Organizing Your Financial Papers for Tax Time

by Grace Brooke

It is that time of the year.  TAX TIME!   Are you feeling like you are swimming in papers? Receipts piled high and there isn’t an end in sight? Invoices, bills and bank statements scattered across the floor?   This year, get organized so you will be better prepared for next year and the years ahead.  It is so nice to be able to grab a folder and head to your accountant with all the necessary documents!  No need to pull out your hair out in a mad search for your tax files.  (I personally know people who spend WEEKS preparing their taxes. I see so much headache and heartache during this time of year.)

If you own your business you will need different organizing strategies than an individual who does not own a business.  Lets chat about some of the many choices that are available for everyone’s needs.

As a business owner, I personally LOVE the brown accordion  folder labeled with the months of the year.  I keep all my statements and receipts organized and in order this way.  Since I use a bookkeeper, this is the easiest system to organize and maintain. Use a decorative basket or storage bin to hold (hide) your financial papers.

Financial papers organized and neat

As an individual who does not own a business, you may want to designate a certain file or folder in your file cabinet labeled “Current Taxes“.  Make sure this folder is easy to access and view. Once you start receiving your tax documents in the mail, you have a place to store them until you need them.

Tax file

Think outside of the {file} box! Here’s a simple system to use and maintain, but maybe not the prettiest. It is using my all-time favorite organizing product – the over-the-door shoe organizer!!!

 

It is wise to keep the current year taxes and last year’s taxes easily accessible. All other taxes can be kept in what I refer to as “Deep Freeze“. Don’t use “valuable real estate” to store information that you will most likely ever look at again. Keep these financial documents safe, but not in your main file cabinet or in a drawer at your desk. Think closet, garage, attic or fire proof safe.

 

Happy Organizing!

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