disorder2order blog

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tax Preparation Made Easy

Before owning my own business and starting my family, I never had a problem getting my paperwork ready for tax time. A few receipts here and there and a W-4 from my employer is all I needed. Pretty simple... right? 

Now there's investment reports, mortgage statements, business receipts, mileage... it's never ending. As you get older, things just get more complicated. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that you have to set yourself up for success from the beginning. Not only does this support you throughout the year, but it makes the end result that much easier...


Here are just a few simple steps you can take to set your system up so that tax docs are ready to rock and roll...

1. Identify what you need for tax purposes.
  • Receipts (business, personal)
  • Donations (business, personal)
  • Personal Investments
  • Medical 
  • Mileage Records
2. Set up a few folders for the various categories.
  • Organize your files by NAME or by CATEGORY
3. Keep these files/folders separate from your standard files so that information is easily accessible.
  • Use colored files/folders to differentiate tax records from standard files
  • Label your files/folders so that know what's a tax record
4. Document information and file records as information comes into your home or office.

If you keep your records filed away, they are always accessible when you need them throughout the year PLUS at tax time, you can simply pull out your files, sort and organize your tax records WITHOUT weeding through all the "other" stuff. 

Helpful tax resources:

I always recommend having a good resource for questions... if it's not your ACCOUNTANT then the Internal Revenue Service is always a good place to start. If you prepare your taxes on your own, having good software is key. I recommend Intuit.  

Helpful apps: Shoeboxed (for receipts), TripLog (mileage tracker tool)