Christmas will be over this week before we can blink an eye! Next week we ring in the New Year and then it will be time to wipe the slate clean!! There are a multitude of items you need to take care of and here are just a few:
Delete old emails. Defrag your computer.
Get a paper shredder (crosscut kind not straight strips) and have at it! Shred 2008 ATM receipts, utility bills, paycheck stubs more than one year old, quarterly statements from retirement accounts (after getting year end summary) and small purchase receipts that are not deductible. As Realtors we need to keep files for 7 years. I have my boxes arranged according to the year closed and go thru files in each box. For those clients still in their home I sold them I keep their files. For those who have moved again (usually out of town) I shred their files.
Start gathering all files to compile tax information for your tax accountant.
Set up new files for 2009 tax related papers. Include files for your medical receipts, gifts and charitable donations, investments, car expenses & mileage, dues & professional fees, advertising expenses, etc. Separate business and personal receipts.
Send a thank you letter to all the buyers you sold a home to in 2008 and include a copy of their settlement statement from closing to help them prepare for their income tax return. If you live in Texas include an application for their Homestead Exemption (they can file after January 1,2009 if they closed in 2008).
Use gift cards you got for Christmas! Many have expiration dates or maintenance fees and some companies may be filing for bankruptcy and may not honor gift cards.
Getting ready for the New Year can help you become organized and with business plan in hand you can start the year off with renewed optimism.