Whether you prepare your own taxes or have someone else do it for you it can still be stressful. We all have plenty on our plate and spending hours searching for documents/receipts is the last thing any of us want to do. Being organized for tax time will help you be less stressed, save time and help you maximize your refund (or help reduce what you owe).
So I am here to give you a few tips to help get organized for tax time. ( Note I am not a tax expert, I am just really good at being organized. Please consult your accountant or tax preparer with any specific tax questions.)
Step 1: You have to start an empty file at the beginning of each year. This can be a hanging file, and accordion file or maybe a couple of files if you itemize. Before we had a small business we kept it pretty simple with a single hanging folder that was labeled that year’s taxes. Regardless setup your file(s) at the beginning of the year. This will help you start down the road to being more organized when it comes to your taxes.
Step 2: Print this checklist to keep in your folder so that you can mark off when you add items from the folder. So as you are waiting for new documents to come in the mail you know what to be looking for or where you need to go to retrieve the documents.
Step 3: As I just touched on in Step 2 adding documents to your file(s) throughout the year is KEY to staying organized and prepared for tax time. As we make a donation we drop the receipt in the folder to save for tax time. Those one time donations (like after a big cleanout) can start to add up. You don’t want to forget about those. If you need the receipt for something else make a copy and drop it in the file. Being very intentional about doing it as soon as you receive it. I promise you will thank me next year.
Get a jump start on next year and start setting up your file(s) for next years tax season.
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