Gather Your Records to Take the Stress Out of Future Tax Preparation

Even though we are still in the middle of the summer, it is wise to begin planning and setting aside the things necessary for preparing for the upcoming tax filing process.  Doing as much of that preparation as possible now will greatly reduce the amount of effort and stress involved in compiling the materials needed when it’s time to get tax materials ready for actual filing.  You can begin that preparation process by establishing basic procedures for gathering records and factual materials that may be necessary for filing, such as receipts, billing statements, copies of reports or records of expenditures and their purposes, and records of varying sources of income.  Money spent on housing, utilities, medical events and business-related travel and supplies should also be compiled.

It is a good idea to put together a storage system that will facilitate your access to each item by category.  For example, set aside a separate space dedicated to personal medical expenses; this would contain receipts for both prescription as well as over-the-counter medications that might be deductible.  Another folder would contain receipts for any physician or specialist fees.  And another might list receipts from services such as therapists and gyms required for treatments.  You might also include records of the purchase of supplies such as athletic shoes and equipment that you use as part of your regular workout.  Having purchased such footwear from Footlocker you will want a record of how much you spent after using a Groupon promo code to take advantage of their $20 discounts included in your list of medically-related expenses.

Similar files and records should be compiled for other living expenses.  And these should be readily available and accessible so that when you begin actual tax preparation you only have to reach a particular file to find the information needed to prepare the tax reports that you will ultimately submit.  If you have all this ready then the process of actual preparation will be so much simpler and faster you may not even need to go out in your athletic shoes for the run you usually take to relieve the stress.  Instead you might take your family off to enjoy a day of sports like a soccer game, where they can use the equipment and supplies you’ve obtained with Groupon coupons for true relaxation and enjoyment.

 

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