Getting Ready for Taxes-Our Favorite Tips

Getting Ready for Taxes-Our Favorite Tips

We all know the date.  April 15th of every year is the deadline for taxes to be filed.  Some dread this date since they will be paying additional funds.  Others are excited about their refund.  Either way, are you ready?

Did you receive your W2s (Wage and Tax Statement), your 1099Div (Dividend and Distributions), and 1099INT (Interest Income)?

Additionally, there are other forms that you may need to submit to the IRS.   At times it can be overwhelming.  The Basic Organization team has a few tips to get you ready for filing.  Whether your dreading this date or are excited, let’s complete them before that April 15th deadline!

TurboTax makes filing taxes easier.  H & R Block and Tax Act also offer tax filing assistance. Better yet… have someone else file for you!

Here are the team’s favorite tips while getting ready for taxes.

 

Janet

If filing your taxes on your own is too stressful for you, find someone to do it for you. I had an account for years and it was wonderful to pass this task on to someone who knew a whole lot more than me on this subject. If you are a senior and live in Northern Virginia you can get a trained professional to help you file for free at some libraries in the area. You’ll have to find a location, day, and time that this is available near you, but this service is free and it’s sponsored by AARP. I have some experience using this service and it was fantastic!

Candy

While getting ready for taxes, I keep a zip lock where all tax info goes. I drop notes in there and have a checklist in the zip lock. In January I organize and decide on a day to sit in quiet and do our taxes.

Denene

I keep a manila folder labeled TAXES where, starting on January 1st, I collect anything and everything that I need to save for the year’s taxes. I also keep an email folder where I do the same for any electronic information. Having everything all together when tax season rolls around is a big help.
After my taxes are submitted, I file them away with my previous years’ taxes, making sure I discard the oldest set of taxes in the file (so I am only keeping tax records for the number of years required by the IRS).

Gather all your tax documents…

Ann

I keep a current-year tax folder in our home office.  It’s where all tax-related items we receive throughout the year are filed.  It’s especially helpful with donation receipts.  This way when tax time comes all I have to do is grab that folder and get started.  I do try to keep things sorted by type within the folder so there isn’t much sorting come tax time.  Once the taxes are filed it all goes in a large envelope labeled for that year and hopefully, I never look at it again!

Lori

We put all relevant tax information that we get throughout the year into a folder. Then use Turbo Tax and enter everything in and we’re done! Repeat this process for the next year.

Sue

As the tax forms start rolling in after the first of the year, I collect them in a newly dated folder.  Inside the folder, I have a list of all the forms I received the previous year.  Checking them off as they arrive ensures I have everything before I begin. Quicken has been a great resource for my finances. When verifying information, it is easy to locate data and transaction amounts.  Once the taxes are complete I save them on my computer digitally and also keep a paper copy. I also take this time to clear out my working files and shred any other paperwork I no longer need.

Be sure to file on time…

Michelle

Track your donations using ItsDeductible all year round either on the website or through the app. Then when you are ready to start your taxes, you can easily import everything right into TurboTax.

Rouba

My husband does taxes for us and we have a CPA. We have files and folders for big expenses. Like college expenses, anything related to the house, and big purchases and donations we made throughout the year. I help by using a website called “ItsDeductible.”  I add different organizations we donated to and then add every single item.  This makes it easy to see the total amount donated.

Stephanie

I try to set aside ten minutes a month to just check in with my taxes. Usually, it doesn’t even take that long, but I try to set aside anything I think I may need or have questions about. My taxes are super easy because I have no kids and don’t own property. I do own a business with a partner and we do the same thing each month. We set aside half a day to review anything we need to to make sure when tax day comes we aren’t swamped or underwater.

Sandy

I mark mail that comes in at the beginning of the year with the word “TAX” and put it in the tax folder.  Everything is ready when I get ready to file.

 

Here are the team's favorite tips while getting ready for taxes. Share on X

We’d love to hear how you are Getting Ready for Taxes.

