If you spend every year at tax time scrambling around trying to find all of the documents you need I’ve got two easy-to-implement solutions for you! As a former Accountant, I speak from experience. You do want to show up and hand your CPA a bunch of papers and receipts expecting them to sort it out for you. Why? Because a good CPA is going to charge you an arm and a leg! You’ve created more work on them. So do yourself and your wallet a favor and get as organized as possible before tax time!
Being Organized Helps!
Obviously, the more organized you are the better. However, I know that can sometimes be difficult – I’m a homeschool mom to three kiddos, dog-mom to two dogs, and help run two businesses with my husband! I know that life has the tendency to jump up and smack you in the face. But with just a few simple tweaks, you can make staying on top of the finances – and especially taxes – in your home easier!
File folders are your best friend when it comes to getting organized! At the beginning of every year, I take a blank file folder and then write the current year and “taxes” on it. Then I place it in my desktop organizer. Throughout the year as we have tax-related expenses or documents show up in the mail, I just pop ’em in the file folder! No more running around come tax time trying to find everything we need!
Another great use for file folders is using them to stay on top of major medical expenses. When my middle child broke his arm at the start of the Pandemic, I grabbed a blank file folder and wrote “Collin’s Broken Arm”. Then whenever the hospital and doctor bills started showing up, I had a place to put them to help me keep on top of them so I could submit the bills to our Healthcare Sharing Ministry.
If you aren’t already using some sort of system to help you stay on top of these big expenses (let’s be honest, taxes are a big expense!), come up with one today!
You didn’t think that this former Accountant wasn’t going to have a spreadsheet, did you? 😉 Of course I’ve got a spreadsheet set up that helps me track everything. It’s really just a plug-and-play type of thing. You can actually download my template in Google Sheets here. Below is a video that explains the file folder system as well as gives a quick tutorial on how to use the Google Sheets spreadsheet that I set up.
When I’m getting ready to submit everything (including my spreadsheet) to our CPA, I make sure to scan in any documents from my file folder that haven’t yet been scanned. I also make sure to “print to .pdf” any emails in my “Tax” File in my inbox. I save everything in a shared Drive folder with my husband. This makes sending everything over to our CPA easier. But with my spreadsheet and supporting documents, she can easily verify my numbers and we can discuss any changes/issues that need to be made. The advantage of this is that it makes our CPA significantly cheaper because we’ve given her all the information.
Even if you don’t use a CPA, this process of organizing your tax information will make preparing and filing your own taxes easier as well.
These are just some simple ways to help you get/be more organized come tax time. Do you have something specific that you do that helps you stay on top of your tax stuff? If so, please share it below!
OTHER POSTS YOU MAY ENJOY
JOIN THE CHALLENGE!
Money controlling you? I know the feeling. My family has been living this real life on a budget for a long time and I can tell you that there's never a perfect season, but with a few changes you can start to reign in your money issues.
Join the 5-Day Challenge today and start getting your money life in order this week!