5 Tips to Organize your Tax Documents

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Getting Organized, Paper Clutter

We just turned the clocks ahead, so you know that means…longer days, warmer weather (hopefully!) and oh yes, time to file taxes.  If the thought of gathering paperwork seems overwhelming, I’m here to help.

Typically I like to share my secrets to help you get organized, but this time, I decided to bring in the big guns and get some advice from the experts.

Peter Augenblick, founder of Augenblick & Co. P.C.shared his 5 tips to simplify your tax preparation.

1.    Keep a folder/accordion file labeled “Taxes”. Create a file where you can store anything tax related.  (ie: when you pay your real estate taxes drop the receipt in your tax folder, drop the receipt from the doctor’s office in the folder, receipt from a charitable donation.)

2.    Use Excel. Excel is a great way to track your unreimbursed business/medical mileage, donations, out of pocket medical expenses.  Once you set up the initial spreadsheets you can utilize the same sheets year after year.

3.    Don’t short change yourself. Remember to include information pertaining to HSA contributions/disbursements, 529 plan contributions/disbursements, and dependent care information.

4.    Home sales and purchases.  If you purchased a home, sold a home, refinanced be sure to include the HUD statement and 1099-S (if one was issued for the sale.) *we sold a property last year and received a reimbursement that we otherwise would not have gotten. 

5.    Security Information.  If you sold securities and the cost basis is not provided on the 1099-B you or your accountant will need to know when you originally bought the security and what you paid for it. So keep a file for all investments that you can refer to.

Whether you pay your taxes yourself or seek the expertise of an Accountant, having an easy to follow system inevitably saves you time, money and stress in the long run.



Happy Organizing!

Laurie Palau

Laurie Palau is the founder of simply B organized, author of the book HOT MESS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO GETTING ORGANIZED, and host of the weekly podcast, This ORGANIZED Life. She is a go-to Organizing Expert whose advice has been featured in The New York Times Parenting Section, Family Circle, and Home + Table Magazine. Laurie can also be seen sharing tips on 6ABC,CBS Philadelphia’s Morning Show & WFMZ. She lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband, 2 daughters, and 2 dogs.

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