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Organize For Taxes WITHOUT Feeling Taxed

NJ Expert Organizer, Marilyn Shain Labendz, suggests that tax preparations don't have to be taxing.

By now you know that my mantra is get organized early and lower your stress.

If you have not yet sorted out your papers for whomever prepares your taxes, you still have time. It will take time but I promise, it will make you feel more in control. And you will have a system set up for the coming year.

Very basic but wise first steps, another shout out to my mom:

  • Work in a clean, cleared off space.

  • A dedicated place, even the dining room table, without other distracting "stuff" on it allows you to focus better.

  • "Sharpen your pencils"...(that may be outdated, but it means have your tools ready, staples in the stapler, paper clips, highlighter).

  • If you're drinking a beverage while working, make sure you have something to mop up any accidental spills.

  • Be sure to keep your cup far away from your papers.

  • This avoids being aggravated by external forces, doing your taxes can be annoying enough.

Tech Savvy or Tech Organized Folks:

  • Create folders for each category of receipt on your computer or tablet.

  • You need to scan your items and sort them just as you would with a hard copy. (There are lots of apps for scanning if you don't have a scanner, per se).

  • If you have stores email you your receipts, just do a "search" for each store.

What if you have a box, bag or container of all your unsorted receipts???(Perish the thought).

  • This method is great for people who need a hands on, more controlled approach.

  • Do this a week or so before actually starting to do your own taxes.

File Folders or with designated colors for "like items."

  • Make a list of the different categories of receipts you have. (Example, receipts for pharmacy, medical expenses, travel expenses, etc).

  • Put each type on an index card and color code it with a crayon, or on cards of different colors.

  • Staple or tape each index card onto a file box, basket, paper bag, shoe box or any container.

  • Arrange the containers in a row, alphabetizing the categories for faster and easier sorting.

  • Put each receipt in its appropriate container.

  • By the end of the exercise you will have all your papers categorized.

  • Now, modify this system so that you can keep it throughout the coming year, avoiding this activity altogether, whether it be in envelopes, shoe boxes, etc.

Now you are ready to start your tax work or hand your accountant organized papers!

If this sounds tedious or overwhelming, CONTACT ME and I will help you do it quickly.

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