2013 Tax Tip: Get Prior Year IRS Tax Info

The IRS offers several different ways to get IRS tax info or a copy of your own tax return for prior years. Here are options to help you get the information you need.

  • Tax Return Transcript. This shows most line items from your tax return as originally filed, along with any forms and schedules from your return. This transcript does not reflect any changes made to the return after you filed it. Tax return transcripts are free. After the IRS has processed a return, transcripts are available for the current tax year and the past three tax years.
  • Tax Account Transcript. This shows any adjustments made by you or the IRS after filing your return. This transcript shows basic data, like marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income. Tax account transcripts are free, and are available after the IRS has processed the return for the current tax year and the past three tax years.
  • Order a Transcript. You can request both transcript types online, by phone or by mail. To place your order online, go to IRS.gov and use the “Order a Transcript” tool. Order a transcript by phone at 800-908-9946. A recorded message will guide you through the process. You can also request your tax return transcript by mail by completing Form 4506T-EZ. Use Form 4506T to mail a request for your tax account transcript. You can get both forms online at IRS.gov
  • Tax Return Copies. Actual copies of your tax returns are generally available for the current tax year and as far back as six years. The fee for each copy you order is $57. To request a copy of your tax return, complete Form 4506, available on IRS.gov. Mail your request to the IRS office listed on the form for your area.
  • Delivery Times. The turnaround time for online and phone orders is typically 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request. Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail using Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506T, and allow 60 days when ordering actual copies of your tax return by mail.

The above information was provided in a press release from the Internal Revenue Service. For more help on preparing your taxes and organizing your files contact professional organizing firm In Order to Succeed at info@inorderotsucceed.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Five Free iPhone Apps To Boost Productivity and Organization

These days, our smart phones are practically glued to our hands. Not only do they help us communicate, but also they keep our schedules , to-do lists, even hold passwords. With the iPhone 5 recently released you might want to consider these five free apps to help stay organized and keep life simple.


Toodledo

I use this for my to-do list. It’s a free app for iPhone and iPad that you can use to organize your to-list and notes by priority, start date, due date even by the time or status of the item. If you use it with Toodledo.com it will give you access to tasks even without an internet connection.

Bump

A necessary app for any busy mother and/or professional. The free iPhone app allows users to share information such as contacts, calendars, and photos wirelessly from one phone to another.

YadaHome

Speaking of busy moms, YadaHome is the app that lets you organize your family. The free iPhone app allows you to get a free shared calendar, grocery list even a to-do list. Share photos, to-do items, grocery items with your family and they can update it from their phones as well.

Evernote

This app is how I remember everything. And I mean everything. The free iPhone app is accessible from your phone or computer and lets you store things in an audio, visual or note form. See an article you want to read but don’t have time to right now? No problem, capture it with Evernote and access it later. You can even do that with this article.

Dropbox

The motto of Dropbox is simplify your life and this free app does just that. The free app allows users to share photos, documents and videos between devices such as a computer and phone or between users.  I use it to share photographs with clients and also to store PowerPoints when I am making a presentation am not bringing my computer with me.


Denise Caron-Quinnis the owner of In Order to Succeed, a full service Professional Organizing and Project Management firm serving private individuals and business owners throughout New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Denise works closely with clients helping them to live, work and move in productive, organized and stress free ways.

Four After Work Activities that Increase Your Workday Productivity

Do you want to be more productive at work? Of course you do. When your productivity increases, you get more done, feel less stressed and impress your boss and clients. Take advantage of these after-work activities and watch your productivity during business hours increase.

Make Time for Exercise

After a long and stressful day, exercise is just what the doctor ordered. Just 30 minutes of activity is proven to reduce stress, clear your head and help you feel your best physically.

It doesn’t matter if you walk the dog, kick box in your home gym or take an aerobics class. As long as you’re exercising every day after work, you feel more energized and less stressed, two traits you need for workday productivity.

Focus on You

All work and no play makes you cranky, miserable and unmotivated. If you want to feel more positive and energized at work, take time for yourself when you’re at home.

