Tax day is just around the corner. Did you find yourself spending countless hours searching for those all important documents again this year? Filing taxes is a fact of life. Why waste time once a year when taking a few small steps throughout the year can save you tons of time? Make this year the year you take action to do it differently.
To help get you organized, visit www.officedepot.com/getorganized for advice from organizing expert Stephanie Winston, The New York Times bestselling author of Getting Organized.
“Taxes can be less of a hassle if you file receipts and records consistently throughout the year,” Winston said. “It’s never too early to get organized.”
According to Winston, following these steps will help save valuable time and minimize frustration when preparing to file taxes.
Create An Expanding File: At the beginning of each year, make sure to create an accordion file with tabs to store receipts. Label the sections for W2 and Wage Statements, Investments, Mortgage, and so on. Make sure to continue to update these files throughout the year so you don’t find yourself frantically searching for documents when it comes time to file.
Schedule Time For Taxes: Don’t wait until March when the collective panic starts to set in. Make an appointment with yourself or with an accountant by mid-February to get your tax materials organized so you can file on time without an extension.
Keep It Together: It’s important to have a single location that holds all tax information. File any new paperwork in a single place as soon as you receive it to ensure you can locate it when it’s time to file. If you don’t already have a system in place, create one.
Record Storage: Even as you begin to file your taxes for this year, you will also need to start collecting and organizing next year’s materials. To avoid confusion, Winston suggests labeling two sets of accordion folders — utilizing one expanding file folder for the new materials, while keeping records from the preceding year in a separate file.
Additional tips and solutions to get organized and prepared for the tax season can be found in the Office Depot Five-Day Office Makeover, which is available for free download at www.officedepot.com/getorganized