Tips for getting organized for next year's tax season now, including creating a tax binder.
Whether you prepare your own taxes or take them to a preparer/accountant, it can definitely take time to get organized for tax season. But, there are some things that you can do this year that will help you get ahead of things for next year. Take the time now, and it will definitely help you save time for next year.
Get Organized For Tax Season Next Year
Prepare a Tax Binder or Book – Buy or Make Your Own
First, get a tax binder or a tax book that you can use for the year. You may find an appropriate one in a store – I got one in an office supply store. This tax book could work for your purposes, or you could make your own tax binder. If you do make your own, you'll want to get these items:
Put everything together and label the tabs based upon the different categories that you may have: (i.e., homeowners taxes, excise taxes, childcare, donations). Store the binder or book along with your other household binders so that it's easily accessible.
Make A List of Paperwork
You probably have finished putting all of your tax paperwork together for this tax year. Go through all of it and catalog exactly what you have. List out every investment statement, 1099, receipt, etc. That way, you'll be able to have a baseline of what statements and receipts you should have for next year. Although things may always change, having a starting point will make things easier.
File Things As They Happen
Throughout the year, put receipts and paperwork in the binder as you get them. When you make donations, print out or ask for paper receipts. That will definitely save you time, because you won't need to track them down in January. Also, as you receive homeowner and excise/personal property bills, file them in the binder.
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