Go out for coffee with a friend, read a good book or play football with your buddies. Life is too short to spend your after work hours thinking about estimating companies or focusing on the next day’s to-do list. Take time for you and watch your work productivity increase.

Enjoy a Healthy Dinner

You can’t perform your best at work if you’re running on bad fuel. Eating a healthy dinner is a great way to nourish your body with the nutrition it needs to perform at its best both physically and mentally. A healthy dinner also motivates you to make wise choices in other areas of life, including time management, sleep and work-life balance.

That’s why you should end your day with a balanced meal. Load your plate with whole grains, vegetables and fruit. With a full stomach, you’re more likely to sleep all night. When you wake up in the morning, you’re ready to eat a balanced breakfast and get on with your productive workday.

Get Enough Rest

Do you want to be alert all day and ready for work? You can’t nap at your desk, so go to bed at night!

That’s easier said than done, especially when you work in a stressful office, handle significant amounts of responsibility or struggle with insomnia. Make bedtime easier when you turn off all your electronics, take a warm bath or do light yoga at night. With a peaceful bedroom routine, a regular bedtime and a quiet night’s sleep, you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your day.

Before you discount the connection between your free time and your workday, implement at least one of these tips. You’ll find yourself in a more positive and productive frame of mind at work as you enjoy your free time after it!

Four After Work Activities for Increasing Productivity at Work

Do you want to be more productive at work? Of course you do. When your productivity increases, you get more done, feel less stressed and impress your boss and clients. Take advantage of these after-work activities and increasing productivity at work will become easier than you thought possible.

Make Time for Exercise

After a long and stressful day, exercise is just what the doctor ordered. Just 30 minutes of activity is proven to reduce stress, clear your head and help you feel your best physically.

It doesn’t matter if you walk the dog, kick box in your home gym or take an aerobics class. As long as you’re exercising every day after work, you feel more energized and less stressed, two traits you need for workday productivity.

Focus on You

All work and no play makes you cranky, miserable and unmotivated. If you want to feel more positive and energized at work, take time for yourself when you’re at home.

Go out for coffee with a friend, read a good book or play football with your buddies. Life is too short to spend your after work hours thinking about estimating companies or focusing on the next day’s to-do list. Take time for you and watch your work productivity increase.

Enjoy a Healthy Dinner

You can’t perform your best at work if you’re running on bad fuel. Eating a healthy dinner is a great way to nourish your body with the nutrition it needs to perform at its best both physically and mentally. A healthy dinner also motivates you to make wise choices in other areas of life, including time management, sleep and work-life balance.

That’s why you should end your day with a balanced meal. Load your plate with whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. With a full stomach, you’re more likely to sleep all night. When you wake up in the morning, you’re ready to eat a balanced breakfast and get on with your productive workday.

Get Enough Rest

Do you want to be alert all day and ready for work? You can’t nap at your desk, so go to bed at night!

That’s easier said than done, especially when you work in a stressful office, handle significant amounts of responsibility or struggle with insomnia. Make bedtime easier when you turn off all your electronics, take a warm bath or do light yoga at night. With a peaceful bedroom routine, a regular bedtime and a quiet night’s sleep, you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your day.

Before you discount the connection between your free time and your workday, implement at least one of these tips. You’ll find yourself in a more positive and productive frame of mind at work as you enjoy your free time after it!

How To Plan An Office Relocation

By: Guest Blogger: Clare Moorhouse of Help Moving Office. Help Moving Office is an online resource that guides companies through the entire office relocation process. Help Moving Office offers free Office Relocation Checklists and Planning Guides to help plan a successful office move.

As companies try to reduce their overheads and prepare for the future, office relocation is proving to be an effective strategy for getting into better, cheaper and more appropriate office space. It can enable a business to consolidate, reduce excessive costs and build a stronger platform from which to grow. But planning an office relocation can be a time-consuming and challenging task, and with so much to do, it can be difficult to know what to do – let alone where to start!

