Take the Madness Out of March: Organize Your Tax Documents
It’s tax season. Make your filing easier with these six document organization tips!
Are you one of those who wait until the last minute to do their taxes? If so, you're not alone, but you may be doing yourself a disservice. The sooner you start organizing your tax documents, the easier it will be to complete your return. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Make a list of all the documents you will need. This includes W-2s, 1099s, 1098-T for tuition expenses, receipts, and any other documents related to your income or deductions. Don’t forget about any documents that may apply to your state or municipal taxes that may not be a part of your federal filing!
2. Organize your documents by category. This will make it easier to find what you need when you're ready to start filling out your return.
3. Create a file for each category. If you're using a paper organizer, you can file your documents in manila folders. If you're using a computer, you can create folders on your desktop or save them to a cloud-based storage service. If you are storing digital records, take precautions to protect your data, such as using strong passwords you change regularly and two-factor authentication.
4. Label each document with the year it relates to. This will help you keep track of which documents you've already filed, and can help with storage and organization later.
5. Use a scanner to scan your documents into your computer. This can save physical storage space or provide a backup should something happen to the paper documents. Backups can make it easier to access your documents if you need them later.
6. Keep a copy of your tax return and supporting documents. This will help you if you need them for financial or records-keeping purposes later. Make sure they’re well organized with your other documents.
Following these tips can make organizing your tax documents a little less daunting. And the sooner you get started, the sooner you can get your taxes done and filed.
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