For many individuals and families, taxes are not the definition of fun. You are probably relieved that you can finally relax and say to yourself, “I’m so glad I don’t have to go through this again until next year”. But why would you put yourself, and your CPA, through this stress and procrastination? With this year’s tax deadline behind us, let’s focus on becoming more organized and efficient for future tax preparations.
- Get Organized – Create a personal tax organizer system by setting up folders on your desktop to save all necessary paperwork and information relating to your taxes throughout the year.
- Scan Everything – If you are overwhelmed with a shoebox of receipts, then consider NeatReceipts (https://shop.neat.com/neatreceipts) to scan your receipts or consider downloading an app on your smartphone for scanning on the go. For example, you can purchase Scanner Pro App for $3.99 or download My Scans for free on your smart phone. Make it a habit to save receipts accordingly as you receive them. This method can also help track your charitable contributions throughout the year so you know exactly what you donated. If you do not receive a receipt, then write it down and save it. It is hard to rely on your memory from the past year.
- Retrieve Tax Documents Electronically – Why wait for the snail mail when you can download most 1099’s, W-2’s, etc. online. This method will help you gather your documents sooner to avoid last minute preparation.
- Check Your Pay Stubs – Do you usually receive a tax refund or a tax bill? Look at your paystub and see what income tax you elected to be withheld; this may need to be adjusted so you will not owe an overwhelming tax bill in April.
Practicing these simple methods throughout the year will help you stay organized and help get your taxes done sooner.
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