Help Moving Office has put together five key steps on planning a successful office relocation:

1. Are you in a position to move office?

There are many reasons why a company might want to relocate; better facilities, bigger/smaller office space, the need for a better location or simply to reduce overheads.  Whatever the reasons, it is important to be clear about the motivation behind the relocation in order to define criteria and map out your new office requirements.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is an office move necessary will it prove beneficial to the business?
  • What are the lease conditions for leaving your existing property (notice period, option to break etc.)
  • How do we exit our office lease and what is the required notice period?
  • Can the business afford to relocate?

Asking these questions, and being clear about the goals/objectives of the move, is a key starting point from which you can formulate a clear and Office Relocation Project Plan.

2. Start the planning early

Many companies make the same mistake and underestimate the amount of time and effort required in planning an office relocation, and this can result in escalating costs, drop in productivity and unnecessary disruption to your staff and business. It’s never too early to start planning your office move, but best practice suggests that, depending on the size of your business, between 9-18 months in advance of your lease expiry date is recommended.

Starting the planning of your office relocation early will not only give you the best possible chance of achieving a smooth transition, but it will also enable you to make the right informed decisions and help to avoid any costly or operational mistakes that might affect your business during the move or even throughout the course of your new tenancy.

Companies moving office should always err on the side of caution and assume that everything will take longer to organize than imagined.

3. Break-down the Office Relocation into manageable bite-size chunks

An office relocation might seem like a daunting project to undertake at first, but by breaking down the process down into simple steps and tasks, it makes the entire project much easier to manage.  Help Moving Office has a range of Office Relocation Checklists  to help manage and execute your office move effectively.  It’s the easiest way to manage your office move and ensures that everything gets done on time and nothing gets forgotten.

4. Hire Professionals

Calling on the help of external professionals plays a big role in helping you achieve a successful relocation and will ensure that neither time nor money is wasted.

The expert advice needed to help with the key stages of your office move should include:

  • Tenant Rep Broker – to help find and secure the ideal office space and negotiate the best office lease terms for your business.
  • Real Estate Lawyer – to review the office lease to ensure everything is properly documented and that your commercial interests are fully protected as a tenant.
  • Office Design Company – to create a functional and inspiring workplace which increases productivity and enables your business to thrive.
  • IT & Telecom Solution Provider – to ensure your IT and phone systems are set up properly in the new office and minimize any disruption to your business throughout the move.
  • Office Moving Company – to ensure your office move day goes like clockwork with everything working and in its right place.

Getting professional help for your office relocation is the single, most important “MUST DO” for companies wishing to achieve a successful outcome.

5. Make sure you don’t forget IT!

Your IT systems and business phones are an indispensible element of the running your business, and without these working properly in your new office – your business could suffer dire consequences.   Planning your IT relocation early will get your business fully operational quickly in the new office without any IT delays or disasters.

Use the IT Relocation Checklist available at Help Moving Office for a step-by-step guide to the migration, infrastructure set up and testing of your IT systems so that disruption is kept to an absolute minimum throughout the relocation.

An office relocation is a huge undertaking for any business, but with the right planning and support you will be in a better position to plan a successful office move that your business deserves.

Office Organizing: How To Plan An Office Relocation

By: Guest Blogger: Clare Moorhouse of Help Moving Office. Help Moving Office is an online resource that guides companies through the entire office relocation process. Help Moving Office offers free Office Relocation Checklists and Planning Guides to help plan a successful office move.

As companies try to reduce their overheads and prepare for the future, office relocation is proving to be an effective strategy for getting into better, cheaper and more appropriate office space. It can enable a business to consolidate, reduce excessive costs and build a stronger platform from which to grow. But planning an office relocation can be a time-consuming and challenging task, and with so much to do, it can be difficult to know what to do – let alone where to start!

Help Moving Office has put together five key steps on office organizing and planning a successful office relocation:

1. Are you in a position to move office?

There are many reasons why a company might want to relocate; better facilities, bigger/smaller office space, the need for a better location or simply to reduce overheads.  Whatever the reasons, it is important to be clear about the motivation behind the relocation in order to define criteria and map out your new office requirements.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is an office move necessary will it prove beneficial to the business?
  • What are the lease conditions for leaving your existing property (notice period, option to break etc.)
  • How do we exit our office lease and what is the required notice period?
  • Can the business afford to relocate?

