Get organized for tax season~~
New Year is the time for resolutions but, also marks the time to get paperwork organized and ready for tax season. In four short months, many people will find themselves overwhelmed because they are unable to locate the documents needed for their taxes. So, January is the perfect time to begin the paper de-cluttering and organizing process.
Whereas tax time forces many to get a grip on their paperwork and receipts, for many it is a year long challenge. I am professional home organizer and still struggle from time to time. With a busy schedule emails can back up. Pieces of paper with great articles to read, things to do, and receipts can get ahead of me. Yep, my desk at times can be a cluttered mess. This year was a little easier for me. I had an 11″ x 16″ plastic bin with lid stored in my closet for things to be filed. Twice a month was good time to sit down and deal with paperwork that migrated to my desk, writing table, and floor. The big win for me was to take action on each piece of paper, if I didn’t have enough time I would create a check list. A check list is helpful to stay focused on things I want to do or need to do.
Now for taxes; consult your accountant regarding which papers to keep for tax reasons. Once you know what must be kept; here are 4 quick tips.
Let’s get started!
- Toss, recycle, or shred trash, credit card offers, and junk mail.
- Group paperwork into 3 possible categories, this can also applies to your computer:
- Items to do and follow-up on
- Things to read and coupons
- Papers to file
- Receipts or bank statements for tax purposes
- To name a file, ask yourself, “What category will I think of first when I need to retrieve this piece of paper again?” I recommend organizing simple categories using one or two relevant words. For example, instead of one folder for VISION, a second for DENTAL, and a third one for PRESCRIPTIONS, create one MEDICAL folder. If you have to hand over your files to someone else, try to create a filing system that will keep navigation and categories simple. The same applies to your computer files. Your accountant will thank you!
- Go through your receipts, align expenses with your calendar and note what kind of expense it is. This will help you determine what information your accountant needs.
For help with organizing, contact me today!
Lisa Giesler, Professional Organizer, Speaker, Author of Uncluttered: discovering strength and purpose in the chaos of life