What's Your Tax Prep Style?

Dear Readers, this is an evolving blog post. I’d love to get your feedback on which terms / descriptions work or don’t work for you!

Work with your nature. 

This is one of my favorite guiding principles. And it's more important than ever when it comes to chores or anything that feels tedious, new, overwhelming. 

What style fits you? ....when it comes to working on IRS tax prep?
(Nicknames are works in progress.)

♥  The truth?: I ignore it until the last minute, then scramble and get it all done. (Phoenix)
♥  I like to start as early as possible. In fact, I already have! I work steadily until the job is done finished. (Early bird)
♥  I do best breaking up a task. I prefer to work over several sessions. (Marathoner)
♥  I like to do the job all at once, on a planned day. (Personal work party)
♥  None of these fit exactly/I'm a mixture. (4 Leaf Clover)

The idea: choose your style. Name it. Claim it. Plan for it. Be at peace with it. Below are a few ideas for each style.

P.S. If you're new to this, I suggest reading the Marathoner description as well as your style.

Phoenix 

Do your thing! No reason to fix something that works. When the time comes, find this email and these tools to offer some help: All-at-once Prep + CalculateBasic. If needed, here's an article if you get stuck somewhere. Perhaps, mark off a day or two around 4/12, 4/13, 4/14 to do the work. Lastly, if you can, clear your calendar on 4/15 or 4/16 to take a break, go to the spa or drive out of town to reward yourself and recover. (I'm keeping this short, because your mind is busy with other things right now. You'll get to this later.)

Early Bird 

This message to you might be too late because you're probably finished. In case I caught you in time, here's an article that outlines the whole process. And a worksheet to capture all your numbers: CalculateBasic. You'd probably like to fill out this second sheet as well: Calculate Next Level. Before you get too far, please be sure to choose a reward for yourself. Set aside some money for it and plan whatever time it takes. Yes, you start early because it's your nature, there's an urge to. That's cool. Still, let's reinforce and reward that nature! We want to keep you happy in your job. If you feel a bit guilty, then it's probably the right amount.
Oh, and here's an article on filing options. As you know, it feels so good to get the appointment for the actual filing on the calendar, whether it's meeting your accountant, filing yourself online, etc. Heads up, there are a few changes this year! A new 1040 and a few new rules. I'll be sharing about that soon. I'm just mentioning it so you plan in a little extra time. If you'd like to dive into research now, here are the 1040 Instructions, start on page 6. 

Marathoner 

Slow and steady wins the race! And, "Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon." Ice Cube. You know that working slowly over time means less impact on your life, the pain can be spread out. If you've done this before, you've probably got a system already. If you're new / as a reminder to experienced folks: plan several work periods over the next 4 - 6 weeks. Prep time really ranges from 2 hours to 12 or more. Just take your best guess and plan in the time. You can pick a regular day + time, like "Fridays from 1 - 3pm", or choose a time block like "1 hour" to fit into your weekly schedule.  
One option is for you to follow along with the Sidekick Service Tax Prep series coming out soon. I've broken the process into 6-7 steps, and will send an email about each one...so you can follow along with me. If you'd like to space it out yourself, take a look at this article, with worksheets for each step. Or, look at this All-at-Once Prep Sheet to plan your own sessions. I also suggest choose a little treat for each work session and a big Reward for when you're all finished. 

Work-Party Girl

You like to get in the zone; to give this task your whole attention, all at once. Like gearing up for party or 5K, you want to collect all your tools and resources, create the space, and get it done, and done well, and then shut the door and be finished. Tips for you (if you're new/need reminders): schedule three days on your calendar: 1- Personal Tax Work Party, 2- Time OFF to recover/reward yourself, 3 - Follow-up Tasks.
Create a space in your house to collect all of the things you'll need. Tax documents coming in the mail, bank statements, receipts, etc. Perhaps print out this sheet Collect Stuff. You can use it to slowly collect items prior to your Party day, or, do it first thing that morning. Consider getting a friend to hang out with you. Oh, and if you're the cook in your house, arrange for someone else to handle meals or to go out for dinner. Be sure to have a breakfast and lunch you love, plus snacks on hand. On that day, I suggest printing out these two sheets:  All-at-once Prep + CalculateBasic. Here's an article if you run into questions.

