Get Organized for Tax Season: Tax Season will be here before you know it, and if you’re organized, preparing your taxes can be a breeze. Here are a few ways that I organize our paperwork throughout the year so I am ready for April.
I keep all purchase receipts in a special section of my wallet. At the end of the day, I record the receipts from any purchases made that day into categories (groceries, clothing, household, etc.). I like to hand write the amounts we’re spending, but you can use an Excel spreadsheet or a free online budget tracking service.
Once I have recorded the amount spent, I write the spending category on the top of the receipts and file them in a business size envelope with the month and year written on the front.
Tax Deductible Items
I label a folder for each of the following items which I keep in the file box pictured above:
Bank Statements– I file the statements from all interest bearing accounts (checking, savings, retirement accounts) in this folder. I group like statements together in order by date and paperclip them.
Medical Expense Records-Anytime we visit the doctor or dentist, I attach the receipt to the statement and file it in order by date. I also make a note of the mileage driven to each location on the statement.
Charitable donations-I keep statements from organizations we have given to, as well as the cards from our donations to Good Will. You can also deduct the mileage you drive when volunteering, but I have not done this yet.
At the end of January we receive the 1099-INT forms for our interest bearing accounts and the W-2 from my husband’s employer. I place these in a separate folder along with my husband’s final paycheck stub for the year.
Once we receive the forms from my husband’s employer, I take a few minutes to place all of the previous year’s receipts and folders into a plastic accordian file, which I can just grab when it’s time to have our taxes done–easy peasy!
If you haven’t kept your paperwork organized for the year, don’t despair. Just take a few minutes today to gather your receipts, bank statements and other financial information and place them together in one location. If you want to organize them further, take 10 minutes a day to work on it.
By the way, if you are expecting a tax refund this year I suggest that you save a large portion of it in your Emergency Fund. It’s really easy to spend all the money if you don’t have a plan ahead of time.
What’s are your plans for your tax refund? Leave a comment.