Our Top 10 Tips to Get Organized this Tax Season
We aren't accountants, but we are experts at organization. And being organized can make doing your taxes go from a difficult chore to smooth sailing. Here are our top 10 tips for getting organized this tax season.
1. Organize with a Tax Checklist
A simple Google search can give you full, comprehensive tax document checklists from trusted sources like Turbo Tax and H&R Block. These lists can be lengthy, but they will keep you organized and feeling better knowing that nothing is being forgotten. You can find our favorite tax checklist here.
2. Get Your Documents Together
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Having all of the paperwork for taxes together is half the battle, and that comes when you have one go-to place to store it. While the Folio is a crowd favorite, we've started keeping all our key documents in Savor's The Graduate/Adulting Vault. In addition to our paperwork, we keep stamps, calculator, and other key tax items in one single space.
3. Plan for the Days Ahead
You probably know the tax deadline is April 15th. But did you know that's also the deadline for adding money to your IRA? Kill two birds with one stone by lowering you tax bill and investing in your retirement future tax free.
4. Organize with Email Folders
Organize receipts for donations or deductible purchases in a special email folder titled "taxes." Even when paperless, everything should have a place.
5. Keep Your Stimulus Info
As a new addition this tax season, you'll need to provide information on any stimulus money you or your family received. Remember to keep it in a safe place, like Savor's Folio.
6. Ask For Help
H&R Block offers a free 24-hour helpline for any and all tax questions you may have. If you find yourself stumped, call 1-866-HRBLOCK.
7. Get an Extension If You Need One
As in any work project, some deadlines can't be made, but the key is advance notice. If you can't get your taxes in by April 15, fill out and submit Form 4868 if you find yourself running late. If submitted by April 15, Form 4868 extends your filing deadline until October 15th, 2021 and can save you thousands in late penalties! (But note that Form 4868 doesn’t extend the time to pay taxes. If you don’t pay the amount due by the regular due date, you’ll owe interest. )
8. Consider Calling a Professional
Organization asks you to look at the time you have and use it efficiently. We tend to look focus just on the price tag of hiring a professional. Instead, compare how long it takes you to file taxes against your typical daily income. You may find that hiring a pro and spending the time you would be doing your taxes working instead can save you money, not to mention aggravation!
9. Create a Workspace
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If you opt to do your taxes yourself, create a workspace to help you get into the zone. It doesn't have to be a desk - use Savor's Vault as a traveling workstation and set up in any sunny spot. Grab a copy of last year's taxes as a guide and a timer to keep you on track and grind it out!
10. Reward Yourself
Reward yourself after a long stretch of tax prep with a nice neighborhood walk or coffee run. A little external motivation can give you that push you need to get through that mountain of paperwork.
What are some tips that keep you sane this time of year? When it comes to your taxes, do you outsource or are you a DIYer? Let us know in the comments below!