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Do Your Taxes, Without the Hassle

With these simple precautions, you can keep income taxes from becoming taxing.

This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Teen Startups.

Christine Keck's funky fleece hats are a hit in her hometown of Brookville, Indiana. Keck's Happy Hats business is thriving, and her headgear is sold in stores all over town as well as at craft shows. It's no wonder, then, that good record-keeping is essential in helping her keep track of her inventory--and make life a whole lot easier come tax time. "I number all my products and put price tags on them," explains Keck, 15. "Then I write out two lists--one for me and one for the store, showing the numbers on the hats I am leaving with them. Then I ask the store to write down the number of the hats they sell or put the price tags with the sheet, so I can see what they sold."

Like Keck, 13-year-old Emil Motycka of Longmont, Colorado, is careful to keep detailed records, but for a different reason. Motycka, whose lawn-service business has pulled in about $100 profit a week since 1998, uses QuickBooks Pro to track his revenue and expenses as well as print invoices.

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