To get organized for April 15, 2012, start now! There are several ways you can get yourself organized for tax season.
• One way to get organized is to create two file folders and keep them at the front of your file cabinet. Label one “deductions” and one “money in” and as expenses and additional income come during the year, simply open your file cabinet and place the documents in the appropriate file folder.
• Another way to get your taxes organized is to get an accordion file and label the compartments ‘last year’s return’, ‘income’, ‘deductions’, ‘donations’, ‘savings’, ‘investments’, ‘retirement’, ‘receipts’, ‘co-payments’ and ‘other’. As the year progresses, add to each compartment accordingly.
• To really get organized, set up a tax preparation checklist. This will include the following:
1. Gather all Government forms received for tax preparation including W-2, 1099’s, Interest earned and investment income, mortgage interest, proof of IRA contribution
2. Gather all tax related receipts
3. Gather records for charitable donations
4. Proofs of purchase of any energy efficient goods
5. Receipts for medical co-payments
6. Draft of return (this will make your appointment with your tax preparer go quicker if you have already drafted and highlighted areas where you have questions).
7. Make an appointment with your accountant or tax preparer, be sure you have all the social security information for your dependents too.