By Sarah Mills of Sterilite Corporation
Tax season can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. With a little organization and the proper tools, this could be a quick and somewhat painless process. There is no need to agonize over old receipts, check out our guidelines for tax-time preparation.
1. Start with an easy to maintain filing system. Our Portable File Box with hanging file folders and tabs is ideal for organizing the current year’s documentations. The in-lid storage compartment is great for storing paper clips and post-its, while the durable latch ensures your documents will stay right where they need to be. If you would like added security, the Portable File Box accommodates a standard padlock.
2. Determine what categories you would like to include. This will allow you to easily identify documents. Here are some basic suggestions that you can customize to your needs.
b. 1099s, income dividends
c. Vehicle information
d. Mortgage and bank interest statements
e. Real estate tax documents
f. Medical expense receipts
g. Receipts for charitable donations
h. Child care expenses
i. Student loan documents
j. Copy of last year’s tax return
3. Place the Portable File Box in the kitchen or home office so you can file incoming tax documents and receipts quickly. The sturdy handle allows for comfortable carrying to and from any location in your home. This will help prevent all important information from being misplaced or thrown out.
4. Once your taxes have been filed, transfer your documents into a File Box with the same subset of hanging folders, for long term storage.
5. Update your Portable File Box for next year’s documents – Now that you are a professional at filing and sorting you can improve on what was done last year!
Keep in mind that tax guidelines recommend you keep all of your tax returns as well as six years of receipts in case you are audited. Start by gathering all your past returns and receipts and organize them by year. You can then opt to store them in a File Box which will help centralize these documents for future reference. File Boxes can easily be stacked, helping to maximize space in a closet or on a shelf. We recommend that labels be applied with the tax year on the outside to make locating documents even easier. This will also help identify documents when the time comes to purge items that are dated or no longer needed.
Now that you are organized for the tax season don’t forget to call and make your appointment. Booking in February or early March allows you to get ahead of the rush and receive your refund early!