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Apr
02

Avoiding Bookkeeping Drama

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Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” –Matthew 22:21

I don’t know about you, but every year I dread – and I mean DREAD – tax time. As the appointment with my accountant draws near I lie awake at night worrying about whether or not I’ve messed anything up and what might possibly be coming my way.

I wasn’t always afraid of my accountant, but several years ago, when I was transitioning CWAHM from “hobby” status to “business” status, I got caught offguard when tax time came. I had made quite a bit more income than the previous year, but it had never dawned on me during the year to send more in to the IRS along the way. I sent in to the IRS what the accountant told me to each month and assumed that would take care of it.

That year I left the accountant’s office in tears, nearly hyperventilating, promising myself it would never happen again. We owed several thousand dollars in taxes and I had no idea where it was going to come from.

God provided for us, but it was an incredibly difficult time. And now each year at tax-time I’m reminded of my previous mistakes and I begin terrifying myself about what I may have done wrong this year.

I learned a few tips along the way – maybe they will help you, too:

  • If possible, use an accountant. I would have missed a lot of deductions these last few years if it weren’t for mine.
  • Keep all business receipts. I have a folder in my filing cabinets specifically for business receipts so that I can simply plop them in there in case they are ever needed.
  • Ask your accountant or tax professional exactly what you need to be tracking throughout the year (mileage, utility costs or other things depending on your business) and make sure that you understand how to calculate any monthly or quarterly payments that need to be made to the IRS.

This year was still stressful for me. My appointment with Mr. Accountant was on a Friday and I spent that week alternating between worrying and peace. It felt like every time I gave my worries to the Lord they showed right back up an hour later.

The difference this year is that God had people in place to call me on my attitude. My husband repeatedly reminded me to stop worrying and lay it at God’s feet. Several friends also realized that I was struggling and encouraged me to look not at my mistakes, but at God’s provision over the years.  He has never failed me. Even in the messes I create for myself, God is there and He is faithful.

The day of the tax appointment has come and gone and (praise God!) all was pretty much fine this year.  Going forward, I am committed to focusing on God’s faithfulness instead of my mistakes.

If you struggle with worry – about taxes or anything else – here are some things I’ve learned the hard way over the years. Maybe they will save you from some of the struggle:

Tell someone you’re struggling and ask them to pray with you

  • Be honest with your spouse or significant other about what’s bothering you
  • Be careful not to take the stress and frustration out on your kids
Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com and the co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-At-Home Mom (Beacon Hill Press, 2009). She graduated from Grace University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development/Family Studies and Bible. Jill has worked from home since 2000 and started her own home-based business to assist other Christians who desire to work from home while maintaining a godly life. Jill is the host of the podcast, Christian Work at Home Moment and co-host of the LIVE internet radio showThe CWAHM Network.

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