Doulas and Taxes

Doulas Do Taxes

The most dreaded season of all has arrived --- and I don't mean winter.  No, it's TAX Season! That time when we all get the joy of handing over to Uncle Sam his share of our hard earned money. While there is no way to make taxes fun, here are a few tips that can make the process of paying your taxes less painful.

Turbo Tax Just Gets Better and Better.  The tax code is a set of rules and no body is better at automating those rules and putting them into common language for a normal human being than Turbo Tax by Inuit.  If you haven't tried Turbo Tax in a while, they have made many improvements over the past few years to make it easier to import information and get live help.

What Sort of Company Are You?  You need to know what type of entity you are.  If you are just doing it for the love of it and are losing money or breaking even, you might consider reporting this as Hobby Income on your your 1040.  Are you a going concern, clearing a fair amount of money?  Schedule C is something you should look into.  If you are making money as a serious business, you should report it that way.  Finally, some of you have gone all in with a LLC or another corporate structure.  These have special state and federal rules you will need to investigate.

Know What You Spent and What You Collected.  Half the battle of doing taxes is having your paperwork in order.  Have you kept good track of the money you collected for each birth?  Do you have a list of your expenses? - parking, miles driven, supplies, etc.  These are essential to filling out your taxes.  If you blew it in 2016, resolve to keep better track in 2017.

Be On Time! Although extensions are easy to file, they only prolong the pain of completing your return -- and if you estimated your taxes incorrectly you could still end up paying big penalties.  Don't procrastinate -- just get er done.

Taxes Are Serious and Are Your Responsibility.  Taxes are not something to be blown off.  It is your responsibility as the result of having the privilege of doing business in the US (or other countries).  The penalties the IRS can levy are severe - that is why the word "audit" strikes fear into the hearts of so many.  Even if there weren't any penalties --- do the right thing!  Being a good doula means behaving with a high code of conduct.

Happy filing!