It can be overwhelming when it comes to doing your taxes. Do you sort through your taxes and file them yourself or hire an accountant? Are you sure you have everything you need to get organized for filing your taxes?
There are some simple ways you can get yourself organized.
Some of these steps can help you avoid a last-minute scramble and some year-around not during the tax season.
Here are four steps you can get organized for the tax season.
Keep yourself organized
Create a designated place within your home year-round for all things related to taxes. This can be a corner of your kitchen counter or a desk drawer. Keep all receipts and documents together in a file folder. When the time comes to submit them they will all be in one place.
You can take it one step forward to keep yourself more organized by filing in different folders. Separate the paperwork into different categories like receipts, invoices, government documents and more.
This step will help set you up for success for future tax seasons.
Make a checklist
Everyone’s finances are different but there is always a general list of documents you need to have when you file your taxes.
Keep them all in one place with your filed away taxes.
Here is the list:
- Social security card
- Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit/withdrawal
- EFTPS for filing electronically
- List of previously paid taxes
- Taxing forms, such as W-2, 1099, and 1098
- Charitable donation receipts
- Deferred retirement accounts, such as 401k
- Child care costs: Provider’s name, address, tax ID, and amount paid
- Educational costs, such as Form 1098-T and expenses
- Adoption costs: SSN of the child, records of legal, medical, and transportation costs
- Investment interest expenses
- Medical costs and receipts
Take a look at your deductions. You may be surprised to find out how many things can result in a tax deduction when you file. Some of these things can be buying a house, adopting a child, paying interest on a student loan or making a charitable donation. Make sure you are aware of what tax deductions you can qualify for. You can check right here on the IRS website.
Use an accountant or app
Processing the whole tax thing yourself can be quite a handful. If you prefer to hire someone to do it for you, consider looking for an accountant. You can also download an app to help guide you through the process. Here is a list of apps to help you file your taxes.