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It feels like deja-vu.

Tax season, like last year, seems to never want to end.

And while the extended deadline initially seems advantageous, you might actually find yourself procrastinating even more.

So we recommend the following to help you keep your tax information organized during tax time AND all year round!desk file organizer

  1. Designate a location.

You’ll likely find it beneficial to have all tax documents and receipts in one location. Many of our clients prefer the tested and true method of keeping all documents in a physical folder or binder. Personally, I prefer using an accordion folder with categories pertaining to my personal tax situation.

Those who are more technologically-inclined might prefer scanning their documents and storing them digitally. We recommend using a software with security features to prevent identity theft. You may find it easier to provide us with your tax documents in the long run when using this method, as we encourage clients to upload their tax documents to our secure Portal come tax time.

So what categories might you choose when organizing your tax documents by? Here’s a few we suggest:

  • Income
  • Medical expenses
  • Charitable donations
  • Real estate papers
  • Property and sales tax papers
  • Student loan payments & interest
  • Work-related expenses
  • Self-employment expense receipts
  • Utility bills & other expenses for home-office deduction
  • Banking information
  • Insurance

Once you decide which categories are more pertinent to your situation, you can begin organizing your tax documents!

  1. Store your documents as soon as you receive them.

As soon as you receive a tax document in the mail, get a receipt for a work expense, or make a donation, file it in its designated location. This sounds oddly simple, but it will save you so much time and effort – no more sifting through massive piles of documents a week before the tax deadline!

And remember, the earlier your tax documents are organized, the earlier you can file your taxes, and the sooner you can get your refund!

  1. Use one of our spreadsheets to stay on track year-round!

To help you keep track of your income & expenses all year, we’ve provided downloadable and fillable Excel spreadsheets for various industries and tax entities:

If you’re confused as to what information you’ll need to keep track of in preparation for tax season, click here for a list of information need for your individual tax return, and here for information needed for your business return

I hope these suggestions help to keep you organized when it comes time to file your taxes. If you have any other tips, feel free to share them in the comments below! And don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have regarding your tax situation. No matter how short (or long) tax season is, we’re available all year-round!