It’s that time again… tax season is here! Are you ready for it? This NYC Professional Office Organizer is sharing some important steps you can take to get ready for this tax season as well as how to get a jumpstart on next year.
WHAT TO DO NOW
Start with a list. The first step in any organizing project is preparation, and tax season is no exception. In order to make sure you have every necessary document from the past year, start out by creating a check list of everything you need if your tax preparer hasn’t provided one. Review all the W2s, 1099s, all the receipts, etc. – add everything to the list so that nothing is overlooked. Remember to include documents for capital expenses, tax ID numbers, proof of health insurance, and whatever other information is needed based on your unique situation.
Pay attention to the guidelines. Take a look at the IRS website to make sure that you are up-to-date on any tax law changes since the last tax season and are aware of all the filing dates. Remember to check out your state guidelines, too, as well as city or county if that’s applicable to where you live or work. Your best bet is working with a licensed tax preparer, but it’s always a good idea to be familiar with the system yourself.
WHAT TO DO FOR NEXT YEAR
Create a filing process for tax documents. Create a filing system for the year and include all tax paperwork and reports that you’ll need as you accumulate them. This can be either a paper or digital system. Schedule time monthly to sort through your documents and file them chronologically. Make sure that your folders are clearly labeled. Collecting information as it crosses your desk will guarantee you don’t waste any time next tax season looking for missing documents. The last thing you want to do is to overlook key information when filing – that’s an unnecessary headache you can avoid just by keeping track of your documents throughout the year.
Develop a system for collecting receipts. Don’t let receipts get lost in your desk drawers, your briefcase, or handbag. Instead, file them away as they are accumulated so you don’t misplace anything of importance. Dedicate a paper or digital folder system, plastic envelope, or accordion file to collect receipts. Add any notes to the receipts before filing them. This will clarify the reason for each expense, so you won’t have to rely on your memory. By scanning your receipts and filing them digitally, you’ll save space in your office and be able to quickly access them.
Keeping your paperwork organized throughout the year will help you stay ahead of the stress of tax season. For more hands-on office organizing strategies, reach out to your NYC Professional Office Organizer today.