Preparing for tax season: 3 tips to keep your documents organized
(BPT) - Taxes can be a daunting task. Some people are so anxious that they put it off until just before the April 15 deadline. According to a survey by IPX1031, 32% of Americans waited until the last minute to file taxes in 2022. Of those who procrastinated on filing, 25% said that they waited because filing taxes is too stressful and complicated.
While you can wait until the deadline to file, you'll only increase your tax anxiety. If you find tax season intimidating, check out these three tips that can help ease tax time stress.
1. Take a deep breath
It may seem trite, but the first thing you need to do to tackle your taxes is to take a deep breath. You likely already have everything you need to start your tax forms. It's just a matter of finding all your documents and organizing them so you can easily fill out your information and submit your forms.
Start early to help ease your tax season stress, so you have plenty of time to input and review your information. If you wait until the deadline, you'll only get more anxious about the prospect of being late or making mistakes on your tax forms.
Another way to manage tax time stress is to tackle your tax forms one section at a time. You can do this over the course of a few days or a couple of weeks. You can enlist the help of a partner or friend to keep you accountable and sit with you while you do your taxes.
2. Get organized
Whether you're doing personal or business taxes, creating a system with specific categories will help you stay organized throughout the year. That way, when it's time to tackle taxes, you'll have everything you need right in front of you.
First, create a deductions and expenses folder. In this folder, you'll keep cellphone and internet bills, receipts for supplies (like pencils, pens and papers), client dinner receipts and documents of charitable donations.
Next, you'll set up an income folder where you'll store your paystubs, bank statements and other records that prove any income you have produced during the year. If needed, you can create another folder for business tax documents like W-2s, property taxes and self-employment forms.
Lastly, make an investments folder. Here, you can save retirement contributions to IRAs or other accounts, tax-deferred investments, nondeductible investments and any other taxable investments.
By setting up and using this organizational system throughout the year, you'll be able to breeze through your tax forms with minimal stress.
3. Go digital
Now that you've got the system in place, it's time to simplify taxes by going digital. Recreate the organizational system above on your computer. You can also store or sync the folders on the cloud or mobile device so you can access documents on the go. You can also upload invoices, receipts and other documents into digital files as soon as you receive them.
The easiest way to convert physical documents into digital ones is to scan them. Simplify the process by using an application like Mopria Scan. This app allows you to scan directly from any Mopria certified device to your Android device without installing multiple apps, software or drivers for every scanner or printer you use at home or the office.
You'll also have easy access to scanned pages on your Android device's cloud storage or other applications. You can even scan your stuff and email it to your professional accountant so they can deal with it! Download the Mopria Print Service or Mopria Scan apps and relieve tax time stress.
Don't let tax season anxiety get you down. Using these three tips, you'll be able to complete your tax forms quickly and set yourself up for success for the next tax season.