It's tax time already, yet it seems like only yesterday we filed our taxes and vowed to make sure we'd keep all our paperwork organised so the next tax season would be a breeze. It is funny how this time of year has a way of sneaking up on us. If you find yourself feeling unprepared and maybe a little overwhelmed again this tax season, here's a great place to start. Check out these quick organisation tips to make staying on top of your taxes as easy as 1-2-3.
Tip 1: File For Efficiency
You've probably collected hundreds of receipts and documents you'll need for tax time. Some of the most common categories include income, investments, property expenses, staff education, donations and miscellaneous expenses such as car registration, last year's tax preparation fees and moving costs. Get them ready by organising them in file folders labelled by category. Creating customised labels for your file folders (check out the great range of Avery® files) is quick and easy with Avery Filing Labels and the free Avery Wizard. Then it's simply a matter of dropping in the right receipt, statement or documentation into the appropriate folder for easy filing.
Tip for 2014: one of the most time-consuming aspects of doing taxes can be going through the mounds of paperwork you've accumulated over the year. Instead of sorting through your receipts and documents during crunch time, make it easy on yourself by creating your files and labels now, and storing receipts and documents for 2013-2014 throughout the year.
Tip 2: Tax Documents, To Go
When you're ready to meet with a tax agent, transfer the documents from your file folders into a secure Avery Moulded Binder. Organise your tax binder with Avery Durable ReadyIndex® Dividers and the Avery Wizard using the same categories from your file folders. With stronger, heavier paper, stronger tab reinforcement and double-sided hole reinforcement (on tabbed dividers), these dividers last longer and can withstand frequent referencing.
You might want to consider making an extra copy of all your information. That way, you'll have one set to keep with you and the other to leave with the tax professional.
Tip for 2014: make a note during your appointments of any recommendations by the tax professional for better categorisation of your documents. You can make adjustments to your filing from the beginning of the 2013-2014 financial year.
Tip 3: Create Your Own Hall of Records
Once your taxes are completed, use the binder for easy storage of all your documents. Add a binder spine label so you can identify the binder by financial year. Over the years, you'll have an organised library of tax binders, should you ever need to reference any of your annual tax returns or documents.
Tip for 2014: enjoy the easier tax preparation! Now that you have a tax organisation system that is time effective, 2014 tax should be easier.
Getting ready for tax time doesn't have to be complicated. Once you've established a tax organisation system that works for you, filing your taxes should become a whole lot easier. And with an effective system in place, you'll be tackling taxes like a true pro - without that tax time panic.