I followed an example on Pinterest to organize our household bills a few months ago and love it!! So, when I was doing our taxes this year, I realized that the 3+ days of work it takes me to gather and organize all our data could be cut down if I used a similar system. (I itemize everything I can, so I have lots to gather.)
First… the 3 ring binder. A 2″ binder works for us. (I’m falling in love with binders again, can you tell? And I also love my labeler.) 🙂
I divided the notebook into the sections of the tax form (and Turbo Tax). The main sections are Income and Deductions. I added the front section “Return Copies” for a place to keep the printed copies of the return until I’m done and ready to pack it away. When I came across a subsection that was too big to keep in the main divider, I created a subsection. Below, Charity is a sub-section of Deductions, and I have a sub-category after Charity for an organization that I have donations and travel to track.
As I went through the information that I needed to gather, I created lists of the items and made a cover sheet for each section. Here is the Itemized Deductions cover sheet:
As statements and paperwork comes in during the year, I now hole punch it, put it in the right section, and check it off. The items above with lines are things I have to pull from our records.
Once I had all my notes together and data pulled from different places, I made a list for the front of the notebook with what items need to be pulled and where I get them from. This list will make it much easier to zip through and print off what I need, add it to the sections, and then I’ll be ready to run through Turbo Tax with all the info in one place!
Half the battle each year was remembering how I pulled certain information and what was the easiest way to record it. This has taken away the need to “re-invent the wheel” each year, and I can tweak the process as we go.
It also provides me with a neat bundle using round head fasteners that I file away once the money has been deposited into my account:
Have you tried something similar? Any tweaks to what I’ve done that might be easier? Please share below!
Blessings in your Adventure,
PS – The “Death” part of the post title was what it felt like doing our taxes Before. 🙂 I’m not saying I’ll rejoice about Taxes, but it sure will be easier!