Tax season is here but it shouldn’t have to be stressful. And besides they say the more disorganized you are, the higher your intelligence. Well, ok, I might have made that one up. But for a second there, you felt a little smarter, right?
We can’t all be like those people that have everything in its place, inside tiny boxes with neatly written out labels. But we can make it easier on ourselves.
Typically, the things you need to bring and look for are your W2’s, your ID, children’s ID, child support documents, any investment paperwork or homeowners insurance and yourself. If you started a home business, you will need receipts from your utility company, Internet provider, gas receipts, receipts for supplies, etc.
A good way to save time is to place a call to whoever does your taxes and ask what you need to bring this year. If nothing has changed during the year, you may not need to bring everything because they most likely have all the information on their system.
Here are some creative ways to organize:
File Boxes or Folders:
The easiest way to organize documents is probably a file box, or accordion style folder. These are great for keeping your other information in as well. They don’t take up a lot of room either.
For those that prefer something sturdier, there is nothing like a box. Shoeboxes are great. The best thing about the shoebox is the size accommodates many bills and papers you might need for your taxes.
Shoeboxes are easy to find and if they aren’t in your closet already, then you haven’t been pampering yourself this year, tsk, tsk. Another place to get shoeboxes is directly from your USPS online store. They are free and that includes shipping! But keep in mind they only come in a package of 10, so unless you plan on mailing anything that will fit the remaining 9 shoeboxes, this may not be a good idea. There are other boxes out there in many shapes and sizes you may consider. You can even try the craft store.
Safety Deposit boxes are probably the safest bet for all your documents because it removes all worry about losing them. And although you will accumulate papers during the year, you can drop them off at the bank every week, and in the meantime, keep what’s coming in now, in a temporary box or file folder.
Whether it’s your desk drawer or your kitchen, dump that one that has all the screws and pens that don’t work in it, and make it your tax drawer.
The key here is to keep it all in the same place. Whatever you decide to use to keep your tax information in, just start putting it in there now. Receipts, bills, unemployment info, student loan info, anything and everything relating to money should go inside that box, folder, or drawer. No exceptions. When tax time comes, you will be prepared and organized.