Broker Check

7 Tips for Getting Your (IRS) Act Together
Learn to Stay Organized

As tax season looms, getting organized for tax filing ensures a stress-free experience and lays the groundwork for easy access to past tax records. As you're pulling together this year's tax documents and filing, we wanted to send along a couple of tips to organize your records for ease of access in the future, because this isn't always common knowledge with the amount of information we juggle in our lives. 

  • Establish a Centralized System: Create a dedicated space or digital folder to serve as the centralized hub for all tax-related documents. Whether it's a physical filing cabinet or a digital folder on your computer, having a designated location ensures that important documents won't get misplaced.

  • Embrace technology to digitize your tax records. Scanning and storing documents electronically not only saves physical space but also provides easy access from anywhere with an internet connection. Consider using cloud storage services for added security and accessibility.

  • Develop a consistent file naming convention for digital documents. Including the tax year and a brief description in the file name makes it easier to identify and retrieve specific documents quickly. 

  • Separate Personal and Business Documents: If applicable, maintain a clear distinction between personal and business tax documents. This separation not only enhances organization but is also crucial for individuals who own businesses or have self-employment income.

  • Categorize Documents: Segment your tax-related documents into categories. Common categories include income statements (W-2s, 1099s), deductions and credits, investment-related documents, and receipts for deductible expenses. This approach facilitates quick retrieval when needed and minimizes the time spent searching for specific documents.

  • Maintain a Tax Calendar: Create a tax calendar with important deadlines, such as the filing date and estimated tax payment due dates. This ensures you stay on top of your tax responsibilities and have ample time to gather the required documents.

  • Regularly Update and Review: Make it a habit to update your tax documents regularly. Review and update the content of your tax folder as the year progresses, adding new documents and removing outdated ones. This proactive approach ensures that your tax records are always current and ready for filing.

By incorporating these strategies into your tax organization routine, you not only streamline the annual tax filing process but also create a robust system for retaining and accessing past tax records. This level of organization not only eases the stress of tax season but also serves as a valuable resource for future financial planning and decision-making.

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you and how many generations you keep it for.” 

Robert Kiyosaki