Just finished my gross receipt tax filing last night—15 minutes past midnight, so I got socked with a late fee. Grrr.

I’ll look on the bright side, though. I’ve had a solid system in place now for several years that makes it really easy to get this filing done. With correctly categorized income entries—including separate categories for income that’s subject to tax, tax collected, and income that’s not subject to tax at all—generating a report is simple. I usually just review my entries before generating the report to make sure I’ve assigned a project code to each one—something that I do sometimes forget when I’m entering my transactions.

The New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department couldn’t care less about my project codes (ditto for my accountant), but I use GRT time as an opportunity to make sure all my income transactions include this information which helps me see which projects are earning the most money. Some other time I’ll make sure my expense transactions also have the right project codes (if any, as many are just administrative expenses). With income and expense transactions categorized by project—not just by tax category such as advertising, postage or meals—I can see which projects are the most profitable (say, my report editing work) and which aren’t (chronically, website development projects). And this in turn helps me evaluate my business strategy and decide which projects make the most sense for me to pursue, and/or figure out how to make unprofitable projects more profitable.

Now if I could just figure out how to stop my bad habit of putting off this task until I’m late. Yeesh.

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