Friday, February 13, 2009
Organizing for Tax Season
April 15th is right around the corner. Take some time now to get your tax preparation materials together. Schedule an hour or two in the next week to separate your 2008 tax-deductible receipts from the rest. Place the non-deductible receipts in an enveloped marked "2008 Non Deductible Receipts" and file away. Keep these receipts for 7 years - then they can be shredded.
Label small brown clasp envelopes (6” x 9”) by subject for those tax-deductible expense receipts. For example, place all medical receipts together in one envelope for your medical deductions. Do the same for entertainment, automobile expense, education, etc. Make a separate envelope for each category of deductions applicable for your situation.
Your tax preparer will love you've done half the work already!
Start now to simplify your 2009 tax preparation. Purchase an expandable folder with monthly pockets (January-December) for storing all your non-deductible receipts by month. Each time you clean out your purse, wallet or car, place the receipts in the month in which the item was purchased. At the end of the year, simply mark this folder with the year (2009) and file away. This makes finding receipts so much easier if you need to return an item.
Try to file receipts as soon as you get them so they don’t start piling up.
For those receipts containing tax-deductible expenses, purchase a second expandable folder with blank tabs. You can create your own filing system with the subjects you need for your individual tax situation (i.e., entertainment, medical, charitable contributions, automobile expense, etc.) File the receipts by subject and when it’s time to prepare next years' return, you’ve got all your receipts ready to go.
No more pawing through a shoebox of paper trying to find the one receipt you need.