Tax Time Again?
Hasn’t tax season just passed? Am I crazy? Well, crazy enough to start thinking about getting ready for next year’s taxes. Typically, getting ready to think about doing your own taxes or getting taxes prepared by someone else causes people un-due stress. It’s the dreaded “T” word. By planning ahead instead of waiting for the tax deadline, you will be able to sail through the tax season! I hope you find these organizing tips useful and helpful:
- For this upcoming tax year, create an area that will house everything that has to do with taxes. Depending on the size of your tax return, you may be able to use a file folder or a hanging file folder. For people who tend to have more than a basic tax return, you may want to use a photo box or a Banker’s Box. Once you choose what will work best for you, ensure that any documentation that you receive over the year goes into that space. That way, you won’t have to search high and low for any tax related items once tax season approaches next year.
- If you would like to be specific with the organization of your paperwork, an accordion file folder or a tickler file has built-in dividers to help you. Some common categories are: income, investments, home/property expenses, childcare costs, education, children, donations, etc.
- Depending on your needs, you may want to have a place for all of your receipts. Again, there are a variety of ways to organize receipts: keep all receipts in a box (photo boxes work great although there’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ shoe box). If you need to, your receipts could also go into an accordion file folder or tickler file. Again, with the built-in dividers, your receipts could be divided into categories (by month, by place, by child, etc.).
- When looking at receipts, decide what you need to do with them. Does the receipt need to be filed or shredded/tossed? Obviously, if you need the receipt for tax purposes or tax deductions, then keep it. However, if it is a receipt that has nothing to do with your taxes, then shred it or recycle/toss it. By being ruthless at this stage, it will save you time in the long run.
- Finally, once your taxes have been filed, keep everything for that particular tax season in one place. Some ideas in keeping all this paperwork: Banker’s Boxes (can easily stack on top of one another year after year and depending on your tax situation, there could be more than one tax year per box), accordion file folders or tickler files with built-in dividers help separate taxes from other family members, a simple file folder (if you have a basic tax return and there is not too much paper), hanging file folders or perhaps a photo box. You may also want to keep your filed taxes in a binder for easy storage and retreival.
Have a great day everyone!
by Sheri Bruneau
© 2010 Get It Together Inc.