Reducing the Burden of Organizing Your Tax Information in 3 Basic Steps
Westchester NY accountant Paul Herman has all the answers to your personal finance questions!
The stress of tax season is upon us, but there are ways that you can make sure everything is all in order when it comes time to file your taxes. Here are some easy tips for keeping tax info organized, so you can stay on top of your taxes all yearlong and nothing gets lost in the craziness of tax season!
1) Have a filing system for use during the year.
Maintaining a filing system yearround will help you at the end of the year because you’ll know where to go and where to look for certain documents. So many things happen during the year that could impact your taxes, so it’s best to have a place to file them away for easy access later.
If you make a charitable donation, you can file the receipt. If you buy a new home, you can file the closing statement and so on. This way, with a filing system, when you get the majority of your documents in January, you’ll have a place to put them and organize them all!
You can set it up however you want, whether in an accordion file with tabs or in labeled folders in a desk drawer. As long as you know where everything is, that’s what really matters because that’s going to help you during tax season.
2) Ask your accountant or tax preparer questions as they come up during the year.
Issues are going to come up from time to time throughout the year that you may not remember at the end of the year, so it’s important to ask while the issues are fresh.
Whether this is related to buying and selling stocks, realized capital gains or certain transactions, it’s important that you talk to your accountant or tax preparer and ask – will this affect my year-end taxes? If so, what documentation will I need? Ask these questions while they’re in your head – save yourself the stress later.
3) Organize your checkbooks and credit cards using QuickBooks.
It’s important to keep a bookkeeping system such as QuickBooks so that you keep track of checks you write, your income and your credit card charges. If you write checks during the year for charitable contributions, medical bills, prescriptions and more, you can categorize them as such on QuickBooks for later reference. This will also help to see what expenses will count as tax deductions.
You can even connect your credit card company and bank to QuickBooks to easily download transactions as you make them. From there, you’ll be able to categorize these transactions during the year, making it even easier to come back to them when you need them.
All this will make it so simple at the end of the year to run a summary report of your expenses in a matter of minutes to print and give to your accountant!
Remember, organization will help reduce your stress as you get your tax information together for tax season. Take care of your taxes as soon as you can to make it easier on yourself. Need help? Contact me to get started.
Westchester NY accountant Paul Herman of Herman & Company CPA’s is here for all your financial needs. Please contact us if you have questions, and to receive your free personal finance consultation!
Herman and Company CPA’s proudly serves Bedford Hills NY, Chappaqua NY, Harrison NY, Scarsdale NY, White Plains NY, Mt. Kisco NY, Pound Ridge NY, Greenwich CT and beyond.
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