One of our very favorite bloggers and organizational-guru is here for Tastemaker Tuesday and we couldn’t be more excited to share her feature post here with you today!
Carrie Peeples, of Neatsmart is a witty and wonderful person. We become fast friends at last year’s Southern C Summit, and she even worked her organizational magic in the steve mckenzie’s Interior Design workspace., Carrie listens to your organization needs and expertly create memorable combinations we’d never think of pulling together.
Read on to learn about Carrie’s top tax tips from the organizational point of view, saving you time, headache and maybe even some money! I’ve added some cute home office ideas at the end too.
It’s never too early to get ready for tax season! If you follow a few suggestions now you’ll save yourself a bottle of pain medication and your remaining hair will thank you. While this isn’t fun for anyone, an ounce of organization will make the process much easier and you’ll be able to lay your hands on the papers you need when you need them. Whether you file your taxes yourself or work with an accountant, having your papers in order will save you time and money!
- Get ready for last year.
By the end of January you should receive all of your tax related financial statements from your employer (W2, 1099-MISC), banks (1099-INT, 1099-DIV), and investment companies (1099-B). You may also receive a donation summary from non-profit organizations, like your church if you donated to it. Depending on your financial and employment situations, you will receive several documents from different organizations. Get a vertical file today to put them in. Open the envelopes and toss those. You won’t need to do anything with these documents today but you’ll certainly need them when it comes time to actually do your taxes, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do them for you.
- Get ready for this year.
Everyone needs to have a folder in the filing cabinet called “Donation Receipts” to keep track of all of those receipts from donations to charitable organizations. Whether it was Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other charitable organization that gave you a receipt in exchange for a donation of goods or money, you need to keep this to report the donation on your taxes This will help you keep track of these receipts as you acquire them throughout the year. I like to keep this folder at the front of my filing cabinet so it’s easy to get to and find later.
- Get ready for next year.
Everyone needs a place to keep their tax records once the forms have been filled out and processed. This may include copies of financial statements and receipts so it could be quite a few papers per year. I recommend having a file box or drawer in a filing cabinet dedicated to storing your tax documentation. You don’t have to refer to this often but occasionally may need to know this information if you apply for a loan, buy a car, or refinance your house.
Use vertical files with tabs for each year, newest in front with oldest in back. You need to keep these for 7 years. When you are ready to retire previous years’ documentation, shred these documents because they have your financial as well as personal information on them.
*I am a professional organizer, not an accountant. Please consult your account for your specific requirements on document retention.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and if getting organized is one of your 2018 goals, call Carrie at Neatsmart! Maybe we’ll host a workshop with her in 2018 – email me if you’re interested!
Cute Home Office Ideas (because it’s easier to organize in a stylish space):