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Get Organized for 2017 Tax Season

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Getting organized ahead of time to file your taxes can alleviate a lot of the stress involved with meeting the April 17th deadline. Now is the time to start on this year's taxes. Below are helpful tips and reminders to make sure you have all the information you will need when it’s time to file your 2017 taxes.

  1. Designate a space for tax organization. Whether it’s your home office, kitchen table, or even a storage unit, make sure your tax record keeping has a designated spot.
  2. Decide on a filing system. If you use paper clips, accordion folders, color-coded post-it notes, or some other filing system, decide on how you’re going hold together important paperwork and documents. If you do everything online and decide to go paperless, be sure to check with a tax expert first, then keep all electronic records.
  3. Gather all income statements and documents (including receipts). Group together all sources of income, including W-2, 1098, or 1099 forms, as well as paid invoices or any other evidence of income you have received in the past year. Keep your receipts in a separate folder.
  4. Plan ahead. To limit last minute stress, create a calendar to plan your tax time to-dos, and aim to have your taxes filed in advance. You will want to have a schedule for keeping your documents organized. Is it that you will file the proper items at the end of the work week? Create a habit, use a calendar, and set reminders to help you stay on task.
  5. Decide how you will file. Will you be using a tax filing software program, give everything to your accountant, or just file the paperwork by yourself? Whatever you decide, make sure you have everything in order prior to the deadline.

Tax season doesn't have to be stressful. Stay organized and plan ahead of time. With these simple tips, your tax organization will be simple!