We know this is a busy time of year and accountants will tell you they pull their hair out when they get a box full of crumpled receipts and missing forms. You don’t want to be the one who must file an adjustment because you find a new form the day after you hit send on your electronic return. Here are the key things to remember in the next two weeks and perhaps to do better for next year.
- Make a list of every form and document you will need to have on hand to complete your own taxes or submit to your accountant.
- Gather up each piece and cross it off the list when you include it in a tax folder.
- Start your taxes when you have all your items on the list.
Throughout the year:
- Keep a 2017 Tax Folder in an easily accessible place and with the list you created for this year of every item you need to complete your taxes.
- Each time you get a hard copy paper you may need for your taxes, place it in this folder and check it off the list.
- If you keep receipts for tax write offs, ensure the date is on the receipt and write the purpose of the expense directly on the receipt. If you have many, you may want to keep them in an accordion folder by month or even better, scan them as they come in and keep digital copies with the file named with the date and purpose. This is especially helpful as many receipts fade and become illegible after only a few months.
- As soon as you list is complete, provide to your accountant or set aside time to start your own taxes. Don’t wait until the last minute as it will only cause additional stress.
Let your organization and annual de-cluttering pay off. Itemize the things you donate and keep your charitable receipts. You will reduce clutter stress in your home, help someone less fortunate and Uncle Sam will thank you for it!
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