Taking the time to organize your paperwork and tax related documents will make the process of filing your returns much quicker and prevents you from leaving any money on the table – especially if you’ll be filing without the help of an accountant! Ensure that all of the documents you’ll need are easily accessible and that you uncover every possible deduction by following these paper filing tips from our NYC Professional Office Organizer.
- Create a Paperwork Organizing Zone: If you’re filing your personal taxes, begin by designating a location in your home, preferably one that isn’t dual purpose like your dining room table, to sort and organize paperwork not only at tax time, but throughout the year. If you’re preparing your business taxes, set aside a drawer in your filing cabinets or a portable file box kept in an accessible location to keep track of income, expenses, receipts, invoices and other relevant documents.
- Acquire the Necessary Tools: Our NYC Professional Office Organizer recommends keeping tools such as file folders, small envelopes for storing tax-related receipts, labels, a labeler and writing utensils on hand in your paper filing station. For personal taxes, simple dual pocket folders (one for income related documents and one for deductions and expenses) may be all you need, while additional items could be necessary for business taxes. Tech tools like Quickbooks, Quicken, and Neat receipts can allow you to convert receipts, financial records and other tax related documents to electronic files so you minimize the required storage space and maximize your deductions!
- Keep a Checklist of Necessary Documentation: Even after you’ve implemented the above paper filing tips, it’s best to create a checklist of the paperwork you’ll need to have on hand (or hand over to your accountant) to double check your files. Luckily, our NYC Professional Office Organizer has created a basic list of the necessary paperwork, but you should customize it to your specific needs.
These three simple, but powerful, paper filing tips for tax season can help you minimize the time spent filing your 2013 tax return and maximize the number of deductions you uncover. If your files are still in piles and you’re worried about making the tax deadline, reach out to our NYC Professional Office Organizer. She’ll assess your filing needs and create systems that will not only set you up for success for filing this year, but for years to come.