Getting your office in order is the first step towards a smooth tax filing process. Whether you’ll be handing your paperwork off to your accountant or filing yourself, you’ll want to ensure that all of the relevant documentation is organized and easy to locate to make the filing process as speedy and stress free as possible. Our NYC Professional Office Organizer offers her best office organization and paper filing tips to help you get started.
- Use plastic envelopes as opposed to boxes to sort and file your receipts. Also be sure to note the reason for each expenditure right on the receipt. This should be done at the end of each month to minimize stress during tax time, but can be completed at any time if you are just now seeing these paper filing tips.
- Schedule a time on a weekly or monthly basis to file your paperwork and ensure that it is organized in chronological order.
- Before filing credit card statements, go through and highlight tax related expenditures so they stand out when you sit down to file your taxes.
- For those who choose electronic banking and credit card statements, print out a copy of each at the end of every month and file them accordingly as opposed to printing them all at once during tax season.
- Consider scanning receipts and storing them in digital files to save the amount of storage space needed in your home office. Our NYC Professional Office Organizer suggests that you confirm that disgarding the paper copies would be acceptable with your tax preparer.
- Designate a set of clearly labeled file folders or accordion folders in your filing cabinet specifically for tax related documents.
- Consult your tax preparer regarding retention guidelines and apply them to your files accordingly.
- Create a space to store the paperwork that must be kept for the required number of years, whether it’s a section of your filing cabinet or an air tight bin. Though these files should be accessible when needed, they shouldn’t clutter up your main working and living areas.
- Compile a list of questions you’ll need to address when filing your taxes and keep them with your tax paperwork so they are accessible when needed.
- If you did not implement these paper filing tips during 2013, set up a system to leverage them throughout 2014 to ensure that filing your taxes for this year is as seamless as possible.
Struggling to get all of your files in order in time for the tax deadline? Contact our NYC Professional Office Organizer. She’ll help you develop and implement systems that will not only allow you to file your 2013 taxes efficiently but will also set you up for tax filing success for years to come.