Get Organized for Tax Season
Tax season is here! Getting organized ahead of time to file your taxes can alleviate a lot of the stress involved with meeting the April 15th deadline. Below are helpful tips and reminders to make sure you have all the information you will need when its time to file your taxes.
1. Plan Ahead – To limit last minute stress, create a calendar to plan your tax time to-dos, and aim to have your taxes filed in advance. You will want to have a schedule for keeping your documents organized. Is it that you will file the proper items at the end of the work week? Create a habit, use alarms, and set reminders to help you create this habit.
2. Designate a Space for Tax Organization – Whether it be your home office, kitchen table, or even a storage unit, make sure your tax record keeping has a designated spot.
3. Decide on a Filing System – If you use paper clips, accordion folders, color-coded sticky notes, or some other filing system, decide on how your going hold together important paperwork and documents. If you do everything online and decide to go paperless, be sure to keep electronic records.
4. Gather All Income Statements and Documents Including Receipts – Group together all sources of income, including W-2, 1098 or 1099 forms, as well as paid invoices or any other evidence of income you have received in the past year. Keep your receipts in a separate folder.
5. Decide How You Will File – Will you be using a tax filing software program, give everything to your accountant, or just file the paperwork by yourself? Whatever you decide, make sure you have everything in order prior to the deadline of April 15th.
6. Shred and Store Smart – To avoid identity theft, shred any papers you saved and didn’t need. Once taxes are filed, store all the paper work you may need in a secure place.
7. Use the Scanner or Smartphone to Simplify – Are looking for easier access to your receipts? You can either snap pictures of your receipts and save to your computer or use a scanner. Some smartphone apps make it easier to store your scanned items, check out the app store for more details.
Tax season doesn’t have to be stressful. Stay organized and plan ahead of time. With these simple tips, tax organization should be easier!