Tax time organization tips for your papers

April 15th is just over a week away.  Many people are or will be scrambling to file their tax returns by the deadline. Do you know one of the major reasons people delay the filing? Yes, it is true that some delay it for strategic financial reasons, but for many it is because they loathe gathering up all the paperwork necessary to file.  Throughout the year, you collect random bits of information that are necessary to file your tax return.  Some people just throw them in a drawer and don’t think about it until the following April. If you are one of those people, here are some tax time organization tips for you:

  1. Create a place to store and organize tax related papers. Whether you use folders, envelopes, or an expanding file, designate some sort of storage holder for all papers that will be needed come tax time.  A terrific storage option is the biodegradable legal size expanding file, which can easily accommodate oversize and legal size papers. If you don’t have a lot of tax-related documents, think about using a letter size expanding file.  The pockets allow you to still separate your different papers, without the entire file taking up too much space in your bag, file drawer or office. Or, if you are one of the lucky ones and need very little paperwork to file, then consider using a reusable poly envelope.
  2. Commit to being organized. It does you no good to have these files set up, but then not use them. For example, throughout the year, my husband and I routinely donate to the local Goodwill store.  Every time we drop off some items, we are given a receipt, I fill it out with a list of the donated items and place it in a folder marked “Donations”. And when I donated to a radio-a-thon last year and received a thank you letter to be used for my tax return, it went in the “Donations” folder as well.
  3. Don’t delay. Unless you want to put off filing your return for financial reasons (like, if you owe money) or are still waiting for required forms required, file as soon as possible. This ensures you won’t have last-minute rushing around to do if your return isn’t accepted, or if some other problem occurs. Plus, if you are expecting a refund, why put off getting back your money?!
  4. Store your old papers and prepare for next year. Once your return is filed and accepted, archive your documents and a printout of the return in what you were storing the papers in, whether it was an expanding file or poly envelope. Designate a new holder for next year and begin again.

Do you have a tax time organization tip that you follow every year? Comment below.

3 Responses to “Tax time organization tips for your papers”

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