How to organize receipts for taxes
How to organize receipts for taxes
What’s the best way to organize receipts and documents for taxes? No matter which method you choose, getting organized is the first step, and right now is the perfect time to get ready. Knowing which receipts and records you'll need for tax purposes is one step in the right direction. But how do you keep everything organized when April finally rolls around?
When receipts, bank records, charitable donations, child care, and self-employment records are neatly organized, preparing taxes is that much easier and quicker.
I remember the first tax season after my father died. For the first time, my Mom was responsible for getting everything together and she really had no idea where all the documents were or what she needed. Her solution was putting any document that even remotely looked like it related to taxes into a plastic laundry basket and hauling it off to her tax accountant.
"The guy who said the truth never hurts never had to fill out a 1040 form." Jay Leno
There’s a better way to organize tax records than using a plastic laundry basket.
Here’s how to get started.
Prepare a place to work.
Designate a specific place to work on and keep your tax records. If this is your home office, claim a drawer or a cabinet just for your tax records. As the year progresses and you accumulate receipts and documents, organize and file them immediately. The longer they sit around in piles of other papers, the more likely they are to be lost or damaged.
Shown: Unikeep’s Tax Receipt Binder kit in use.
Get your documents and receipts together.
Group together all sources of income, which may include W-2, 1098, or 1099 forms. These should all be mailed to you by January 31. If you don’t receive them, call the company to be sure you have them in time for the filing date.
Gather all deductions.
TurboTax suggests you may find itemized deductions in these categories.
- Home and office expenses: receipts; electricity, gas, and water bills; home repairs, maintenance, and renovations; internet and phone bills.
- Vehicle expenses and mileage: gas and fuel costs; vehicle repairs and maintenance; receipts for registration and licensing; tires; rental or lease statements; personal and business miles driven.
- Education costs: tuition, student fees, textbooks, and other required equipment.
- Child care expenses: pay stubs showing child care payments via a reimbursement account at work; receipts for child care while you were doing charitable work.
- Medical expenses: health insurance premiums for you and your family; out-of-pocket expenses.
- Other expenses: moving costs; charitable donations; tax planning and investment expenses; work uniforms; laundry or dry cleaning for uniforms and other work-only attire; business supplies (pens, paper).
- State and local income or sales taxes.
Create a central organization system for tax documents.
An excellent tool for keeping organized is the UniKeep tax receipt organizer kit. You can keep all your tax documents stored safely and securely inside this fully-enclosed case binder. This isn’t just another 3-ring binder - UniKeep’s Tax Binder is a complete kit that comes ready with all the tax document organizing essentials you’ll need to kick off your tax prep season.
The UniKeep tax organizer kit is a three-ring case binder that snaps closed to protect contents from damage and loss. This is a huge advantage over regular three-ring binders that often fall apart and have no way to enclose important documents.
What the Unikeep Tax Binder Case Kit includes:
- Two 8.5 x 11-inch sheet protectors
- One Double Binder Pocket
- Four Adhesive Business Card Pocket
- Two Adhesive Card Pockets (3x5-inch)
Purchasing additional UniKeep binder accessories for the Tax Binder Kit will give you even more capacity and organizing super-power
UniKeep organizing pages and divider tabs help categorize and store your records, receipts, CDs, and other tax documentation.
These are sturdy, well-made page protectors, manufactured with heavier 3.5 mil polypropylene. They’re not the flimsy ones you buy at office warehouse stores. Plus, UniKeep sheet protectors, divider pages, and binder pockets are made with acid-free, 100% recyclable polypropylene so your documents will remain in pristine condition over time.
UnIKeep’s page protectors are available in assorted primary and pastel colors (you can also order packs of individual colors) for document organization by category and color.
The colored edges also serve as page “dividers” that will clearly mark your tax binder categories.
Shown: Binder with additional divider pages
Adhesive pockets can be added for business cards and receipts related to entertainment, travel, and dining expenses.
You can use this binder to organize your expenses if you have your own business. Keeping a complete and thorough record of your receipts is the only way to evaluate your annual spending. You definitely want to be that smart, organized business owner at tax time.
Make staying organized a habit.
Why do we wait until the last minute to do something that comes like clockwork in April? Let ‘tax time’ be ‘relax time" this tax season by collecting and organizing important tax documents throughout the year. Using UniKeep’s tax binder kit can be your best way to save and organize receipts for taxes so there’s no panic when April rolls around.
When tax time is around the corner, a UniKeep Tax Receipt Binder kit, complete with your information, is a perfect tool to share with your accountant.
We’re not tax professionals, so please speak with your tax accountant about specific tax issues and how they would like your tax documents organized.
Good luck and happy returns!