Four Leaf Clover 

Perhaps none of these fit, you're a combination, or you're new to this and just don't know. Or, maybe you're a rebel and as soon as someone tries to type you, you don't like it! That's cool. I get that we're a spectrum and not everyone fits into boxes. A few ideas. First, find a way to name your own style. Think about what's true, even if you're different/changing all the time. The reason? It's empowering to claim what we do naturally and then we've got a strategy to stick to.  
Next translate your style into some logistics. Do you want to plan ahead, wait until inspired, ignore? Three Options for you. 1) read through the tips for the other styles, and whatever sounds good/calming/easy, then do that. 2) Plan to follow along with the Sidekick Service emails over the next 6 weeks. If it sounds good, do the work suggested for each. Then, if you want to jump off at any point, please do! 3) Look at this All-at-Once Prep sheet. Or skim this article. Then ask yourself this, Now that I see all the work involved, how do I want to tackle it?


Once you discover your name + system, I'd sure love to hear about it. Please email me at jennygirlfriday@gmail.com

I'm excited to hear what you think of these Styles + Tips! 

• How to Renew your LLC / PLLC (aka make annual report)

If you have an LLC or PLLC, you must ‘renew’ it each year to keep it going. Officially, it’s referred to as making your Annual Report. It’s quick and costs about $60. It’s due on the anniversary month of when you opened it.

Some reminders

This is different than your business license. Your LLC / PLLC is a legal entity that you created. It has its own limits, responsibilities and protections. It’s separate from you (like an 18 year old child). It can only practice business if you keep it alive and it is properly licensed. To keep it alive is a legal issue (vs. financial), that’s why we’re dealing with the Secretary of State.

Basic Info to Renew / Make Annual Report

TIME: 2 - 10 minutes
COST: $60
DUE: On the anniversary month when it was formed
Frustration Factor: 4 out of 10
WEBSITE: ccfs.sos.wa.gov/#/
GOVT: Secretary of State
HELP: 360.725.0377

Summary

Set up a profile if needed. Log in. Double check that your name and address is filled in for every role (governor, registered agent, executor, etc.). Get to the end, pay $60. Mark off your Important Dates List (Annual, Quarterly). Reward yourself!

Why?

LLCs / PLLCs were originally created for groups of people coming together to do business. Each owner is actually called a Member. The annual report is saying, Yes, it’s still going. Here’s who is doing which role. With bigger groups, this matters! For a single-member LLC / PLLC, it feels a little silly because generally we serve all the roles! By making this report, we confirming that all this info is the same.

Steps - Screen shots below

1 Go to SOS.wa.gov
2 Click on CORPORATIONS in the Top Nav to open the menu
3 Find CORPS & CHARITIES FILING SYSTEM
4 Sign in ….or create a profile, then sign in when directed
5 Find ANNUAL REPORT on the Left Nav
6 Search for your Business using your UBI or Name
7 Select your name from the List
8 Confirm all your information, make changes or additions if needed
9 Review
10 Add to Cart and Pay
11 Optional - print or save the pdf for your records
12 Mark as done on your Important Dates List
13 Reward yourself!

Screenshots


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Voila! All done for another year. Great job on getting another business chore finished. Having said that, I hope it was kind of fun and rewarding! Your work is still alive and kicking!

: ) Jenny Girl Friday

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

P.S. Was this helpful? I sure hope so! If YES, please consider leaving a Tip in the Tip Jar. (Unless you’ve already given an Annual Donation.)

Have any friends with an LLC / PLLC? Forward freely!

Why tips and donations? I’m currently doing all of this work during evenings/weekends. It’s slow going to build this Apothecary on the side. With more funds, I can ‘buy’ more time each month to grow the collection faster. I’m hoping to some day earn enough so it can be a one-day-a-week job.

If NO, then send me your questions, or let me know where things are confusing. I’d love to clear it up for you and other folks! jennygirlfriday@gmail.com