Taxes can be so dang confusing. First, you have to gather all your paperwork and be patient as you wait for many of them to come in the mail. But, some of your documents won’t come by mail so you have to rush around the internet trying to remember and gather those papers as well, like your savings account interest statement, student loan interest payments, and other paperwork that may be delivered online only if you have opted in for paperless statements. Last year, trying to do our taxes felt like a nightmare! Over the first few months of the year I went into my tax software and entered and reentered all our paperwork several times and checked and double checked over and over to be sure I didn’t miss anything. Still, we didn’t file our taxes until the DAY that taxes are due because I was so stressed about missing out on some important tax deduction, credit, or something I might have needed to file. Especially with running a blog, the numbers can get confusing fast and I felt like I was doing some running around trying to figure out exact incomes on freelance work that isn’t automatically reported and a form mailed to me with proof of income.
This year, I have been VERY diligent about our record keeping and reporting so taxes this year will be much, much simpler! While taxes still may not be fun to go through the process and figure out, at least I won’t have to spend many late night hours digging for papers and trying to calculate and figure out sums. As you begin thinking about and preparing for your taxes this year, here’s a few tips to help you stay organized.
- Track miscellaneous income that is required by law to be reported which might include freelance work, barter and trades, or hobby income in an excel document or ledger book.
- Keep a list of locations where your finances are coming and going from with your saved tax documents so you can simply go through a checklist making sure you have the needed paperwork or numbers that are applicable for each account. To help you form your list, here’s a few you may have: bank accounts, retirement savings accounts, HSA, charitable donations, and/or employment statements.
- Stash away and save important receipts you’ll need to reference back to when taxes roll around in a file folder labeled by month or account type if you have several (ie rental house vs. business expenses) to making finding a specific receipt a little bit simpler.
Disclosure: I am blogging on behalf of Visa Prepaid and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Discover more at http://www.VisaPrepaid.com or join the Visa Prepaid community at http://www.facebook.com/VisaPrepaid.