Some people file their tax information easily and concisely using things like color-coded folders or files each year. Some others instead scan and save all of their receipts and other such documents to their computers in order to be able to find the information more easily. Though some are able to stay on it and keep their information well-organised, not everyone can approach their taxes in this methodical manner, leaving them feeling overwhelmed when tax time comes.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take starting today to get your taxes nice and organised, so that when January rolls around, you won’t feel so flustered by all the things you need to get in order. Below, we have some tips on how best to organise your tax information, so you can start the ball rolling today.
1. Make Them Easy To Access.
First and foremost, if you don’t have all of the documents that you need in a place that is near you and easy to access, it won’t get consistently used. Even if you plan on scanning in documents, you’ll need a space to temporarily place them. Think about finding an organiser for your documents that you can access with a single hand, such as a folder or shelf, preferably while doing things like holding a stack of mail. If you put the documents where they belong right away, you won’t have to worry about them getting lost.
2. Find the Return From Last Year.
Using last year’s return is a good jumping point for starting this year’s return. By considering last year’s return, you can take a look and see what information it is that you will probably need now. You may also need to use some of the information from last year, including things like inventory information and depreciation, to finish your current return.
3. Group the Documents by Category.
Depending on how complex your tax return may be, you might want to use paper clips, file folders, boxes or other similar methods to categorise your documents. Typing your information into a computer program may help you as well, especially if you separate your deductions, income and credit info. If you have more than one business, you’ll need to keep them separate.
4. Start Lists and Worksheets.
Finally, if you intend to itemise your deductions, a good thing to do is to start a checklist of questions to help you get the right information together. You should maintain a record that shows how you estimated the various amounts of allocated items in the different categories as this may be useful information in the future.
In this article, we have provided a few different tips and tricks for keeping your tax information organised. If you follow these tips and take care of your tax organisation throughout the year, you may be able to enjoy the convenience of just waiting for your forms to arrive in the mail come tax time.