Tax Season Document Storage Tips
This year, the deadline to file taxes is April 18, and in case you haven’t noticed – or perhaps you’re just procrastinating – that date is right around the corner! If you haven’t filed yet this year, there’s no time like the present to buckle down and get things in order. Or, if you’re ahead of the game and have already filed, you can save yourself a little time next year by making sure all your documents are as organized as possible.
Organizing Paperwork in 5 Steps
Depending on how many tax documents you have, organizing paperwork can be a fairly simple process or a highly complicated one. It’s important to choose a system that will meet your needs. Maybe you only need a small file drawer and a few folders, or, if you have a lot of itemized expanses and deductions, you may need to utilize an entire file cabinet and some other document storage solutions to ensure you’re keeping things for the proper amount of time.
Regardless of the amount of paperwork you have, here five steps keeping it all as organized as possible:
Designate a space to get organized. First, make sure you have ample space to spread out with all your paperwork. This can be a dining room table, your office, or even a bedroom floor.
Figure out your filing system. Are you going to use folders? Paperclips? Clear, plastic sleeves? Sticky flags? However you choose to get organized, pick one system and stick with it.
Arrange documents by year. Sort through your documents and place them into piles by year, starting with your earliest return to the most recent one.
Prepare for next year. As you’re sorting through paperwork, do some extra preparation for next year by keeping an additional space ready for any documents you’ll gather throughout the year, like medical bills, pay stubs, donation forms, and more.
Invest in some document storage solutions. We’re not just talking about boxes and containers here, although those are important to obtain, too! If you don’t have enough storage space in your home to store tax documents for the appropriate length of time, a great solution is to rent a self storage unit. Remember, you should keep documents like receipts for tax-deductible expenses, canceled checked, W-2 forms, 1099 forms and year-end credit card statements for seven years.
Secure Document Storage Solutions
Important tax documents should be kept in a secure location, and only those you trust should have access to them. Self storage units are available in a variety of sizes, with the smallest being 25 square feet, or the size of a closet, making it a perfect choice for document storage. Your paperwork will be safe and easy to access, with the additional bonus of freeing up storage space in your home for items you need on a much more regular basis.