Tax time happens once a year and because of that, it is easy to be caught off guard. Every year you say, “I will be better organized for next year.” And then, wham!, it has already been another year.
Here are tips for how to get out of this cycle. If you have not yet started getting everything ready for your CPA this year, you can lay the groundwork for next year now.
If you have already sent everything off to your CPA, take a minute to get organized now, while it is still fresh on your mind.
Below are some ways to get your sh!t together, so you are prepared for the next tax season:
Did you forget to include mileage? Did you lose track of which estimated taxes you paid? With 1099s coming at you from all different directions, are you sure you received them all? Are you sure you sent 1099s to everyone who needs them?
✅ Build a checklist now for all the items you usually collate for your CPA.
If you submitted all your documents online, save them in one folder so you can easily reference again for next year.
✅ Your tax professional is going to give you copies of everything they submit. Save/file those all in one place, such as a folder titled Previous Tax Returns.
✘ Your downloads folder or email does not count! I am very guilty of this, so rest assured there is no judgment coming from me.
✅ Build spreadsheet templates for specific items you need to track such as charitable donations, mileage, etc. Keep it updated throughout the year! (Shameless plug: hire a VA to do this for you.)
You can save it as one file and just start a new tab with each year.
✅ Create a folder now called 2020 tax documents. Save your new checklist and templates in there. As you gather receipts or other documents you will need to submit, scan and save them into that folder. Then when tax season comes around again, you have everything in one place, ready to go.
Taking steps now to get organized for the next time will save you a lot of headache and anxiety over the years to come! Cheers to a worry-free April!