a row throughout the year makes tax time a lot less stressful.