It’s that time of year again with the tax season upon us. Are you cursing yourself because last year you promised you would get your paperwork in order so that doing your taxes this year wouldn’t be as painful? But the year got away and you are in a paper mess … again!!!
What can you do to get this tax season over with without so much stress and prepare for the next year? Creating an organizational system right now is not probably something you should undertake. What is critical for you is to just find all your important documents and gather what needs to be gathered for either your Accountant to do or for you to do it yourself.
What are some of those important documents you need to prepare for your taxes? Perhaps this list will help you being the gathering process.
- W-2s from current or past employers for 2015
- Any 1099-Misc forms showing income, rents received, payments for services, prizes/awards or other income.
- Any 1099-G forms from government agencies
- Any 1098-T forms for tuition, scholarships or grants for yourself, your spouse or your children
- MV Taxes (if applicable for your state)
- Contributions made to SEP, SIMPLE Plans or ROTH
- Mortgage interest paid
- Necessary business expenses if you own your own business
- Donations made and for how much
- Household expenses if you have a home office
- Pre-paid taxes (if you are self-employed)
It’s always good to review your prior year taxes to see what you took for deductions so you can determine if they are application for current year.
Once I’ve gathered all my information, paperwork, receipts, forms, etc., I put them in a clear box (see picture above), label it for the current tax year and place my completed tax return in it. Should I ever get audited, I hand the box over to the auditor and say, “have at it.” All documents pertaining to my tax return will be in the box. I have 7 boxes like these. For this year, I took the box that said 2008 Taxes, emptied it of it’s contents and shred it. Then I relabeled it to say 2015 Taxes and placed all the documents in the box. Off it goes to my stack and I’m ready for the next year!
Now what are you to do with preparing for the next year so it’s not so stressful? You’ll have to come back when the next blog is posted. Happy Taxing!!
Hope you find this helpful. Of course, if this whole project is overwhelming for you, call in a Professional Organizer. We can help you organize your current year’s tax information and then create that organizational system for the next year to ensure life is not so hectic around tax season.
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