 Comment below!

 

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Janet Schiesl
Janet Schiesl

Sue

12 Comments

  1. Diane Quintana on March 25, 2024 at 8:59 am

    Like many on your team I have a current tax year folder and pop anything tax related that arrives during the year into that folder. I also keep track of all the miles I travel to clients. I give all the relevant information to my accountant in March. It’s really easy when all I need to do to prepare is grab the folder and get it to the accountant.

    • Jill Katz on March 25, 2024 at 9:06 am

      Very relevant post. I have an accountant and I love outsourcing this task! I put all my expense receipts in an email folder throughout the year for both personal and business. The same goes for charity. Then, I can print or forward everything to my accountant. The same goes for a phsyical folder in my filing cabinet.

      • basic_rouba on March 25, 2024 at 9:30 am

        Great advice thanks

    • basic_rouba on March 25, 2024 at 9:29 am

      It’s really important to keep everything organized in folders to make it easy to access and file.

  2. Janet Barclay on March 25, 2024 at 9:16 am

    I also have a folder for the year where I file any tax-related paperwork that comes in. When tax time comes, I print reports for business, then take everything to my accountant to deal with.

    • basic_rouba on March 25, 2024 at 9:30 am

      It makes filing so much easier.

  3. Linda Samuels on March 25, 2024 at 10:10 am

    Using Quicken to log expenses throughout the year and having a separate tax folder for each year makes tax time easy. Quicken enables me to create reports quickly. I use that info to make a tax summary for our accountant. I organize the papers from the tax folder and get him the info.

    My favorite part is shredding the oldest tax backup papers when I file the current year’s tax. I keep backups from seven years from the date of filing. The shredding part feels great!

    • basic_rouba on March 26, 2024 at 2:08 pm

      Great idea on shredding the oldest tax papers. If you have bins of papers, there is always shredding events located in different areas of the city/town. Thanks Linda

  4. Seana Turner on March 25, 2024 at 1:19 pm

    We have a combination of these things. We use Quicken, so that helps. We also hired an accountant when our taxes got complicated. We have both physical and digital folders for donation receipts. It always feels like a lot of work to pull it all together, and then some of our investments have delays K-1s, so that further complicates the process. I feel like this system is worse than it has to be, but appreciate seeing how your team handles this cumbersome task!

    • basic_rouba on March 26, 2024 at 2:10 pm

      It is a lot of work for sure. Once you file for the year, it feels like you have to save those documents again, it never ends. But if an individual is organized with all the forms saved in a proper place, filing shouldn’t be difficult especially with the help of a CPA.

  5. Julie Bestry on March 25, 2024 at 5:12 pm

    This is so timely. I was just working on my taxes (and my mother’s taxes) this weekend. I’m excited about the federal government’s new trial program (using a free, non-commercial) software solution rather than being dependent upon the always-upselling FreeFile contractors. Unfortunately, right now it’s only available in twelve states and only for simple returns (so no self-employment returns or returns that include pension income), but it makes me hopeful that we might beat the monopoly/stronghold the tax prep companies have.

    I always create a Tax Prep file (paper and digital) at the beginning of the year so all those donation slips and deduction-related receipts have someplace to go all through the year. That way, when the 1099s start rolling in around the end of January, they get to join their tax-related buddies.

    Like Rouba and Michelle, I’m a big fan of It’s Deductible; I’m always shocked at how few people know about this powerful little tool. I’m really surprised to hear that Denene actually discards her oldest set of taxes each year; even though the government doesn’t require maintaining them, the returns themselves (rather than the supporting materials) can be really helpful for tracking trends and identifying when certain financial transactions took place. Rather than destroying old returns, it can be worth it to scan them if you don’t have room for paper archives.

    I love it when you do these round-robin posts!

    • basic_rouba on March 26, 2024 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks so much Julie, I appreciate your input, always, and your knowledge and expertise. Good to know.

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