A. Keep all receipts from anything to everything that has to do with your purchases, lunches, materials, etc.
B. Now record all of those each time you purchase something in a spread sheet. I use numbers on my mac-book but there are many other options.Make sure you put exactly what it was for or what client it was allotted to.
C. Once you have a sale or make a commission- put atleast 30-40% away to pay your taxes. What I really recommend is to pay your taxes quarterly- it will really help you get the maximum back when you file your taxes before April 15th.
D. If you don't pay your taxes quarterly- make sure that you have a personal bank account for just work. It is a no touch account unless you need to purchase something for work. That way, if you miss something with gathering your receipts- you can just pull it up and see dates.
E. Milage is a big part of what I do. There are mobile Apps that can really help you keep track of how many miles and what date and who you were doing it for. Delivering fliers, listing appointments, showing homes, making trips for clients, etc. Once you have this down pat, it is so much easier to really know how much you spent on traveling.
F. Don't forget to log your cell phone bill, insurances, internet bills and more. These add up big time.
Although this is not for everyone's tax case- it is just a good reminder that you can get ahead of the game so that you can easily sit down with your tax advisor and have all your ducks in a row.
Now get yourself started and I promise you that you will no longer be the person in the picture.
Go Realty Girl