Paper Organization Challenge – Day 9: How to Organize Tax Documents

Paper Organization Taxes

April 15 is less than 7 weeks away! Are your tax records in order? If not, no worries – today’s Paper Organization Challenge offers a simple solution:

We’re going to set up a filing system based on the premise of keeping tax records for a period of 7 years. Note: Please check with your accountant regarding any requirements relating to your personal situation.

Supplies you will need:

  • 12 hanging Pendaflex files – labeled January through December.
  • 1 file or file pocket (like the one shown here on the left) labeled Tax Returns.
  • 7 files labeled for each of the last 7 consecutive years (these may be hanging files, file pockets or even individual boxes depending on the quantity of tax records to keep).

Here’s what you do:

  • Keep a copy of your actual annual returns in the file labeled Tax Returns. Mark this file “do not discard.”
  • File all supporting documentation by year. Supporting documentation is any document that corroborates a tax deduction taken (receipts, bank statements, etc.) Now, each year when you file your annual return you can simply send the 7 year old file to the shredder. Again, please check with your accountant regarding any specific requirements relating to your personal situation.
  • Use the folders marked January through December to file monthly receipts and documentation for the current tax year not yet filed. This method will help immensely with monthly bookkeeping!

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