It happens every year: tax time rolls around, and you have a box full of jumbled receipts to dump on your tax preparer’s desk. If this sounds familiar, don’t despair! While this year’s tax papers may be a sloppy mess, it’s also the perfect time to organize your paperwork for next year. Not only will your personal space be less cluttered, chances are you’ll save some extra money because your tax preparer won’t miss a single deduction the next time around! Set Up Folders Plain manila folders go a long way to organizing your receipts. Label one “Deductions,” one “Expenses,” one for “Utilities,” and so on. File your paperwork as it comes in or at the end of the month, whichever works best for you.
Tape Up a Big Envelope Stick a big envelope onto the side of your desk or refrigerator, and dump bills and receipts that you haven’t gotten around to filing into the envelope as an intermittent holder. This way you won’t lose an important deduction because it went out with the junk mail. Ask for Advice When you get your taxes done, ask your tax preparer for a list of possible deductions for next year. Most major tax offices such as H&R Block have booklets and other handouts for their customers, and will gladly help you set up a simple filing system. Look for Discounts While you’re setting up next year’s tax system, don’t forget to check for savings on this year’s returns. Many tax preparer companies offer specials and discounts, such as online coupons at Groupon.com. Happy filing!