Asking these questions, and being clear about the goals/objectives of the move, is a key starting point from which you can formulate a clear and Office Relocation Project Plan.

2. Start the planning early

Many companies make the same mistake and underestimate the amount of time and effort required in planning an office relocation, and this can result in escalating costs, drop in productivity and unnecessary disruption to your staff and business. It’s never too early to start planning your office move, but best practice suggests that, depending on the size of your business, between 9-18 months in advance of your lease expiry date is recommended.

Starting the planning of your office relocation early will not only give you the best possible chance of achieving a smooth transition, but it will also enable you to make the right informed decisions and help to avoid any costly or operational mistakes that might affect your business during the move or even throughout the course of your new tenancy.

Companies moving office should always err on the side of caution and assume that everything will take longer to organize than imagined.

3. Break-down the Office Relocation into manageable bite-size chunks

An office relocation might seem like a daunting project to undertake at first, but by breaking down the process down into simple steps and tasks, it makes the entire project much easier to manage.  Help Moving Office has a range of Office Relocation Checklists  to help manage and execute your office move effectively.  It’s the easiest way to manage your office move and ensures that everything gets done on time and nothing gets forgotten.

4. Hire Professionals

Calling on the help of external professionals plays a big role in helping you achieve a successful relocation and will ensure that neither time nor money is wasted.

The expert advice needed to help with the key stages of your office move should include:

  • Tenant Rep Broker – to help find and secure the ideal office space and negotiate the best office lease terms for your business.
  • Real Estate Lawyer – to review the office lease to ensure everything is properly documented and that your commercial interests are fully protected as a tenant.
  • Office Design Company – to create a functional and inspiring workplace which increases productivity and enables your business to thrive.
  • IT & Telecom Solution Provider – to ensure your IT and phone systems are set up properly in the new office and minimize any disruption to your business throughout the move.
  • Office Moving Company – to ensure your office move day goes like clockwork with everything working and in its right place.

Getting professional help for your office relocation is the single, most important “MUST DO” for companies wishing to achieve a successful outcome.

5. Make sure you don’t forget IT!

Your IT systems and business phones are an indispensable element of the running your business, and without these working properly in your new office – your business could suffer dire consequences.   Planning your IT relocation early will get your business fully operational quickly in the new office without any IT delays or disasters.

Use the IT Relocation Checklist available at Help Moving Office for a step-by-step guide to the migration, infrastructure set up and testing of your IT systems so that disruption is kept to an absolute minimum throughout the relocation.

An office relocation is a huge undertaking for any business, but with the right planning and support you will be in a better position to plan a successful office move that your business deserves.

Six Ways To Organize Your Finances

These are unsettling times. The economy is unstable and there is no guarantee things are going to get better. Now, more than ever, it is critical that you steps to keep your finances in order. The following tips will help you create more stability in your financial life:

1. Downsize

This is a critical step in getting control of your finances. Getting rid of debt is the first thing you should do. A good way to do this is to choose one debt and start making double payments on this debt. Once that debt is paid off, take the amount of the double payments you were making and apply it to a different debt. Keep repeating this process until you are debt free. If possible, consider refinancing your home for a lower interest rate or a shorter mortgage term. If it is time to trade in your vehicle consider downsizing to a more inexpensive vehicle or simply pay off your car and drive it for a while.

2. Develop A Budget.

No household should attempt to function without a budget. A good budget allows you to get a realistic picture of how much money is coming in and going out each month. Look for ways to reduce spending so you have a larger surplus each month. You may need to cut back on cable services, start taking your lunch to work, or reduce the amount you spend on things you really don’t need.

3. Savings

A savings account is a must in these rough times. Financial experts now recommend that you should have at least eight months of living expenses in a savings account. This is because it is taking laid-off workers longer and longer to find a job. So if your monthly expenses equal $2,500, you would need $20,000 in a savings account. Realistically, few individuals are able to save that much but try to put away as much as you can to build your financial cushion.

