Get ready for tax season

One of the beauties of Dubai is its tax-free nature. Unfortunately, some of us still have to file a tax return in our home countries. I’m lucky and only have to submit a “mini” tax return. The supporting documents, receipts and forms are already available and kept in one folder. It shouldn’t take my accountant too long to complete it. It’s not always this easy to get ready for tax season.

I’ve had my years where I scrapped for the receipts to get the most out of the different allowances and deductions. The stress of knowing that I had it but couldn’t find it drove me nuts. Until I changed to a system of collecting and sorting tax-relevant documents throughout the year, tax season always had a reputation. Please note this is not tax advice, just general information: Here are my tips to make tax season easier for you:

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Fire!!! What would you take from a burning house?

Just imagine your house is on fire. The flames are spreading quickly. But you were given special protection by the fire fighters to quickly take few things. What would you take with you?

As horrible (and dangerous) as this situation is, the question brings a dilemma along. Would you take what’s practical (e.g. your insurance documents), what has value (e.g. your money) or what has sentimental value (e.g. a a necklace from your husband)? And what about your pets?

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Get the most out of attending an exhibition or conference

With kids going back to school, so are colleagues coming back from their summer holidays. The office is fully occupied again and meeting rooms are reserved for pretty much every hour of the week. Business is back to normal!

Later this year, we’ll see the influx of invitations to exhibitions and conferences. In fact, I’m already registered a few local conferences later this year. For many companies, the question though comes naturally: Who can attend which conference? Sometimes, the budget may only allow you to attend free ones, held locally. In Spring of this year, I’ve been very fortunate to present at 2 conferences. As a speaker, you can generally attend the entire conference free of charge, something that I’m sure sounds like music to your Finance team’s ears. No matter who gets to attend, you want to get the most out of attending an exhibition or conference. Do you know how to?

The majority of work will actually be done before the exhibition/conference even starts. Here are my tips for you to get ready:

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Paper battles – How long to retain important documents

Next week is my birthday and I love looking forward to it. It’s my special day and this year, I’m giving myself a special present. Instead of continuing to be brought down by my stuff, unfulfilling activities and draining energy vampires, I’m starting my new year already. I’m removing unnecessary clutter from my own life!

For me, keeping paper under control is a huge undertaking. Despite aiming to save as much electronically, there’s a constant battle and questions run through my mind: “Do I need to keep a paper copy?” or “How long do I need to keep this for?” or “Can this go?”

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The Home Office – Are you still cleaning or already getting things done?

Today was a great day. Starting with a walk around the lake, I’ve attended a very informative seminar about medical benefits in the GCC. The best was finishing my work day from home.

To me, working from home has many advantages: Less interruptions and less distractions, a lot more focus and productivity! Given my various deadlines (who doesn’t have them), it was just what was needed and I was so pleased to close a number of activities off.

To some, working from home is a very different story. The laundry basket is calling your name, you haven’t seen your neighbour for a while, why not catch up and oh, you haven’t decided what to cook for dinner yet. What can you do to treat your home office just like your regular office?

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