Whew! Tax season has finally wrapped up, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The hunt for paperwork is over … for now.
If pulling your tax records together was a struggle this year, I’m going to suggest some simple tips for storing your financial records. Ultimately, the tax return we prepare for you or your business is a product of your record-keeping.
Consider these tips for keeping your documents — and your sanity — together:
1 — Put in the time. Spend some time each month to make sure your documents are in order. Go ahead and put it on your calendar or to-do list that you will spend an hour or two one afternoon or evening a month.
2 — File everything immediately. You don’t have to organize everything as you go, but do put receipts and statements in a folder or envelope. “I’ll get to it later” doesn’t always happen.
3 — Create a central location. Have a place for all statements, tax forms, receipts and other documents — ideally in a fireproof safe or cabinet.
4 —Organize electronic records the same way you would paper records. Keep your electronic scans and statements in a central location on your computer, organized and clearly labeled. Give everything a once-over during your monthly organizing.
5 — Keep everything secure. File cabinets should be locked, computers should be password protected and backup copies should be kept in a separate safe place, such as a safety deposit box.
It won’t take a lot of your time now, but following these five tips can save you time come next tax filing season! Of course, we’re always here to answer your tax questions, so feel free to email or call us at 706-632-7850.