4. Make Yourself Marketable.

It is important you do everything you can to make yourself marketable to employers. Keep yourself up to speed on new advances in technology. If you work in a specialized trade, make sure you are current in new developments in your trade. Keep your resume updated to reflect your achievements. The job market is tough, and you have to do everything you can to make yourself stand out.

5. Invest In Yourself.

Health problems can take a toll on your finances.  Do your part to avoid health problems by eating right, exercising at least 30-minutes each day and getting adequate amounts of sleep. It is critical you avoid risky behaviors such as smoking or drinking to excess. Stay away from elective medical procedures and maintain a healthy weight.

6. Look For A Sideline Income.

This is a very important aspect of getting control of your finances. These days, a job is not a guarantee of a stable financial future. It would be smart to investigate ways to make money on your own. Think about your skills and consider freelancing. Develop a good customer base. The extra money will help you pay down debt faster and also help you build your savings account. If you do get laid off, your freelancing business will give you something to fall back on.

How To Organize Your Finances

These are unsettling times. The economy is unstable and there is no guarantee things are going to get better. Now, more than ever, it is critical that you steps to keep your finances in order. The following tips will tell you how to organize your finances to help you create more stability in your financial life:

1. Downsize

This is a critical step in getting control of your finances. Getting rid of debt is the first thing you should do. A good way to do this is to choose one debt and start making double payments on this debt. Once that debt is paid off, take the amount of the double payments you were making and apply it to a different debt. Keep repeating this process until you are debt free. If possible, consider re-financing your home for a lower interest rate or a shorter mortgage term. If it is time to trade in your vehicle consider downsizing to a more inexpensive vehicle or simply pay off your car and drive it for a while.

2. Develop A Budget.

No household should attempt to function without a budget. A good budget allows you to get a realistic picture of how much money is coming in and going out each month. Look for ways to reduce spending so you have a larger surplus each month. You may need to cut back on cable services, start taking your lunch to work, or reduce the amount you spend on things you really don’t need.

3. Savings

A savings account is a must in these rough times. Financial experts now recommend that you should have at least eight months of living expenses in a savings account. This is because it is taking laid-off workers longer and longer to find a job. So if your monthly expenses equal $2,500, you would need $20,000 in a savings account. Realistically, few individuals are able to save that much but try to put away as much as you can to build your financial cushion.

4. Make Yourself Marketable.

It is important you do everything you can to make yourself marketable to employers. Keep yourself up to speed on new advances in technology. If you work in a specialized trade, make sure you are current in new developments in your trade. Keep your resume updated to reflect your achievements. The job market is tough, and you have to do everything you can to make yourself stand out.

5. Invest In Yourself.

Health problems can take a toll on your finances.  Do your part to avoid health problems by eating right, exercising at least 30-minutes each day and getting adequate amounts of sleep. It is critical you avoid risky behaviors such as smoking or drinking to excess. Stay away from elective medical procedures and maintain a healthy weight.

6. Look For A Sideline Income.

This is a very important aspect of getting control of your finances. These days, a job is not a guarantee of a stable financial future. It would be smart to investigate ways to make money on your own. Think about your skills and consider freelancing. Develop a good customer base. The extra money will help you pay down debt faster and also help you build your savings account. If you do get laid off, your freelancing business will give you something to fall back on.

Resource:
Firstnet take time to understand your business and provide services and solutions that will help your business to achieve more through improving efficiencies.

Ten Strategies For Taming Your Email Inbox

If you are like most people, your email inbox is always overflowing. Sorting through your email can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. But you can remedy this by following these ten strategies for taming your email inbox.

1. Spam filters

Every email program has spam filters. It is up to you to make them work for you. Check your email settings and play around with the spam filters until you get it set to the level of privacy you desire. Less spam will mean fewer emails you have to wade through.

2. Unsubscribe

Unsubscribe to those newsletters that you no longer need. Get rid of the ones that just don’t provide useful information. There should be an unsubscribe button or link at the bottom of the email or newsletter.

