Is anyone bracing themselves this week for back to school busy? Me too!! When my family’s schedules get hectic, I find myself forgetting the most obvious things…like the water bottle for my kiddo at her softball game. Not the end of our world, really, but something so simple that I feel silly for forgetting. I know when I get forgetful that is time to get back to basics.

The beginning of August typically brings a bit of a reprieve; summer sports and activities wind down and fall stuff hasn’t started up quite yet. I start to enjoy the bliss of evenings not spent running in 3 different direction. Its then, when I’ve settled into this slower pace, that I realize I haven’t shopped for school supplies and I still need to register my kids for school. A small panic sets in and I wonder how I could have forgotten something so simple. This month, as many of us are prepping for back to school, let’s get back to basics with a few simple tips that will have a big impact on your business.

Back to Basics tip #1: Keep those receipts. Yes, even the one for $1.27 from the post office for mailing out that host packet. Business expenses claimed on your tax return are not an allowed deduction without supporting documentation, such as a receipt. Receipts for your expenses should, and probably will, include how much was paid, when it was paid and to whom. You should also be able to prove the business purpose of the expense. A great tip for any meals or entertainment expenses is to make a note on the receipt of who was in attendance and the business purpose of the gathering.

Lost receipts equal lost opportunities to lower the income tax owed for your business. And in the event of a tax audit, it also means a more difficult and drawn out process. (And if there’s one person we don’t ever want to annoy, it’s a tax auditor!) Keep receipts for your business expenses and other supporting documents organized and in a safe place.

Check in next week for another simple, big impact tip for getting back to basics in your business. In the meantime, if you live in our home state of WI, don’t forget to take advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday when you are back to school shopping!