The dreaded tax day is almost here. Whether you are getting a refund or owe taxes, it seems to cause anxiety for everyone! I think the root of this anxiety is getting everything in order to file. Whether you do your taxes yourself or send them to an accountant you are the one responsible for making sure all the right information is provided to the IRS. I truly believe that the key to all of this is organization over the year, esp when the tax information start rolling in.
I use Evernote to organize my taxes and it makes life so much easier.
Step 1: Make a Notebook for Taxes 2011
Step 2: Make a note within this notebook called “Documents.” List everyone you should receive a tax document from. Example, employers, banks, investment firm, mortgage company, property manager etc…
Step 3: Make a separate note with important receipts for 2011 (ideally you do this at the beginning of 2011 and place them in there all year long) Also create a note to document charity donations.
Step 4: As the W2s, 1099, and other tax documents start rolling in, scan in (or snap a picture via smartphone) the document and place it in that note titled “Documents”, filling in the list of places you should have received from.
Step 5: Create a new note “Expenses” chart with any expenses you want to make sure you include when doing your deductions.
Step 6: I use and LOVE turbo tax. I find that having everything organized in advance makes it easy to go though and just fill out the information. I do it once and then review with my husband. Having everything electronically saves time of shuffling through papers in our review. Bonus idea: if you use an accountant simply share your Evernote notebook with them for easy access to everything they need.
Not an Evernote user? Not sure how to get started? http://www.getmegeeky.com/evernote/evernote_for_moms.html
If you own a business be sure to read post from Mixergy about business tax tips. These can really put money back in your pocket!