Tax Season – Minimize the Pain

Like it or not, tax season has descended on us yet again. From the time I was a child, this time of year has always been associated with frantic searches, frustration over missing documentation, and last minute late night work. As I became an adult and had to be responsible for my own record keeping, I realized that it is possible to make this time of year much less painful, with only a couple of organization tips.

My solution starts with a file folder in my filing cabinet labeled “Current Tax Year”. Throughout the year, as I make charitable contributions, or pay any kind of mid year tax, I put the documentation for that transaction in the folder. Sounds easy, right?

Once January hits, every time I get a summary statement of any kind (investments, mortgage, etc.), it also goes into the tax folder. By the middle of February, I have everything I need to get the taxes completed.
As we prepare to go to the accountant for completion of our tax filing, I pull out the folder, go through it to be sure everything is there that should be, then drop it into a manilla envelope and start again for the new year.

Because you will use this folder year after year, consider making an inventory of the items you expect to receive, then attach the list to the inside left of the folder, checking off items as they arrive.

My name is Lori Fowler, and I am a professional home organizer working in the Winston-Salem area. If you would like help in getting your home decluttered and to the neat oasis you dream of, please contact me at 336-978-6211, or at ducksinarownc@earthlink.net.

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