Organizing Documents for Tax Return Preparation

July 10, 2012 by  Filed under: Taxes 

You never want to wait until three weeks before the tax return deadline to organize all important documents and expenses because this causes unnecessary stress and you could make serious errors on the tax return. Instead, you should organize the documents at least four months before it’s time to file the tax returns. If you need advice on getting organized for tax time, get IRS tax help by reading some books or articles on this topic. If you have a tax accountant, you can get IRS help tax from him. You can also get free IRS tax help from nonprofit organizations in your area. If you want to know more about this topic, you can read the tips and guide below.

The first thing you should do is purchase a bunch of folders and organize your documents according to category. Put all of your check stubs and W-2 forms in one folder and put all recent bank statements in another folder. Keep your business and personal receipts separate if you’re a business owner and place your household bills in other folders according to their subcategories such as Internet, mortgage, and utility bills.

You should take your recent tax returns, place them in a folder and store them in a visible and accessible place in the home. You should keep past tax returns for at least seven years according to the IRS. Also keep a separate file of life insurance documents. If you’re married, there are certain documents you need to have in one place and these include both of your W-2 forms, 1099-NT forms for your savings accounts and property tax documents.

When you organize your general financial documents and tax returns for tax season, you’re now able to meet with someone to give you IRS tax help so that you can file taxes accurately. Organization of your financial records also enables you to see errors more quickly when you file the taxes.

Another good way to organize your tax information is to purchase accounting software that allows you to keep track of your financial information. Before you purchase it you want to research different programs by reading reviews by customers and talking to friends who purchased accounting software and finding out what reviewers wrote on the quality and price of the software. Accounting software also reduces the clutter that’s involved in tax preparation and it reduces the stress of this task.

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