This year is almost half over and it’s time to start organizing your tax records, if you haven’t started already. If you are a Workamper you have most likely finished your Winter job and have headed North and started your Summer job by now. You should have received your final pay statement showing your year-to-date earnings and any taxes that were withheld (if you were an employee). Hopefully you have kept all of the pay stubs so you can total them all up to insure that the employer’s totals are correct. You will also want to match these numbers up with your W-2 when you receive it at the end of the year. Employers sometimes make mistakes in totaling your wages and/or taxes withheld. Sometimes unscrupulous employers will increase your earnings to more than what you actually earned and received, just so that they may take a larger tax deduction and to lower their own taxes.
If you are a “part-timer”, have a home base somewhere, and are entitled to deduct your “away-from-home” expenses, summarize those now while they’re fresh on your mind. You can find a wallet type organizer at any office supply store or at Wal-Mart, Target, etc; to keep your receipts by category, not by month; or list them on a columnar tablet or in an MS-Excel spreadsheet.
Whether you have a home base or not (a full-timer) you may be able to deduct your travel expenses from one job to the next. There are a strict set of rules that the worker must follow to be allowed this deduction, but most Workampers can meet these requirements with a little planning and documentation.
Listen to the Workamper Tax Pro Secrets on the “workamper.com” web site under the bookstore section if you are not familiar with some of these terms. There I go into great depth about the home base requirements and what may be deducted. I also discuss what are “travel expenses”, “away-from-home” expenses and the requirements for deducting these costs.
Establish a single place now to start accumulating these items and records. Stay consistent in storing them there so that at the end of the year you won’t be so frantic is getting your information gathered for the preparation of your tax return. It’s going to happen, so try to make it as painless as possible by getting ready now.
Good luck and keep your wheels rolling.