A Few Tips for Organizing Taxes

While it’s not the most glamorous topic, we’re smack dab in the midst of tax season. In fact, they’re due on Monday. So I thought it would be helpful to share a few tips on how to get organized and stay streamlined moving forward. >

{ONE} Create a special space

This is my closet-turned-home-office space. You may remember the makeover post from awhile back? I’ve loved having this area and use those file folders on the left for collecting all kinds of paperwork – like receipts for my taxes.

Nothing is more stressful than getting to tax season and not knowing where all of those important documents and receipts are located. For many people, they’re in a pile with the bills or they’re “filed” in a teetering stack of papers on your desk.

First and foremost, it helps to create a space for yourself – even if it’s a file folder on your desk – to collect and store important tax documents. Ideally you’d use this space throughout the year. If you itemize your taxes and/or have a freelance business or other small business, you’ve probably already started gathering paperwork for next year’s taxes. So now’s the time to get ahead of the game.

{TWO} Make it pretty

You might need to motivate yourself to actually use the space you’ve set aside with pretty files. Here are some beautiful floral folders that are pretty enough to frame for your walls. <3

{THREE} Label appropriately

You can save yourself loads of time come tax season just by strategically labeling your files according to what you can deduct from your taxes, such as medical bills, education, donations, etc. It’s one of those simple, but significant difference makers.

If you create a folder for each category that applies to your home or personal business, it’s so much easier to tally everything up at the end of the year. And you can use these pretty file tabbies above compliments of Sissyprint!

Here’s a list of the most common deductions to guide you along.

{FOUR} Go digital

One of the best ways to declutter your desk (without just tossing everything) is to convert receipts, quarterly reports, statements and any other paperwork to digital files. If you’re given the option to receive a digital copy of these items, go for it. And be smart about how you store and backup these files on a hard drive.

If you’re given hard copies of anything, consider using a mobile app, such as Shoeboxed. It’s a receipt tracking and organization tool that scans receipts with your phone’s camera and instantly archives and extracts details such as vendor, amount paid and date. The cool thing is that it’s IRS-accepted, which eliminates bookkeeping headaches down the road. I’m sure there are others, but this is one I’m most familiar with.

{FIVE} Toss it out

Once your taxes are filed and you’re (possibly) waiting for a little cash return, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to keep all of that paperwork or find a place to store your digital documents. It’s perfectly acceptable to go through and toss certain files.

Here to guide you is this super helpful article I found. It gives us a checklist of what tax records you should keep and what you can go ahead and shred. >

Good luck pulling your paperwork together. I hope it’s a smooth and easy process. See you on Friday with some fun discoveries of the week.

Blessings,

Kate

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