You know the deadline is coming! Your 2013 personal tax return or extension is due April 15, 2014; more info. It falls on a Tuesday so if you decide to wait until the last minute, block off Monday. When dealing with your tax return, half the battle is finding the needed information. A tip to make it easier (at least for 2014): as you receive items in the mail, e-mail, or online, put everything in one central location. Put your physical mail in a folder and electronic mail in a digital folder labeled “Taxes 2014”. If you pay someone to prepare your return, organize the items in the folder and give it to them. If you prepare your return on your own, accumulate and organize the appropriate documentation first, then sit down to start the process. Once your return is complete, be sure to keep a signed copy with the supporting documents.
For most of us, preparing our tax return is not much fun but a necessity. Fortunately, it only happens once a year. On the other hand, managing paperwork and digital information is a daily function, most of which involves paperwork. To keep the paper under control, maintaining a routine is the best plan of attack. That means something different for everyone. It might mean setting aside several minutes each day or once a week to organize. It might mean delegating or having a specific flow for your documents. Deciding what works best for you is the key. And even more important is maintenance. No matter what process you use, maintenance is required or you will get overwhelmed. If time and energy are an issue, find someone to help.
There are many companies that offer tax organizing products:
Your own customized method – please remember, you do not need fancy organizers to keep your taxes organized. A couple folders and hanging files will take care of the job but you have to remember how to keep everything in order.