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Get Organized for 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 18th filing deadline. Now is the time to start on this year's taxes if haven't already started on your 2016 tax return. Below are helpful tips and reminders to make sure you have all the information you will need when its time to file your taxes.

  1. Designate a space for tax organization -  Whether it be 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 sticky notes, or some other filing system, decide on how your going hold together important paperwork and documents. If you do everything online and decide to do paperless, be sure to keep electronic records.
  3. Gather all income statements and documents as well as 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 alarms, and set reminders to help you create this habit.
  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 quick tips, tax organization is simple!