Monday, May 19, 2008

Clutter and Taxes

I'm making good progress purging the clutter in my home. The bad part is that it has put my art on hold. I'm still brainstorming designs and writing them I don't forget because I will if I don't document...but cleaning is "work". No wonder so many people find jobs. I could never make it as a cleaning lady especially since I have a tendency toward compulsive disorders. If I clean, I really clean. So I'm trying new approaches in order to take breaks. I also discovered that if I can't decide to throw or keep anything I take a break. If I don't I start making a "maybe" pile and I'm determined that's what caused some of this mess. LOL

Also after a little research I've discovered I really don't need "every" receipt on my personal expenditures unless I'm claiming them on my taxes, so my shredder is getting a work out. After all a lot of companies give you the option of paperless billing, hence, no paper. That'll clear a lot of space. I've been keeping every receipt for at least 7 years and it's no longer necessary. For some reason when I did bookkeeping for businesses, it was important to keep every receipt and it spilled over into my personal life. Took me long enough to realize it's not necessary to keep a receipt for a candy bar, etc unless you want to make reports how you spend your money. I'm rather frugal so what's the use.

I also discovered that if you just have a hobby it could be deductible on your taxes. There's a 2% of gross income rule and considerations you need to watch. For example, if you are conducting as a business do not try to deduct this as hobby expenses. You could make a real mess and who wants to be subject to an audit. Check out Publication 529 and 535 to see if it sounds right for you. Remember you can't be making a profit.

One other major advantage of clearing clutter is giving away to charity things you no longer use or need. All that information is in Publication 526 and if it's over $500 you may need to fill out a form. I use Turbo Tax and it has a calculator where you input the item and it tells you how much you can deduct. It's really handy.

Well, this clearing out clutter is proving to be more of a benefit than I thought but I sure do miss my art, so I'll just need to think positive. The more I clear out means the more supplies for my art I can buy....LOL

Happy creating!

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