Make Tax Time Easier With These Organization Tips

Posted by: Brookside Admin

Tax documents on desk

For some, as soon as the new year arrives, their mind turns to preparing their taxes. For others, preparing their tax return doesn't begin until the last minute. Regardless of which group you fall into, you can make your tax season less stressful by getting organized now. This way, even if you wait until the last minute to put your return together in 2017, you'll know that you already have everything you need. Here are our top 3 organization tips to ensure your next tax return is quick and painless. 

Make a tax folder

Getting organized for tax season doesn't have to be a big undertaking. It can start with a simple decision to put all your tax related documents into a single file folder. By doing so, when you're ready to prepare your tax return, you'll have the necessary documents in one place. Over-achievers can put different documents under different tabs to take this initial organization step to the next level, but you can start with just a single file and watch it make a world of difference. Of course you'll want to put official tax documents into the file, but also put receipts and documentation related to any deductions or tax credits you might claim. 

Remember last year's taxes

For most of us, our tax return will look remarkably similar from year to year unless a significant change to our lifestyle has occurred. That means you can figure out what documents you need, what deductions you can claim, and what receipts you need to keep based on last year's return. If it seems daunting to think about trying to save every document that may help you prepare your taxes this year, this might be a calming tactic. Just start by saving everything you needed for your taxes in 2015. With that done, you'll have time to start thinking about additional deductions you may be eligible for.

Plan for this year's changes

Just as it's productive to think about what is the same as last year in the context of your taxes, it's also productive to think about what's new this year. Did you buy a house in 2016? Or buy a new car? Did you start a business? Or have a baby? Or get married? All of these life changes could have a significant impact on your taxes. That applies both to deductions you may be eligible for, and documentation you'll need when you submit your return. Be sure to think about events like these and then research the additional documents you'll need. 

Whether you're planning to file your taxes yourself, or you'll need the help of the CPAs at Brown Kinion and Company, it's important to be as organized as possible. We can help you plan and educate you on what documents are important. Call us today to get started with tax planning and preparation.