In the summer, we all slow down a bit with the warmer air and fewer activities on our agenda. Sometimes, it just gets too hot to hang out outside. Are you wondering what to do with all that indoor time? How about getting all those documents organized? If spring is for cleaning, then summer is for organizing everything we didn’t already toss out. Organizing during this mid-year period of the tax cycle can save you hours down the road. Here are some guidelines for how to organize. INDIVIDUAL DOCUMENTS The IRS recommends that you keep supportive documents for at least three years after your return has been filed.This can include bills, credit cards, invoices, proof of payment, or proof of donations.The three-year guideline also applies to property that you’ve sold in the last three years.This may include home purchase and home improvement, stocks, investments, and IRA transactions. BUSINESS OWNERS For business owners, you’ll want to keep all of your employment tax records for at least four years after the tax is due or is paid — whichever comes later. You’ll also want to hang onto records relating to gross receipts, expenses, assets, and proof of purchases.These may include receipt books, invoices, cash register tape, and sales slips.The records can also extend to databases, saved files, and emails. BUTWHERE TO PUT IT? Dedicate a portion of a closet or invest in a small file cabinet to store your tax-related documents. Use labeled hanging files organized by year and category to make it easy to find. If you ever do receive a notice from the IRS, you’ll be able to respond quickly knowing exactly where to access the information. Once the suggested timeline is up on those documents, you may want to shred them to ensure your personal information is kept secure. Tax Organization Made Easy HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SUMMER
A cohesive vision for the future is central to any thriving company; it’s the road map by which you and your team steer the business to success. But a set of lofty goals isn’t quite enough to motivate and unify an organization. It’s important to have an overarching aim for the coming years, but you also need to provide some guidance on how your business should conduct itself today . You need core values that encourage a certain spirit for your team and hold them to a high standard of excellence. To build a set of core values that’s unique and valuable to your business, you must first decide whose input you want during the process.This should be a panel of the key players in your business and employees skilled at providing new and powerful ideas. Ensure that each of the members of your think tank embodies the qualities you want to see throughout your organization. Next, get everyone in a room to start brainstorming. Set a date for a meeting and encourage everyone to come prepared with a list of values they feel are the most important for your business. Ask your think tank which values are central to them as individuals and expand that to include values that are vital to your entire company. After you’ve got Establish the Guiding Heart of Your Business 3 KEYS TO MAKING CORE VALUES COUNT
a healthy list of good ideas, combine and
define them. Look for commonalities. It’s likely that many of them will orbit just a few key principles. After a bit of pruning and rewording, these principles become your core values.
Once you’ve got your set of 5–10 main ideas, outline exactly what each of them means in a few sentences or a paragraph. You may want a skilled writer on board during this step to nail down a set of clear and compelling definitions. The process may be difficult, but once you’re done, you and your team will have a set of powerful, unifying core values. These will state your company’s purpose and drive your team to excellence. Core values may seem like a small consideration in the midst of day-to-day operations, but they can make an enormous difference.
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