3. Organize

You organize your paper files at home so why not organize your email? You can create files for your emails such as work mail, personal mail, receipts, etc. Place the appropriate emails in the appropriate files. A lot of email programs will even allow you to label emails from specific addresses according to their purpose. For example, emails coming from your work address will be labeled as work in your inbox. You can even color code your emails for higher efficiency.

4. Dedicated Email Time

Set aside a specific time each day in which you will check your email. It could be the first thing in the morning, or it may be the last thing you do in the evening. If you want to remain productive you have got to stop checking your email periodically throughout the day.

5. Short Responses

When you answer your emails, keep your replies short and to the point. This saves time for you and the person receiving your emails.

6. Spring Cleaning

Once a month or even once a week, set aside time for a little email spring cleaning.  Go through all your saved emails and purge what you don’t need. You want to try to get your email inbox down to 0. This may not be possible every day, but you can significantly reduce the number of items in your inbox and your outbox.

7. Establish Alternate Email Addresses

To cut down on the email clutter it is a good idea to set up several email addresses. You can use one for emails between family members, another for personal emails between friends and yet another address for business-related emails.

8. Learn More About Your System

Did you know that most individuals use less than 20% of the programs found on their system? Take some time to learn more about your system and what it can do. You may be missing out on some program features that could save you a lot of time.

9. Determine Your Next Action

Every time you open an email, make a decision on what your next action will be. Are you going to file it, answer it, or delete it? Make a decision and commit to it. This will reduce the amount of emails found in your email folder.

10. Don’t Forget Sent Mail

It is true email can really clog up your inbox, but you should not neglect your sent mail. Organize your sent messages in folders for each client or job. This makes it easy for you to find the email again if you should need it for reference.

How to Organize Your Email

If you are like most people, your email inbox is always overflowing. Sorting through your email can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. But you can remedy this by following these ten strategies on how to organize your email.

1. Spam filters

Every email program has spam filters. It is up to you to make them work for you. Check your email settings and play around with the spam filters until you get it set to the level of privacy you desire. Less spam will mean fewer emails you have to wade through.

2. Unsubscribe

Unsubscribe to those newsletters that you no longer need. Get rid of the ones that just don’t provide useful information. There should be an unsubscribe button or link at the bottom of the email or newsletter.

3. Organize

You organize your paper files at home so why not organize your email? You can create files for your emails such as work mail, personal mail, receipts, etc. Place the appropriate emails in the appropriate files. A lot of email programs will even allow you to label emails from specific addresses according to their purpose. For example, emails coming from your work address will be labeled as work in your inbox. You can even color code your emails for higher efficiency.

4. Dedicated Email Time

Set aside a specific time each day in which you will check your email. It could be the first thing in the morning, or it may be the last thing you do in the evening. If you want to remain productive you have got to stop checking your email periodically throughout the day.

5. Short Responses

When you answer your emails, keep your replies short and to the point. This saves time for you and the person receiving your emails.

6. Spring Cleaning

Once a month or even once a week, set aside time for a little email spring cleaning.  Go through all your saved emails and purge what you don’t need. You want to try to get your email inbox down to 0. This may not be possible every day, but you can significantly reduce the number of items in your inbox and your outbox.

7. Establish Alternate Email Addresses

To cut down on the email clutter, it is a good idea to set up several email addresses. You can use one for emails between family members, another for personal emails between friends and yet another address for business-related emails.

8. Learn More About Your System

Did you know that most individuals use less than 20% of the programs found on their system? Take some time to learn more about your system and what it can do. You may be missing out on some program features that could save you a lot of time.

9. Determine Your Next Action

Every time you open an email, make a decision on what your next action will be. Are you going to file it, answer it, or delete it? Make a decision and commit to it. This will reduce the amount of emails found in your email folder.

10. Don’t Forget Sent Mail

It is true email can really clog up your inbox, but you should not neglect your sent mail. Organize your sent messages in folders for each client or job. This makes it easy for you to find the email again if you should need it for reference.